In his resignation letter to I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Kher said he was required to spend prolonged periods of time in the US for the next three years for an American television drama New Amsterdam and hence would not be able to give enough time to FTII.
The TV series is being produced by cable and satellite television network HBO.
“At the time when I was officially approached by the former I&B minister, Smt Smriti Irani, to be appointed as the chairman… I did share with her that I was due to be stationed in the US for nearly six months for an international TV show. The latest news now is that the show has been given a further extension of four months. This translates into me being stationed in the US for nearly nine months between 2018 and 2019, and then for a similar period for a minimum of three years more,” Kher wrote in the letter dated October 30.
“Given this assignment, it would not be fair to me, the students, and the management team, for me to hold a position of such responsibility and accountability, without being actively involved in the operations,” he wrote.
Kher is the first chairperson of the film institute to resign before the completion of his term — his tenure is also the shortest since FTII’s formation in 1974.
The actor reportedly sent his resignation letter to Rathore on the day he chaired the first meeting of the FTII Society in Mumbai on Tuesday. In the meeting, held at Mumbai’s Films Division, the Society members had nominated members on Governing Council and Academic Council — the two bodies are responsible for important administrative and academic decisions.
Kher, however, did not discuss his plans to resign for the top post of the film institute, sources present in the meeting said. “We did not have an inkling about his plans to quit until Wednesday afternoon when media reported it,” a source said.