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Leading Lights

About Leading Lights

Archbishop Joseph Powathil: The Visionary Founder of SJCC

Archbishop Joseph Powathil, the former Archbishop of Changanassery, had the foresight to recognize the increasing importance of media in 2000. As a patron of respected educational institutions like S B College and Assumption College, Changanassery, he saw the necessity of instilling values in media professionals. Consequently, he conceived the idea of establishing a media college and delegated the responsibility to his diocesan priest, Fr. Sebastian Punnassery. This initiative led to the establishment of St. Joseph College of Communication in 2004, with the vision of transforming media for a wholesome world.

Beyond his role as an educator, Archbishop Joseph Powathil was also a theologian deeply committed to preserving the identity, traditions, and liturgy of the Syro Malabar Church. He fostered strong relationships with various Catholic rites, other Christian denominations, and individuals from different religious backgrounds. He showed particular concern for the disadvantaged, including the poor, orphans, and youth. Archbishop Powathil held SJCC dear to his heart until his passing on March 18, 2023. The college continues to honour his memory with gratitude for his visionary leadership and enduring legacy.

Prof. John Sankaramangalam: Founding Principal of SJCC

Prof. John Sankaramangalam, a genius with no parallels in Indian Cinema, though has departed, continues to teach us and the coming generations.

His passion towards cinema took him to the Film and Television Institute of India Pune where he passed the courses in Scripting and Direction with the first rank. Along with making his contributions to the film industry, he spent his time and energy in moulding the budding talents in the field. Later he became the director of FTII and continued his efforts to to bring up a generation of artists with creativity and conviction.

He became the first one among the FTII students to bag a National Award and came to the mainstream film industry with his debut Malayalam movie “Janmabhumi” which won the President’s Award in 1968. He also directed and produced several other Tamil and Malayalam movies which would serve as textbooks to the students of cinema.

Above all, he is the most revered teacher of cinema in India. Hundreds of famous directors and technicians are indebted to him either for igniting the spark in them or for guiding them in the right way. A teacher of cinema with more than 50 years of experience is a rare honour that he can be proud of. He was also a member of the jury for several film awards.

Even after he retired from FTII he continued his service to the field of filmmaking by taking up the stewardship of St. Joseph College of Communication, Changanassery, the first of its kind in South India in 2004. It was Prof. John Sankaramangalam’s leadership with clear vision and determination made it the premium destination for media studies in south India. Even after retiring from the post of principal in 2011, he continued to serve the college in the capacity of Academic Chairman and also took classes for PG students till March 2018.

Even when he had scaled the heights of glory, he was meek and humble; jovial and friendly. He had time and patience to maintain human relationships. Hence Indian cinema can never forget this genius. St Joseph College of Communication for which he has devoted his talents, time and energy and all the new generation students of media will remember him forever.