AISFM students graduate with flying colors

On 17 September 2017, our students graduated amidst glam and glitz in Shilpakala Vedika. The stage was set for the legendary director, S.S. Rajamouli, to confer our bright students with their hard-earned degrees.

The event started with a tribute to S.S. Rajamouli Garu through a dance performance choreographed by Vijay. This was followed by a motivating welcome address by our director, Mrs. Amala Akkineni Garu, which lit up the entire hall.

Shortly afterward, the dean, Mr. Bala Raja declared the graduation ceremony open and Chairman, Mr. Akkineni Naragajuna Garu delivered a heartfelt speech about our founding father, Akkineni Nageswar Rao Garu’s vision. The audience sat rapt with attention as they heard how AISFM came to be and how ANR Garu gave life to his dream of helping media & entertainment enthusiasts with a world-class education.

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S.S. Rajamouli Garu took the stage next and remembered the contributions and willpower of ANR Garu. We all know that ANR Garu braved a couple of heart strokes through his lifetime but it is worthy to note that nothing – not even dire ailments – stopped him from achieving the goals he set for himself. AISFM is a testimony to this. After this, the graduates were awarded their degree certificates.

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Besides the moving speech by S.S. Rajamouli Garu, the convocation ceremony this year was special for another reason as well. ANR gold medals were awarded to exceptional students who scored more than 85% in their boards. The first gold medalist winners were Shashank Velpucharla and Ashwin Sanjay Bharde.

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The ceremony concluded with vote of thanks by the dean, the National Anthem, and group photographs with the dignitaries. It was nothing short of delightful to see our students graduate with flying colors.

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Shri Venkaiah Naidu speaks highly of ANR at the ANR Award Ceremony

The 11th ANR awards were held on the 17th September at Shilpakala Vedika, Hyderabad. The esteemed guest of honor was Shri Venkaiah Naidu, who expressed that felicitation of a few should come as an inspiration to many. The recipient of the ANR award this year was S.S. Rajamouli, and Shri Naidu showered him with well-deserved high praise. Shri Naidu also remarked that the legacy of Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) would live on year after year through this award, that was given to the current prodigies of Indian cinema. In his speech, Shri Naidu spoke fondly about ANR, explaining how this spectacular actor raised the bar for acting and producing films in India. ANR lived his life with discipline (which helped in bringing him success) and dedicated every living moment to Indian cinema, turning him into an inspiration for many aspiring professionals.

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The growth of the Indian film industry can be seen clearly from the first Indian film in 1913- directed by Dadasaheb Phalke to Baahubali, the latest film that has taken the nation by storm. Such exponential growth could only be possible due to pioneers like ANR and Rajamouli. The revenue generated by the Indian film industry is roughly 20,000 crores, with 2,00,000+ employed professionals giving their best to create a stunning new cinema in all languages. Shri Naidu also urged the audience to learn their mother tongue. He compared one’s mother tongue to eyes and other languages to spectacles and remarked- if the eyes didn’t work, the spectacles were of no use.

Indian film has grown to a point where 30 big companies associated with the film industry are registered and performing business in the Indian Stock Exchange. But Indian films do more than just create revenue- they evoke so many emotions in people and also send a positive message to the public. They are a powerful source of communication in today’s world because they have the power to change the thought process. Every film created should have meaning, a unique message directed to the public in such a way that it generates positive impact among the audience.

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Nagarjuna also gave a short speech, thanking Shri Naidu and CM, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao, mentioning various schemes introduced by him that brought on the welfare of Telangana. He signed off with the quote saying- since the inception of the silver screen, its purpose was to screen Bahubali.

The awards ceremony also had a few live performances of classical songs and dances from Bahubali, an address by Bala Raj, the dean of AISFM. It ended with the National Anthem playing in the theatre, leaving everyone heartfelt.

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Rajamouli to receive the ANR National Award for 2017

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Celebrated director SS Rajamouli has been announced as the recipient of the Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) National Award for 2017. This year, the annual awards instituted by the Akkineni International Foundation, will coincide with the convocation of the students of Annapurna International School of Film & Media (AISFM). The grand event will take place on September 17th, 2017 at Shilpa Kala Vedika, with the award being given away by the Hon’ble Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The announcement was made by Akkineni Nagarjuna, in the presence of Amala Akkineni and Dr. T Subbarami Reddy at a press meet at Prasad Labs, on September 8th. It was recalled at the event that in 2004, when ANR received the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award, he decided to set up an award of his own to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of all those who have shaped the face of Indian cinema. While the first recipient of the ANR Award was actor Dev Anand in 2005, other awardees include cinema legends like Shabana Azmi, Vyjayantimala Bali, Lata Mangeshkar, K. Balachander, Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan among others.

Celebrating the achievements of Rajamouli, Nagarjuna said that they are thrilled to be honouring the filmmaker who has made Telugu cinema proud with his path-breaking Bahubali franchise, that was received with much applause across the country and even the world.

Talking about the convocation ceremony of the students of AISFM that will be held at the same event, Nagarjuna said that the success of this institute is a tribute to ANR’s vision of setting up the finest film and media education in India.

AISFM Inaugural Session 2017, A Great Start!

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Bright smiles and eager faces of our new set of students said it all! The AISFM Inaugural Session of 2017 welcoming the students and their families into the AISFM fold, was celebrated at N Convention Hall.

The session started off with a flourish with a montage of all the nine Grad Films of our graduating batch which proudly showcased their learning, hard work and finesse!

The Chief Guest for the session was renowned film director Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, popularly known as Krish, known for his Telugu hits like ‘Gamyam’, ‘Vedam’, ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’ and Kangana Ranaut’s Hindi historical ‘Manikarnika’ which is under production. Lauding the students’ choice of school, he said, “all you students have chosen a very strong and good film school that has high level of expertise in cinema & backed by Annapurna Studios; no other school is better than AISFM.” Appreciating the grad films that he saw, he regretted that he did not have a chance like these students to learn at a film school. Reminiscing about a chat he had with our founder, the legendary Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, he said, “ANR garu had said that cinema is an amalgamation of multiple arts and crafts and the synthesis of all these elements form a beautiful art called cinema.” He recollected his journey of becoming a filmmaker and how he would sometimes wait outside Annapurna Studios to get a peek, and how later a long & hard determined journey brought him to the same studios as a working director on Manikarnika recently.  He encouraged AISFM students, “If I can do it, you can do it.”

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Krish then advised the students, “be passionate in doing whatever you do and absorb as much as you can from your classes. You have a great chance to learn and experience here in the live studios, be open minded and a team player. Hard work is more important than talent, and of course endurance.” He ended on a thoughtful note, “if we are failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail, so work really hard and be passionate.”

Renowned Hollywood business expert, author and President of FilmProfit, Jeffrey Hardy who is our Academic Advisor sent in his wishes for the students along with a message. He said, “I feel honoured, to be asked by the Dean, to be a part of the group that is advising particularly MMBA students. I think the business side of business is what I focus my life on and it is the business side of business is what makes everything run well. You can’t just think only about the creative side, you have to do good production, you have to have them well-managed, you have to do good distribution, you have to look for every opportunity in the market, you have manage it well, manage relationships with exhibitors and distributors and everyone else.”

Bob Brown, popular Hollywood Action Director, known for blockbusters like Transformers, Mission Impossible, Terminator, xXx , sent in his message too and said, “AISFM is a state-of-the-art international film school and is a great place to learn.”

Reputed Hollywood writer, Paul Guay who has penned titles like Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar, Little Rascals and Heartbreakers congratulated the new batch of AISFM for getting into the school. He said, “When Dean Bala Raj invited me to be an Academic Advisor for their Screenwriting program, I took time to study the school. I was impressed with all aspects of AISFM. I haven’t seen any film school that’s located on the studio lots like AISFM. You’re going to have a great learning experience and a fun ride.”

Iconic Indian director S.S. Rajamouli who created the prestigious grand epic ‘Bahubali,’ too sent in his words of advice and best wishes for the young and enthusiastic students and said, “absorb, learn, get exposed to life in the AISFM campus itself and work hard.”

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Our Honorary Director, Amala Akkineni, while officially inaugurating the new academic year 2017, shared her thoughts about how the school came into existence, “the legendary actor and AISFM Founder Akkineni Nageswara Rao would have been proud to see you all here, especially with our current students covering the event on video. It was his dream to start a school. He had said, ‘It is not enough to create a place of work but a place to train and educate is needed’ and that is how this school started. He didn’t go to any film school but he learnt by working hard as a trainee, as an apprentice. He felt that most Indian youngsters could not have access to international film & media schools, hence he started AISFM right in Hyderabad, with international standards.”

Her words of advice for the students were, “Take the plunge into learning, be passionate and become a learner for life. Don’t forget to play, have fun and enjoy. Nobody succeeds if you do not enjoy. Make friends and build a network and create wonderful work together. Your critics will push you forward, take criticism constructively and positively, learn from them and grow with them. Learn to observe, silence the judge in you and observe. You will learn every aspect of film and media here. Technology is changing every day, so create your own unique niche and remember you are special. I believe that we have the future ANR, Christopher Nolan and Rajamouli amongst the students’ right here.”

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Our Dean of Academics and Faculty, Direction & Screenwriting, Bala Rajasekharuni, addressing the students said, “Give your best in one area of your passion, then you will do good in other areas too. It is the time of meeting points of arts, education, commerce and technology. AISFM is a liberal arts school and its curriculum reflects the nature of the world today. The school is relevant to today’s times, because it has a unique structure of specializations, areas of passion and areas of technical expertise which is a craft for survival that gets ready jobs in the industry. Value interdisciplinary study in integrated phase of your degree, since today’s world is an integration of audio & visual media whether it is film, television, internet, or cell phones, all of them are at a meeting point, which demands multi-talented professionals.”

He further congratulated the parents who have allowed their children to pursue their passion and added, “To call ourselves an international school, it’s not enough to just have an international syllabus. AISFM is a true international school because; we have a global vision, and are building a strong international advisory board for all departments by the end of this year. Already three Hollywood experts are on board and many others are on their way in.”

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Padma Ramesh, Faculty, Liberal Arts & Business Communications, spoke of the importance of short and long term goals, positive attitude, creative thinking, teamwork, commitment and briefed them about the rules and regulations of the school and urged them to be good brand ambassadors of the school.

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Alumni Meher Kilaru and Preksha Trivedi spoke about their learnings at AISFM and how it made a difference in their lives. Meher, who is a student from the 1st batch, recollected his journey at the school and how Nagarjuna Akkineni called him to talk about marketing strategies for the movie Manam and how his words of advice of ‘Think big, what’s stopping you?’ still ring true to him in every aspect of life today. After working on Manam and Meelo Evaru Koteeswarudu, he is now working with Radio Mirchi 98.3; he advised the students to “never lose the fire within to pursue your passion, never stop educating yourself and never lose the ability to watch a film as a common audience.” Preksha echoed the same thoughts and said, “I joined AISFM because I love movies and I had an opportunity to learn, what followed were two years of brilliant learning experience. So do everything you can and keep learning.”

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The students were then addressed by our in-house counsellor Diana Monteiro, who spoke about parenting styles and how it is important for children to have hard experiences for a life education.

The event concluded with ice breaker group activities organized by Faculty Amit Prasad, Sai Gokul Ramnath and Dr. Vijaya Raghava with freshmen as the participants.  The impromptu skits were received by the crowd with laughs, cheers and applause.

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Iha Sharma #TalksRed !

Iha Sharma #TalksRed !Red Fist started as a simple idea. Aman Bhardwaj and Ashwin Rajashekar, the Literary Club representatives, when they’re not joking around and cracking everyone up, actually do have some brilliant ideas; Red Fist was one of them! From a simple idea to a successful college-wide event, it was a rollercoaster ride, one that all Red Fist volunteers would love to stand in line for, for multiple rounds.

Incepted from the concept of open mic sessions, this was a vocal fest propagating free speech and freedom of expression. Solidarity was the foundation of the fest. As an art school, it is imperative that patrons of all fields, be it filmmaking, animation, advertising, journalism or photography, are united and support each other. Not only students, but faculty and staff were also invited.

Our Dean was ever so supportive and with a lot of help from our beloved student coordinator Lyzandra Lewis, Red Fist became such a success. Our chief guest was Bajrangi Bhaijaan writer Vijayendra Prasad, and the event was hosted by the much loved advertising student, Aayush Agarwal.

Red Fist consisted of 7 different events:

Debate, with a twist. In the debate, instead of a conventional for/against a statement rule, the opposing teams were given 2 different films based on the same core topic and genre, and they had to defend their film. The two films were – Company (2002) & Gangs of Wasseypur (2002). With just a very little margin, the team with Gangs of Wasseypur won. The event was judged by the very equipped editing faculty duo of Rima Mazumdar & Amit Prasad.

Poetry Slam, a literary event to its core, it was judged by Padma Ramesh, who seemed to enjoy all of the performances. Vaishnavi Mudaliar from BFA 1 took the 1st position with her extremely relatable poem on best friends.

Monologue, the blend of speech and drama, was judged by Mr. Vijayendra Prasad, who was really moved by the winner BFA 1 student Suman Chowdhary’s performance. An emotionally-charged performance about the complicated relationship that every woman shares with her mother, Suman left those present at the event, teary-eyed.

Singing, an event which needs no introduction had everyone humming along to the performers. Krishna Priya, a first year animation student, wowed everyone with her energetic performance and came first among the 5 participants. The event was judged by the enthusiastic duo of Sanjeev Kumar & Debkanta Chakrabarty.

Standup Comedy, one event that saw a single participant in BFA 1 student Harshvardhan. Harshvardhan’s initiative was much appreciated, and the audience enjoyed a lot.

Lip-Sync, an event popularized by American show host Jimmy Fallon recharged the whole venue with energy as the participants not only lip-synced to their respective songs, but also performed with the audience. This interaction even made the faculty dance along. Mansi Khandekar stole the show among the participants and the event was judged by the colourful personality that is Vivek Pandey.

Open Mic is one event that saw the faculty on stage without any will to leave. Our respected Dean sang on stage twice! Sanjeev Kumar, Samrat Chakrabarty, Amit Prasad and Vivek Pandey, lit the stage on fire.

The Literary Club is elated by the success of Red Fist and with the feedback that we’ve received. We hope to see Red Fist become an annual event henceforth. Ashwin Rajashekar says, “I’ve always wanted to organize a fest in this college. We have been planning since the past four years. Who would have thought changing one letter could make it possible? (The event was called ‘Red Fest’ previously when it had been canceled) I’m grateful to all the club representatives and volunteers for their hard work. This fest wouldn’t have been possible without them. Now, I plan to organize the fest annually, twice. Both intra and inter-college. Let’s hope for the best.” “All the hard work paid off. Despite a few setbacks, the Red Fist team managed to put up a good show. I’m glad we’ll go down in the history of AISFM as the team which organized the first ever fest in college.” added Aman.

Team Members:

Organizers:
Aman Bhardwaj
Iha Sharma
Ashwin Rajashekar
Shubham Jajodia

Debate:
Shivam Sinha
Aditya Adholia
Sagar Kaushik
Abhishek Khapre

Poetry Slam:
Tanya Chhabria
Gehna Maheshwari

Monologue:
S Venkat Narayana Murthy
Anirudh Kompella

Singing:
Thanmayi Dayala
Joysuryo Paul
Joshua Thakur
Raveesh Sood

Stand-up Comedy:
Ashwin Rajashekar
Mithun Soma

Lip-Sync:
Tarun Panwar
Purvangi Ranjan

Lighting:
Akash Subramaniam
Abhipsa Sahoo
Sreyash Myneni
Aditya Adholia

Sound/Technical team:
Rishabh Lalwani
Ashwin Rajashekar
Adharsh
Adithya Vinayaka
Abhishek Kothari

Decorations:
Karishma Kumar
Prema Clayton
Vandana Prabhu
Shubham Jajodia
Sagar Kaushik
Adithya Vinayaka

Special Mention:
Hari Doshi
Raj Anna

Khwaish’s dream coming true!

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Khwaish, a short film about ‘a man chasing his dreams’, has been nominated for film fests this year across the country. Khwaish has been nominated for Manhattan Short India contest, Navi Mumbai International Film Festival, Slaman Farsi Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, Jagran Film Festival and All Lights India International Film Festival.

Khwaish is set in 2002 when India played against England for the title of the Natwest Trophy and is the story of Karim Khan, a small town guy from a village named Kashti. Karim unlike other small town guys is very different and still hopes of achieving his dreams at any cost. Karim being a big fan of cricket desires to go to Lords to watch the match. ‘Will Karim make it to Lords? Can Karim achieve his goal ever?’, is the rest of the story.

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Strangely similar to the storyline of the short film that shows how destiny plays a role, is the real life story of the writer-director of this short film and how destiny brought him to AISFM and how Khwaish was no more a dream, but a dream fulfilled!

Pushkar Vishwasrao, the man behind it all, the writer and director and MA 2016 student of AISFM, writes about the short film, how it came into existence and how it became his graduation film project. Here it is in his own words!

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“This was not just another short film for me. It was my graduation project and it was also my passport to get into the industry. So I had to think of the story which was very different from what my colleagues were making, so that I could stand out from it. Being from a cricket background there is always a special place for this game. The story of this film revolves around an old man who is a big cricket fan and wants to go to Lords to watch India’s cricket match. This story didn’t strike me overnight.

Frankly speaking this was the dream of my uncle, who is a 70-year-old neighbor and is a big fan of cricket. He always discussed cricket with me because he saw me playing professional cricket since my childhood. So one day when I was thinking about the project and what story I should work on, this story idea came up. This was very close to my heart and I thought of working on this story.  

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Even though I had made short film,s before I was a bit nervous before going for the shoot. This was our Graduation Project and our future depended on this. This film gave me and my team a lot of confidence and it also showed us where we stand after two years of studying filmmaking at Annapurna International School of Film and Media.

We faced a major hiccup when on the first day of the shoot in the early morning at 5:00am we came to know that our actor who was coming from Bombay has been hospitalized due to some medical issue. We had been given only five days for the shoot and the first day was cancelled due to this problem.

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Now we had only four days in hand and we needed an actor who could speak Marathi, as my script was in Marathi. Finally our Acting Faculty Yashraj Jadhav agreed to do it as he is a Maharashtrian, but on one condition that he should be left by 4:00pm as he had acting classes. We agreed to it and started shooting the next day and by God’s grace we completed the shoot in four days time.”

Pushkar had worked as an Assistant Director on ad films in Mumbai and also as a freelance casting director on ad films for a couple of years in the industry. And it was while working with his seniors in college that he was swept away by this art form. Says he, “I too wanted to be a part of this form and tell some stories about human emotions, that people can relate to and empathise with. Hence while chasing my dream, my destiny got me here to AISFM and today I am doing my graduation film which follows the theme of “Chasing Dreams”. Being a student of AISFM I was exposed to how the industry works. We also got an opportunity to meet stalwarts from the film Industry and their inputs have really helped us and are still working as we consider what each person has said and how different their point-of-view is from ours.”  “I’m currently working on a screenplay for a Marathi feature. Let’s hope for the best and I hope it will reach the public very soon,” he signs off.

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Grad Film Fest 2016 photo for keepsake! The crew of Khwaish with Chief Guests for the evening;
(Standing L-R):
Swaroop Naini, Pranav Ramani, Nidhi Doshi, Sudeep Patil, Pushkar Vishwasrao, Rachna Deshpande, Akhil D Manu, Mustafa Yusuf.
(Seated L-R): Dean of AISFM Mr. Bala Raj, famous actor Mr. Sumanth, young star Mr. Akhil Akkineni, famous actress Ms. Lakshmi Manchu, popular story writer Mr. Gopi Mohan and well-known director Mr. Kalyan Krishna.

‘My first Bollywood’ – by Aayush Agarwal

Aayush Agarwal on his Bollywood break
One fine morning I woke up to eventually find out that I was going to get a call from Mukesh Chhabbra, which could only mean one thing; I was one step closer to my dream – ‘Check.’ I was going to be a part of the next Boney Kapoor film, MOM, starring Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna & Nawazuddin Siddique. Woah! Hold on a minute; what?

That moment, that very feeling after I hung up on the call, where I was informed that I’ve been locked for a character role in the film was pure magic! It was a privilege to be on a set of such scale and I value each and every moment of it. I wanted to do justice and give my 100% for not just this project, but for whatever else I will be having in my bag in the future. I shall keep working hard and get going with my journey.

Little did I know that randomly auditioning online could actually work! As each round passed it got me more excited and I was happily surprised to finally end up in a vanity with costume and make up, ready and waiting to be called for my first shot for my first Bollywood film! After having collected the experience of working in the film Drushyam and with the 24 team, it made me value this experience more and had me in a constant attempt to try doing things right, learning from my previous mistakes and discovering new, unbelievably interesting things along the way. To have the opportunity to not only meet but also share screen-space with a star like Sridevi is an amazing thing by itself. I felt chills when I spoke to her for the first time!

The experience that one can gain from working on a film set is huge, and with a director like Ravi Udyawar, who again is a master of what he does, this ‘experience gaining’ is taken to a whole new level. There were other very talented persons and a very happening crew that never let me get bored on set. Even during my previous experiences of being a part of films, I realize each time, not only how interesting film making is, but also how tough it is and what kind of passion it requires to make!

I don’t want to sound very diplomatic and say that this is my calling; all I know for sure, is that I am in a happy place when I work in this field and this only makes me want to do it even more. Things are falling in place for me, I would say, with luck being in my favour and would like things to be this way while I continue working hard and doing my role (pun intended).

AISFM Grad Film Fest 2016

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It is indeed a proud moment for Annapurna International School of Film & Media (AISFM), when our students are ready to graduate and face the world with their freshly learned and honed skills.

It was time for the Graduation Film Fest 2016 where final year BFA and MA students who completed their film making course showcased their fine skills in the short films that they made as part of their graduation films. It was held at Prasad Labs on Friday, April 29th 2016 at from 4pm to 9pm. Eight short films were screened (of about 20 to 30 minutes duration) during the film festival.

Chief Guests for the evening were; Ms. Lakshmi Manchu; famous actress, producer and television presenter who is known for her works in Telugu cinema, Tamil cinema and American television; Mr. Gopi Mohan; popular screenplay and story writer of blockbuster movies Dookudu and many more; Mr. Kalyan Krishna, who created a sensation with his very first directorial debut Soggade Chinni Nayana; Mr. Ramesh Prasad, famous Indian businessman, film producer, chairman and Head of Prasad Studios, Prasad Art Pictures, Prasads IMAX and L V Prasad Eye Institute; Ms. Supriya Yarlagadda, Executive Director of Annapurna Studios, who has been highly instrumental in transforming the traditional studio into a corporate environment; Mr. Sumanth, famous film actor known for his work and meaningful cinema; Mr. Akhil Akkineni, young star and heartthrob of many girls.

Mr. Bala Raj, the Dean of Annapurna International School of Film & Media and well-known Hollywood professional who has written, produced and directed award winning English films was also present on the occasion.

The films that were screened were of various topics; if one took you to the 1900’s then the other touched upon a topic that not many are comfortable talking about. If one was about a long cherished dream, the other was about a simple gesture, to smile!
The films screened were:
Parchaai, a drama, which features the journey of a school student who tries to redeem himself after an event that has occurred in his past.
Varnamaala, a story set in the early 1900’s where the zamindari system is at its peak. There is one head person for a village who has the authority over every person of that village. This is the time where lower caste people are considered to be untouchables and are banished out from villages. This is one story of how one man tries to change this in his own way.
Inside Job, a psychological thriller. It’s a play between the human soul and brain where the brain propels the soul to explore the untraversed territories of human senses. It tries to question you about your perception of reality and pushes you to think one more time about you, about yourself.
– One of the greatest feelings in life is to be able to smile and feel carefree, even if it is just for a moment. The documentary, Navvu, explores the importance of laughter through concepts like medical clowning in the highly stressful lives of those who’ve had to spend time at hospitals.
Sattvam, a film about Ratan, an ambulance driver. He is a very crude man, one who never believes in his duty of saving lives of people in emergency. When faced with a situation which makes him introspect the reasons behind the attitude he has developed, will he resist or accept to change?
Sort the Spot, the story of two girls and a regular day in their respective schools. But that’s not it. Something strange happens. A girl’s first period – a topic still considered taboo by many in the country; it’s time we talk about it in the open.
Khwaish, a film about Karim Khan, who is a small town guy from Kashti. Karim is a vendor of Nimbu Sarbat which he sells on his cart in the Village. Karim unlike other small town guys is very different and still hopes of achieving his dreams at any cost. Karim is very close to this small kid Arjun (12). Karim’s ambition, his goal, his only dream is to  go to Lord’s and watch India play cricket. Can Karim achieve his dream ever?
Rangula Ratnam, a story is about a Sale’s man and a Lawyer. How they meet each other and interchange their profession for one day. After that what are the challenges they face individually. In the end how they save the life of two people, who are related to the same conflict is the story. Does the story end on a positive note?

After the screening of the short films, the chief guests shared their thoughts on them. Speaking about the event, Lakshmi Manchu said, “Congratulations on such incredible work. I am inspired by all of you. It’s always inspiring to see new visions and it is very important to see new ideas come forth. A lot of hard work goes into cinema and here overnight success happens in 10 years.” Giving advice to the students she said, “Nothing is more beautiful than cinema, define yourself. What is the story that you have that is compelling to tell? Identify that and keep your passion, drive and love alive for cinema.”

Ramesh Prasad, speaking at the event reminisced about how his father, L. V. Prasad (one of the pioneers of Indian cinema and a producer, actor, director, cinematographer and businessman) started his journey in films and said that there were four things that his father followed and advised the students to do the same; “passion, patience, perseverance and purity of thought.” He further added, “You as youngsters should know about cinema. There is great power in the medium of cinema, the more you are involved, the more you churn. The challenge is the content. The future is on you, take it forward.”

Sumanth speaking at the event said, “You have a wonderful opportunity, let your imagination flow.” He also recollected an incident wherein he had gone to a top film house in Bombay recently and a person came running up to him and introduced himself as an alumni of AISFM, who incidentally was there, to sell his script to the film house.

Akhil Akkineni lauded the efforts of the students and appreciated them and their movies. He said, “My grandfather’s dream was to give back to cinema and he would have been proud to see your wonderful films.” He further added, “The harsh reality is don’t ever let yourself down if your vision is not translated onto the screen. Stay on your course. Passion for what you do is very important. If you don’t love it, don’t do it, you won’t last.”

Bala Raj, Dean, AISFM, speaking at the event, congratulated the students and said, “you have endured the making of a film and you now know what goes on into the making of a film and this premiere of your short films is a great accomplishment, so congrats to all of you.”

Later on, the students interacted with the guests and a brief question and answer session with the Chief Guests and faculty of AISFM was held. Cherishing these momentous moments forever, photographs were taken with the chief guests for keepsake!

From student to star – Kashyap!

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AISFM’s acting student, Kashyap bagged the lead role in the upcoming film, Production No. 1 by Kalyan Cine Creations banner. We caught up with him on his first day of shoot for a quick chat. Here’s what the debutant had to say.

How was your experience studying at AISFM?
It was wonderful! I made a lot of friends, and the faculty were amazing. I felt that they helped in bringing out the dormant actor inside of me, to the outside world. I was very reserved and restricted before joining AISFM, but once I started learning all of the things taught in my acting course, especially my psychology classes, they opened me up and woke up the sleeping actor inside of me. My favourite was the acting class, mainly because of my teacher. He was my childhood mentor. It’s funny because when I was little, I used to go to his house for tuitions. His sister used to teach me, so I was able to create a good rapport with him as well. This is part of the reason of me being given the award for the Best Student of my batch.  Psychology was also one of my favourite subjects. It helped me get inside the mind of the character and helped me portray it better on screen.

Could you mention a fun/memorable experience during your time here?
We have a vending machine in the cafeteria, and one of my friend had figured out a trick that allowed us to access it without using coins. We had night classes till around 8, so after everybody left we used to finish almost 20-30 cups of coffee/tea every day and then leave (chuckles). I don’t think I’ll ever forget that!

How does studying in a film school set you apart from the rest of the crowd?
Like I said before, studying at AISFM helped bring out the actor in me. It wasn’t like someone taught me something new, but rather felt like something that I already had inside of me. While I was studying at AISFM, I used to do a lot of short films for the other students, so they had coined the phrase ‘one-take actor’ for me, since I would deliver my dialogues in maybe 1 or 2 takes max.

The passion inside you is the only thing that will allow you to do something hatke in life. Before joining, I never even thought that one day I’d be sitting down and giving an interview, so that just shows that one needs the right drive and dedication to achieve success.

What advice would you like to give to the current students?
Okay, this is a bit tough! I will however tell them to never give up on their dreams. I have a friend, who wanted to become an actor, but he had to realise his capabilities. As an actor, you must know facial expressions; maintain your physique, especially in Tollywood. I also want to add that, we need a lot of supporting actors in the industry, not just mainstream heroes. Even if you are a hero, you will need a very good supporting actor for you to be able to act well. Hence, I would like to advice everybody to do every type of role and play every character and bring out the best in them.

How was your experience working in a film?
This is a love and humour based genre. It is really entertaining. My experience until today has been pretty good, everybody is really supportive. I had heard a lot about what it feels like to be on the set of a major film, and now I am experiencing it all and it is very unbelievable. People always say that you get frustrated on set, but as a newcomer, the others on set are pushing me so much that I do not feel that frustration. In fact, I feel calm, and that’s because of the people working in this film with me.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
In front of a camera! Whatever role I get, I will analyse it, see whether I can do it well, do it perfect. Since the audience is always looking for something new and something fresh, I will always aim at becoming better and better.

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Vividh Ashok: “Never underestimate the power of Marketing”

There are two things in life: Something you are good at and something you want to do. Finding the perfect union between the two is what is going to take you further in life. Read on to know what else our MMBA student, Vividh Ashok had to say about his internship at Annapurna Studios for the film Soggade Chinni Nayana.

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Q: How was your experience working as an intern?

A: Since I am in my senior year of the MMBA program, I am supposed to do an internship, as a part of my program. I first thought about doing an internship at an ad agency, but then I got to know about an internship opportunity at Annapurna Studios, through the college. It was an opportunity to work in the marketing team of Nagarjuna sir’s movie Soggade Chinni Nayana, and I didn’t want to let this slip away. After joining, I realized that this job was going to be much more than just the simple nuances of marketing. They called it Marketing Publicity. My job was directed more towards coming up with ideas and co-ordination. I was also part of the team that handled the front-stage co-ordination at the film’s audio launch event. It was very nice for me to see how a live event occurs. I was also handling the ‘Making’ and ‘Promo’ videos for the film.

Q: What was the most memorable part of the internship?

A: Meetings! Imagine sitting across the table from the Executive Producer of the film, along with the likes of Gemini TV, Radio City, along with Nagarjuna sir! You don’t get an opportunity like this often. I never spoke during these meetings, but sitting in that room and listening to the ideas they came up with was the best experience for me. Also, the fact that I was given a walkie-talkie and I could call people up and give them instructions was an added bonus! The way the studio worked and functioned was amazing to experience. I will never forget that.

Q: What do you take back from this experience?

A: The one thing I’ve realized, and the one thing I tell everybody is that everyone must work in a studio at least once in their life! You can always come up with your indi-films anytime in your life, but when you work for a studio, you get to know that there are a lot of people involved in the movie making process. Unless you actually get into this, you will not be able to see how it functions. One instance was how our director was there from start to finish. He could’ve easily gone back after production was done, but he didn’t. He was a part of marketing, he was making sure everything was functioning well. Even Nag sir for that matter. Being an actor, he could’ve easily avoided being involved in these matters, but he chose not to. Being in the marketing team, opened my eyes in terms of where I can see myself in the future. This has been the biggest learning curve for me. What I had learned theoretically turned out to be so much different compared to what I experienced.

Q: Did something fun happen on set that you will carry forward with you in the future?

A: Oh yes! Gemini TV had a competition during the audio launch for the general public. The contest was done and the names and numbers of the winners were handed over to me. It was my job to call them up and inform them that they won. Now, out of fifty odd people, ten responded. Even after the event so many of the people kept calling. That was funny! Also, meeting Nag sir on a daily basis was amazing. Getting ASPL’s tea and meals is also something I will never forget (laughs).

Q: How was your experience here, at AISFM? What advice would you like to give to your juniors?

A: Oh it was brilliant! I had heard of Annapurna Studios, while doing my Media studies in Bangalore, but had no knowledge that they were coming up with a film school or an MMBA course for that matter. I was in a class of two, so I loved the personal attention given to me, with a deep level of interaction. The way they teach here is so good, and its the reason why we didn’t leave despite the small number of students. Now, me being on the verge of completing my course, I can say that it (MMBA) is the best mix one can get of management and creativity! The one thing I would like to say to my juniors is – Keep working. It doesn’t matter whether you are in production, direction, marketing or even in the camera department. Make sure you add as much experience as you possibly can in the years you spend here. College classes are important, but you need to do something beyond your classroom. Also, work for a studio at least once in your life!

Q: Where do you see yourself, in say the next five years?

A: There are several things that I want to do. In five years, I would like to see myself being the head of my media department. I know it sounds very generic, but that’s the least I would like myself to become. To be honest, I would want to work for Teach for India, do something that makes me happy. Also, I want to produce an independent film.