Throwback Thursday: WWI school of animation; learners pride


Whistling Woods International is a film, communication and creative institute located in Mumbai, India. The institute has been founded by Indian Filmmaker Subhash Ghai, Mukta Arts and Film City Mumbai.

No wonder in July 2014, The Hollywood Reporter named Whistling Woods on its list of The best film schools in the world.

This is the first time that the school was ranked among the top 10 film schools by the named newspaper in 2010.

Some of the affiliations are with Deakin University and Griffith University in Australia, Syracuse University in the United States and New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Asia.

The Institute has affiliations with several film schools, including international student co-productions and credits transfer.

Animation Digital Digest talks to Yusuf Mehta, Head of the Department, Whistling Woods School of Animation  and asks him some querries related to the school of animation.

Yusuf Mehta

Greetings Sir, tell us about the courses?

This is a unique multi-dimensional course. The first of its kind degree course in these subjects offered by an internationally reputed film school.

The first year focuses on creating a strong foundation in the art and technique of 2D and 3D animation; graphic novel design and publishing; and video game design, art and development.

In the second year students choose any one of these streams and develop advanced skills in it. The third year is dedicated to their final project.

Each course gives importance to both the critical study and understanding of any one of the streams chosen – animation, sequential art (comics) and video games; as well as to their practice – the art and techniques by which they are made. However, they are also exposed to and informed about the requirements and skill of the other streams through collaborative projects and contextual study classes.

Each term has extensive practical modules that test the skill and ingenuity of the students in formulating and producing creative and innovative projects either individually or in groups.


The course informs students about the history of art, comics, animation, video games, theatre and its evolution, music and digital production design, as part of its contextual studies or general education program.

It also develops skills in drawing and illustration for concept art and book covers; commercial art for poster and advertising design; multimedia and website design and development; storyboarding for animation and live action films; character design and development; and cartooning and caricatures for newspapers and magazines.

Students are encouraged to formulate and develop their own unique story development and stylistic perspective and vision.

In which year was the animation school found and what was the purpose behind the initiative?

The Animation and VFX industry has been growing exponentially year after year. With so many mediums and experiments capturing the imagination of audiences everywhere, the need arose for having a School within Whistling Woods that would be dedicated solely to

this discipline. Though the course was initiated in 2006 as part of the flagship programme, the WWI School of Animation came about the initiation in the year 2009.

Number of students in each class and the faculty.

The department accommodates 30 – 40 students in each batch but with the growing demand of the course, our intakes have been increasing. Now we aim to accept 60 to 70 students in each batch. We have the strength of 7-8 full-time faculty and many industry experts as adjunct faculties.

The syllabus and what are the teaching methods?

The School of Animation has greatly diversified its subjects and is now covering almost all the sections of the animation industry so as it provides an intensive study to our students.

At the same time, we allow our students to pick and choose their subjects from a vast list of electives. In broader terms, our specializations cover 5 major subjects – Pr- Visualization,

Comic Book Design, 2D Animation, 3D Animation and Game Development.

WWI logo

Is the school doing any work for clients? If so name them?

The students are not working on any projects for any clients as of now.