Carving his own little niche!


When a dream becomes a passion and that passion becomes life, nothing else matters; you start living and loving life! For dreams and passion are more powerful than facts and reality. It takes guts to achieve glory and conviction to stick to your dreams.

Well on this path to achieving his dreams, carving his own little niche is our very own Hari Mrutyumjaya, who worked as the Assistant Director in Nagarjuna’s latest blockbuster film Soggade Chinni Nayana.

An alumnus of AISFM, who had pursued his Masters in Film & Media, Hari is from the first batch of this school. Speaking about what motivates him and what his inspiration is, he says, “Since my college days i.e. intermediate I would keep writing stories on paper and tell my friends about it. I even sent some stories to a local film magazine. I continued writing stories even while I was doing my B.Tech in Sri Vasavi Engineering College, Tadepalligudam. I then joined AISFM to pursue my M.A. to know and learn more about other aspects of filmmaking. My M.A. project was Pranam, based on the stageplay called ‘Kuka’ by Yandamoori Veerendranath. I read about him a lot.”

So where does your passion lie; have you always wanted to become a director? To this he says, “I love writing but I will not leave direction at the same time. If the writing is good then the film is good. If writing is perfect then 80% of the job is done, the remaining 20% would be, to shoot the film. Without a proper story, even a big director’s movie will be a flop.”

Speaking about his experience on being a part of the trendsetting record-breaking big blockbuster movie Soggade Chinni Nayana, he says “When I saw the characters I liked Nagarjuna Sir’s character a lot, especially the differentiation between the dual roles and the whole essence of the movie. I had a feeling that it would do well, but it is such a big blockbuster! The fantasy and nativity of it all, is very unique. On the first day of the film during pre-production the director, Kalyan Krishna, gave me the script and asked me to read it and involved me in the whole process.  AISFM involved us and taught us all aspects of filmmaking and this helped me a lot. Even though it was such a big production I felt very comfortable working and being part of it. Initially I was scared but later on it was all fine. On the last day of shooting, we all felt that the final output was really good and were very happy.” Making the most of his break before he starts working on his next project, Hari has a story in mind and will be working on its screenplay.

At AISFM we learnt each aspect of filmmaking. It was easy for me later, since I learnt about everything in the school. Even though we worked on small projects we looked into each department; whereas in the industry it is divided into each department, so the knowledge and prior experience helped. It didn’t feel new and it was easy working. We learnt what to do and what not to do. We learnt that planning is very important in any department, then there is clarity,” he said about his learning at AISFM.

What are you friends and family saying about your recent laurels? With a smile on his face, he says “They are very happy. It is because of my B.Tech friends, Maruthi Kiran and Narendra Kumar, that I am here. They paid my fees when I could not afford it and made sure that I got into a really good school like AISFM to realize my dream. They helped and supported me a lot and encouraged me at all times. Initially I tried my hand in the industry and got small offers but then I wanted to learn more about the craft, so they helped me by paying the fees to get into AISFM. At AISFM, Krupakar Sir encouraged me a lot and introduced me to the director of Soggade Chinni Nayana Kalyan Krishna. If not for his help, I would not have got a break so soon. Kalyan Krishna asked me about the course and what they taught me and once he was sure that I was good for the job, he took me as his assistant director. My specialization was scriptwriting, so the director asked me for suggestions and was always open to any that I suggested. Kalyan Krishna supported me a lot and was always helpful.”


Any interesting anecdotes that he would like to share with us? To this, reliving his fan moment he says, “Kalyan Krishna is like a brother not just with me but with everyone. So, for a small scene in the movie he asked me if I would like to play the brother of Hamsanandini in it. I am a huge fan of Nagarjuna Sir, so I readily agreed. My most memorable moment is that, I have a scene with Nagarjuna Sir in the movie and even share two dialogues in that scene. Cinematographer Siddharth was also very funny and helpful.”

When asked if he told Nagarjuna that he is from AISFM, to this he said, “I did not because it will be good if I introduce myself to him after I make a name for myself and then make him proud by saying that I am from AISFM.”

So in three years from now, where does he see himself? To this he confidently says that “I would definitely have directed a movie by then. And I want to direct my own story, only then I will be able to realize it completely.”

Sharing his experiences and lessons learnt for future aspirants, he said, “People who take up the job should work according to the job requirement and satisfy them and should not brag. We should do our job to the best and respect all crew, be it in any department. It will also help if we are involved in pre and post production work also, so that the learning is complete. For example in AISFM we learnt about sync sound also but in the industry dubbing is followed majorly, so being involved in post production also helps you learn a lot.”

Ending the discussion on a philosophical note, he said, “We should always keep learning and should not think that we know everything, since filmmaking in a continuous learning process. One lifetime is not enough. Writing is also important; we should keep writing and develop it further.”

Here’s wishing Good Luck to Hari for his upcoming movies and in everything that he does!

Aayush Agarwal: On FreshFace, Acting & the importance of Moisturizing!

Our student Aayush Agarwal recently took part in the Hyderabad Times Fresh Face 2015, and was the 1st runner-up. We caught up with him recently for a quick Q&A session. Here’s what our young star had to say!


Q: What was the first thing that came across your mind when you were crowned 1st runner-up?

A: It was a beautiful feeling. The fact that I was able to even come in 2nd place in a competition that is as vast as this one, is what made me feel happy. As far as not winning comes up, I’m okay with being second, because this is what will make me strive to come 1st the next time. It will make me work harder. That is a plus point according to me.

Q: What can we expect next from you?

A: I have a few short films that are lined up. Also, I am auditioning for another feature film where I am supposed to play the younger version of Rana (Daggubati), so let’s hope that gets through. Apart from this, I am also playing the junior version of the actor Shashank (Siddamsetty) in the upcoming film Yathartam (AISFM Student Grad Film). Shashank has won a Nandi Award, so that’s a big honour for me to be able to work in the same film as him.

Q: How did you come across this competition and what were the things you underwent during the hunt?

A: Clean & Clear goes to several colleges and has auditions in their campus. I, however, was informed about it by my friend that there were open auditions being held at Inorbit Mall, in which anybody could register. That’s where I auditioned. I acted in the 1st round and cleared it. There were about 1000 students at this level. In the semi-finals, 20 of us were shortlisted. Designer Ganesh Nallari took us shopping and gave each one of us a makeover, so that was fun! He also choreographed the ramp walk that each of us had to do in the finals. A quick introduction session along with a talent round then happened, which determined whether you are a finalist or not.

Q: What did you do for the Talent Round?

A: I acted and danced. I performed on the song Aala Barfi (Barfi) and proposed to the judge Regina Cassandra at the end of it (laughs). Then I transitioned into acting by saying the dialogue from Pyaar ka Punchnama. I had three minutes for my entire performance, so fitting all these elements and making sure I’m doing it all right was a challenge for me.

Q: What is the secret behind your Clean, Clear and Fresh face? 🙂

A: (laughs). The secret is that I use my Clean & Clear facewash followed by a moisturizer. On a serious note, I know where I want to go, and I know I need to have this if I want to move forward. I need to take good care of myself if I want to get into this field. So yes, that’s my secret!

Kamal Haasan visits AISFM!!!


We had been hinting about a big star’s visit to AISFM since over a week. A few days back, that star was revealed to you. It was none other than Mr Kamal Haasan!! He was at Annapurna Studios on November 21st 2015, for an event organised by the school.image_2

The day was one, which was filled with excitement. Let’s just say it was not just the students who couldn’t contain their happiness on seeing him. Everybody present there was mesmerized by his personality.image_3

Sadly, we cannot give out all the information about the happenings of this epic day. To know what exactly went down, stay tuned and keep a look out for updates on our blog as well as our social media pages!image_5 image_4 image_1



Well known Telugu industry choreographer Suresh dance master recently visited AISFM to conduct a workshop on the art of song ­making. The two­-day workshop saw the choreographer teach our students the fundamentals of composing, along with all the other minute details that go into creating a song. Right from figuring out the lyrics to shooting the video to post-production, all was done by our students.

The next part of the workshop was the fun bit; shooting a video to go along with the song. The shooting went on for four days, that comprised both day and night shoots and the location was our studio (Annapurna Studios) itself. Not only our students, but the choreographer also was seen staying up till 2 am on most days shooting for this project.

While having a chat with one of the students working on this project, we found out how the workshop helped them create the student ­written song Spandana. The bilingual song is a Telugu­Hindi composition, completely created by the students. One student especially spoke about how it was to be working on set for the first time ever, while some others spoke of how different the experience was compared to their previous projects. The lead actor (Aayush Agarwal) stressed on how different it was for him to work on a song shoot which has no dialogues as compared to a dialogue ­scene of a film, which he is used to working on up till now. The actress who played Spandana (Sruthi Naidu) also shared similar excitement, and spoke about the energy of dance master Suresh, and how it energized everyone on set.

Like every other shoot, this shoot too faced its fair share of problems. There was a problem that had come up on the third day of the shoot regarding equipment, which was solved later on. This helped the students grow as actors, they said. Regardless of all the problems and difficulties that came up, the end product was worth the effort, said other student.

Here’s the cast of Spandana:
Lead Actress ­ Sruthi Naidu
Lead Actor ­ Aayush Agarwal

Cinematography Team:
Naresh Ramadurai
Pranav Ramani
Achutan Nair
Akhil D Manu

Direction Team:
Abhilash Reddy
Supreeth Reddy
Sudeep Patil
Pushkar Vishwasrao

On­set Camera Assistance:
Akash Subramaniam
Abhipsa Sahoo

All being said, the one thing that was repeated time and again by the students was that they were lucky to be in a school that has such amazing facilities and that they would like to see more such activities in the coming future since gaining knowledge will help them more than simply learning.
Here’s the official music video of Spandana!

Aayush Agarwal Turns It On!


A few days ago, AISFM student Aayush Agarwal released a video on his YouTube channel. And now, the video has gone viral! This Short film, titled “Turn It Off” tells people how necessary it is to conserve electricity, in a naughty and saucy way. Directed, written, produced, edited by Aayush, this 2:30 minute video got almost 1000 views in less than 36 hours, which is why one mustn’t miss watching it.

“I got the idea while browsing the Internet. I liked the idea of doing a video on conserving electricity,” says Aayush. Since there are already videos made on the same lines using a similar premise, Aayush came up with something different to make it stand out. “The fact that the video is short and crisp, along with the fact that it surprises you at the end, is what makes my short film different from the others,” he says.

The response the video has gotten so far has made the youngster extremely happy. “This video has the most number of hits on my channel. We worked really hard on this film. And it took us two days to complete the whole thing and that’s what makes it so special,” he says.

Here’s the video. Have a look!


AISFM Student Aayush Agarwal, Making It Big!


Aayush Agarwal, a student of AISFM, recently bagged a character role in the Venkatesh and Meena starrer Telugu film, Drushyam. We had a chance to catch up with our young rising-star and talk to him about his experience working in the film, his other projects and future plans. He has already worked in a motion picture, has his own YouTube channel with over fourteen thousand views, and had got offers for other films as well. Guess what? He’s not even eighteen yet!

Aayush said that that for him, working in Drushyam was an experience that helped him emotionally. After working in a film, people started taking him more seriously since they could now see his potential through that one piece of work. Every second spent during shoot was a learning experience he says.

Getting this role was not something he had not expected. It all happened during a filmmaking workshop he had attended when he was in 10th grade where he was spotted. After two whole years, he got a phone call one day and was asked to come down for an audition, and voila! He got the role.

“Though I had not performed that day during the workshop, I was spotted amongst the crowd. Maybe at that time the way I looked was similar to what they were looking for. What surprised me the most was the fact that they remembered me even after two years”

Even though he’s born and brought up in Hyderabad, his major shortcoming is speaking in Telugu. On asking why he hasn’t joined a language class, he said that he wants to learn the dialect and modulations and emotions behind the language which according to him, no class can teach. His hesitation in speaking this new language faded  during his conversation with Rana Daggupati, at the same filmmaking workshop, who helped get him out of his shell a little bit.

Apart from acting, Aayush is also a YouTuber. His channel has got 211 subscribers and over 14,000 views. For him, YouTube is a medium through which he can showcase his talent. Coming from a typical Marwadi family, he certainly had some restrictions. These for him were challenges that he had to over come. After being given his first camera by his father, he knew that he now had to prove himself to his family. He waiting for a crew only held him back, so he decided to take things in his own hands. His videos are directed, shot, edited and broadcasted by him alone. Though in such a short duration, he has so many subscribers, his happiness lies elsewhere.

“The views and subscribers are not things I take pride in. The expression my father had on his face when he saw me on the big screen is worth so much more than any number of followers or views.”

Talking about his life at AISFM, Aayush is a BFA (Film+Media) student specializing in Advertising and Digital Marketing. There is a lot of work, practical and theoretical, he says, that goes into the course. The faculty is supportive and the facilities and opportunities that are provided are better than other schools. The class is interactive and not at all boring so it helps non-readers excel too, he says.


How To Master The Business Of Cinema


If you love the movies, you’ve probably heard of Harvey Weinstein, Michael Baker or Siddharth Roy Kapur. These are the men on whose nod the fate of a film depends.

Do these all-powerful studio executives accept or reject a film proposal based on whim? Are they educated enough to influence decisions regarding script changes or decide on allocation of budget? Well, going by studio track record, the answer to these questions is a resounding yes.

The ever-growing movie industry in India today sees all regional film industries collaborate with one another. They produce big budget films, organise blanket promotions and even have tie ups with Hollywood studios. They function in a highly corporatized manner. To this end, the industry is in constant need of professionals who not only understand the creative side of filmmaking, but also have the acumen for business and branding.

AISFM’s Media MBA (MMBA) programme prepares individuals to take on such corporate roles. Vividh Ashok, an MMBA student is currently having a first-hand experience at line production and managing, thanks to the student films that are being shot. “There are a lot of roles in the corporate arm of the film industry. The MMBA programme is a great learning experience for many, who wish to pursue a career in studios,” says Vividh.

Ditto with Aishwarya MP. “The MMBA programme is an
eye-opener to the various job opportunities in the business. For those who love films, the programme integrates their passion with an MBA degree,” says Aishwarya.

The duo is enjoying their stint, getting a first-hand experience while on sets. Vividh who is the line producer on a student film, throws light on his job responsibilities. “It’s a tough job to execute a film start to finish. Sometimes the light guys give trouble, sometimes the generator does not reach on time – all these little issues disrupt the call sheet and the cost of production goes up,” says Vividh.

“My job is to solve these issues and stick to the plan. It’s all about management and persuation,” explains Vividh, adding, “Since I have a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking I know the creative side of the business, so I’m able to negotiate with the director and be involved in the creative process as well.”

For Aishwarya, working on student film projects has been a complete eye-opener. “The programme teaches you a lot about production, co-ordination etc., to keep the shoot going. You sit in class and learn about it theoretically, but when you experience the whole process of shooting, you realise there is so much happening,” explains Aishwarya.


The duo is of the view that an MMBA programme opens a lot of doors in showbiz. “I come from a TV background. I love the whole process of movie-making, but I’m not really comfortable in front of the camera. So the MMBA programme is perfect for someone like me who loves being involved in other aspects of the business,” says Aishwarya.

And the best part, according to her, is the degree certificate. “My mom is happy that I’m doing an MBA and will have a degree in a subject that I’m passionate about. So, it’s a perfect marriage of parental sensibilities and personal interest.”


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At the recently-concluded 48-hour Film Festival held at AISFM, two films romped home with the awards. We met up with the director-writers of Coming Soon…, and Who Are You? To talk about the industry and their place in it.

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AISFM Film Club brings the big screen back

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Rasool Ellore tells you how to be a better cinematographer

Acclaimed Indian cinematographer and director, Rasool Ellore, was at AISFM recently to give our cinematography students a true masterclass in the art of cinematic aesthetics. We met up with him.

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