Whistling Woods International and IED – Istituto Europeo di Design Forge Cinematic Bridge Between India and Italy

Whistling Woods International (WWI) was part of a milestone event in international cinema: the fifth episode of the second season of Aperitivo Italiano. Hosted by the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, this special screening celebrated the cultural synergy between India and Italy, inspired by the timeless classic “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” by Giuseppe Tornatore.

Signing of the MoU by Ravi Gupta, Dean, WWI and Riccardo Balbo, Group Chief Academic, IED Officer

Recently, the IF.BE Ice Factory in Mumbai hosted this prestigious event. It spotlighted the rich cinematic heritage of both nations, underscoring the role of film in fostering mutual understanding and cooperation. Alessandro De Masi, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai, and Francesca Amendola, Director of Istituto Italiano di Cultura, in collaboration with Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) and Whistling Woods International, announced a unique co-production project. Over an intensive two-day session, Italian and Indian students from these premier institutes collaborated to create two short films in Mumbai, which premiered at the event.

Following the screening of the short films, the evening witnessed an interactive panel discussion. The esteemed panel included Priyanka Khanna, writer, author, and editor, who moderated the discussion; Prajakta Koli (a.k.a. Mostlysane), actress; Priyanka Ghose, producer; Rangita Pritish Nandy, producer; Sayani Gupta, actress; Saransh Goila, chef; and the four students who created the short films: Giulia Destro and Leonardo Marziali from IED and Shri Krishna Venugopalan and Twisa Mookerjee, WWI. A special highlight of the evening was a message from Maestro Giuseppe Tornatore, addressing all participants and especially the students.

Rahul Puri, Director – Academics, Whistling Woods International, stated, “Whistling Woods International was thrilled to collaborate with IED and the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai on this innovative initiative. This co-production project exemplifies the power of cinema to bridge cultures and foster creative collaboration. Our partnership with IED will not only enriche our students educational experiences but also strengthens our commitment to fostering global cinematic talent and cross-cultural exchange.”

This marks a new chapter in the bilateral collaboration between Italy and India, a vital sector for fostering relations in the creative industries of both countries. The projects success and its originality have garnered significant appreciation for the Italian film industry sector and sparked immense curiosity about the potential of the relationship initiated through the collaboration between the two schools,” shared Alessandro De Masi, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai.

Creativity and design nourish themselves by exchange, questioning, dialogue, in the direction of bringing new ideas and stimuli to the community. This two-day event in Mumbai provided an exciting first basis for sharing visions through the language of cinematography and visual arts, an excellent premise for all the opportunities that the collaboration between IED and Whistling Woods International will bring among young creatives in India, in Italy and in the world,” comments Riccardo Balbo, IED Group Chief Academic Officer.

Whistling Woods International and IED also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore reciprocal collaborations. Key areas of focus included joint initiatives to enhance global design knowledge and intercultural competencies, programmes to foster student exchange and strengthen academic collaboration, opportunities for faculty and staff exchanges to share knowledge and best practices and expand relations and collaborations between IED and WWI through joint events and projects. The MOU was signed by Ravi Gupta, Dean, Whistling Woods International and Riccardo Balbo, IED Group Chief Academic Officer marking a significant step in strengthening educational and cultural ties between the institutions.

The evening concluded with a networking session, offering attendees the opportunity to connect and celebrate this significant cultural exchange.