‘The White Fields’ Wins Best Editing Award

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A big, bright and happy day for us! A student grad film has won an award at an international film festival this year! The ​White Fields“, directed by Kartik Parmar and edited by Sai Murali won the Best Editing Award (Student) in the 6th Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival 2017.

The White Fields is a story about Madhav, a poor farmer who learns that his son needs urgent money to continue his education in the city. But the situation in their village turns out to be a big obstacle. The village head announces that the cotton harvest won’t be sold till next week because they have to stick the cotton harvest back to the plants to please a minister who is about to pass by their village in a few days.

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Madhav discusses with his wife and takes on the task to gather the money. Adding to his woes is his cow, which has run away further adding up to his tensions. He tries requesting a few people to lend him money, but fails. He ends up resorting to threatening one of his friends, which in turn makes his friend flee the village.

Madhav finally gives up. He feels humiliated when his son learns that his dad couldn’t pay on time. The next day is important. The fields are white again. The whole village awaits the noble minister. Madhav looks in disdain as the minister’s convoy passes by in a flash almost making all their effort seem insignificant.

The brilliantly crafted, shot and edited short film has already started creating ripples in the film circuit!

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AISFM Film Fest Showcases Students’ Splendid Work

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It’s that time of the year again, when Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM) is ready to proudly present to the world, the brilliant work of their graduating students. A festival of films in the truest sense of the word, the films were shown to an eager audience that comprised of celebrities, students, friends & families, at its preview theatre over a period of two days.

The two-day festival opened with the premiere of films made by graduating final year students of BFA, MA & MMBA degrees and the films dealt with nine diversely entertaining and thought provoking topics.

It was definitely a celebration time for all the students since it was the finale of their years of hard work. Behind the arduous and fascinating process of filmmaking were various phases like selection of stories by a faculty committee, meticulous screenwriting, production planning, shooting, post-production work with the support and guidance of their dedicated faculty.

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Films by Bachelors students included “The White Field” by Karthik Parmar, “Nitya” by Abhimanyu Kumar, “Maut ka Kuan” by Prithvi Chahal and “Understanding Moksha” by Sameer Kumar.

The films by Masters Students comprised of “Preme Madhuram” by Anil Kumar, “Bhetala” by Rohit Krishna, “Kadivalama” by Ananya Ayachit, “Talaari” by Degala Sai Akhil Yadav and “Chetak” by Gandhapuneni Nandan.

The festival was attended by industry luminaries Akkineni Nagarjuna, Founder of AISFM, Amala Akkineni, Hon. Director of AISFM, veteran actor Tanikella Bharani, famous director Indraganti Mohan Krishna, young heartthrob and actor Akhil Akkineni, well-known actors Srinivas Avasarala, Adivi Sesh, director Omkar, reputed writer Gopimohan, veteran writer and actor K.L. Prasad and Bala Rajasekharuni, Dean of AISFM.

AISFM Founder Akkineni Nagarjuna lauded the students’ efforts in making the brilliant short films and added how short films were now no less than feature films in terms of the expertise they need, and he added, people can look at options beyond Pune for film education today. “I am confident that the kind of talent that I have seen here today is no less than that of any film professional.”

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AISFM Director Amala Akkineni, congratulated the graduates and said the purpose of the festival was to create a premier environment for the students as a way of celebrating their achievements in filmmaking. “We all are very excited and eager to watch the wonderful films that will be premiered over two days by our talented graduating students. The purpose of this festival is to create a platform for the students as a way of celebrating their achievements in filmmaking. Such festivals not only recognise exceptional student work but also allow insightful feedback from the jury and variety of film professionals that enhance student skills,” she said.

Dean of AISFM, Bala Rajasekharuni, lauded the students’ efforts and said “Through this grad film festival our school is committed to linking films, filmmakers, audiences and the industry. AISFM Grad Film festival provides an opportunity for the talented filmmakers to share their work and engage with working industry professionals and gain valuable advice from the experts, which helps them shape their careers in the film industry”. He further added that apart from artistic merit, AISFM also equips the student filmmakers with the commercial realities of the industry and market expectations, in order for them to succeed in the industry.

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Veteran actor Tanikella Bharani said that in the past, “the only way to learn about the art of films was either through theatre or by watching old films. After FTII in Pune, this is the only other well established vibrant film school in the country.” He added that film schools now do the job that Telugu dramas did back then which is an opportunity to discover yourself. Eminent screen-writer K L Prasad added that he is now in a role of an educator but wished someone had educated him before he entered films. Akhil Akkineni praised the students’ work and stressed on the need of film education.

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Mohana Krishna Indraganti, an FTII product himself and Srinivas Avasarala emphasised on the importance and requirement for more film schools and the need to nurture right awareness before they enter feature films. Adivi Sesh recollected his Kshanam memories, a part of which was shot at AISFM premises and congratulated the students on their outstanding films.

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Why these actors deserve the nomination for Best Actor, Oscars 2015

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The much-awaited awards season has begun with a bang. The Internet is buzzing with excitement as the Academy Awards 2015 is just a couple of weeks away. With a slew of exciting films in the race, the Oscar nominations have lit up the stratosphere in showbiz. Movie buffs and social media have gone into a tizzy. Some agree with the nominations, others have strong reservations. And since the excitement is piling up, we begin by taking a look at the nominations for the hottest contended awards – Best Actor.

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Steve Carell, Foxcatcher: The actor slapped on the prosthetics for his role as John du Pont in the movie Foxcatcher. Steve Carell, mostly known in the global film industry for his comic roles, was seen in a completely different avatar. His startling transformation as a psychotic chemical empire heir with a raging mother complex in the true crime-drama, has managed to win over the critics and garner a best actor nomination. Not often do we see comedic actors move so effortlessly into the dark, dramatic terrain. With Carell already bagging the best actor award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination, this one is hotly contested.

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Bradley Cooper, American Sniper: While he was mostly ignored at the Golden Globes, the Academy seems to have taken note of Bradley Cooper in the film American Sniper. Cooper was sensational as Chris Kyle – a real-life Navy Seal, who earned the reputation of being the most lethal sharpshooter in US history. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the movie steers clear of mindless jingoism and sees Cooper in his grittiest role ever. And yes, being on the sets with Eastwood is as good as attending the best film schools. With the movie also getting a nod for best film, Cooper is definitely a red-hot contender.

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Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game: The Sherlock Holmes star gave a stunning performance as Alan Turing in the real-life historical drama, The Imitation Game. Responsible for decoding the Nazi code ‘Enigma’ that helped the Allies win World War II, Turing was later prosecuted for being homosexual. Cumberbatch gave a stunning performance and received much love at other award ceremonies, including a Golden Globe nomination. Cumberbatch is one to watch out for this Oscars.

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Michael Keaton, Birdman: What a glorious, glorious comeback for actor Michael Keaton. As a washed-up Hollywood star popular for his superhero film Birdman, Keaton plays Riggin Thomson, trying to make an ‘acting’ comeback on Broadway. For his stunning portrayal, Keaton totally deserves the nomination for best actor. There is a hint of realism in his performance, what with Keaton himself being considered a washed-up star of the popular Batman series. In the film, he is desperate, courageous and deluded at the same time. Keaton’s performance is one to study at the acting film school.

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Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything: Everyone loves Stephen Hawking. And the Academy does so too. Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, is brilliant. He perfectly channels the indomitable spirit of Hawking captured in a dysfunctional body. Redmayne brings earnestness to Hawking’s character, who suffers from motor neuron disease, making it convincing as he battles between pain and optimism. Adapting a real life story can never be a piece of cake. Especially when the subject of the biopic is still alive. So the film is a good study for students at film schools across the world.

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When stars admit to failures

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Hallelujah! Shah Rukh Khan finally admitted that his acting in Happy New Year left a lot to be desired. The movie released last year, raked in the moolah at the Box Office, but left scores of SRK fans highly disappointed. And Shah Rukh’s admission has shocked many because stars don’t admit to failures easily. It almost ‘never’ happens.

While SRK’s criticism was restricted to his performance and not the movie, other actors in the past haven’t been too kind to their flop films and shot off statements almost immediately. Here’s taking a look at some of them who created headlines with their comments.

Mahesh-babu-aagudu Mahesh Babu, Aagudu: When Tollywood’s most reticent star makes a public statement, one is bound to sit up and take note. Mahesh Babu’s Aagudu failed to live up to expectations at the marquee, and the actor admitted to being dejected at the outcome. Mahesh said that since there was a lot at stake, it took him a while to overcome the disappointment. “This is what happens in life. You learn from mistakes and move on,” Mahesh was quoted as saying.

Bipasha saif-humshakalsBipasha Basu and Saif Ali Khan, Humshakals: Sajid Khan’s film Humshakals crossed all parameters in crass comedy. What ensued was backlash from the audience and critics. However, leading lady Bipasha Basu distanced herself from the film prior to release and refused to promote it. She admitted that the film “rattled her” and she cried to her mother after going home from shoot one day.

Meanwhile, Saif Ali Khan too publicly disowned the movie post release, and called it his “biggest mistake”. He also said that he wouldn’t work with Sajid again.

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Ajay Devgn, Himmatwala: Again, a Sajid Khan film, and this time the actor criticizing it was Ajay Devgn. After Himmatwala’s dismal show at the Box Office, Ajay stated in an interview that he knew the movie would flop after he saw it. The actor also confessed that he felt something was wrong and amiss even while shooting.

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Akshay Kumar, Joker: Sirish Kunder’s Joker, starring Akshay and Sonakshi Sinha was not only a huge disaster, but it made news after the leading man distanced himself from the movie. Akshay was not happy with the way the film shaped-up and refused to promote it. When quizzed about it, a snubbed and hurt producer Farah Khan was quoted as saying, “I just feel that actors need to be a little more responsible. If you are in a project and have taken money for it, you ought to be there till the end. Being the producer, I did whatever I could to promote the movie. But when the actor washes his hands off, it sends the wrong signal to everyone.” Farah, Akshay and Sirish have not worked together ever since.

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Reminder: 48 Hour Film Project Workshop/Meet and Greet is Wednesday 4th April.

Hey Film-Lovers!

This is just a quick reminder about the workshop at Annapurna Studios (Banjara Hills, Hyderabad) tomorrow for the 48 Hour Film Project.

From 4-5pm our CEO, Hollywood director Kurt Inderbitzin, will be conducting a workshop on how to approach the 48 hour deadline from a planning and execution perspective.

Then, from 5-6pm, the 48 HFP organizers will be running a Q&A session on the rules and guidelines for the competition.

This is a great opportunity to understand how to prepare for the competition this weekend, and to meet some of the other teams that will be taking part. You can also register your team at the workshop, if you have not yet registered.

If you want to know more about the competition, head to the 48 HFP site at http://www.48hfp.in/?page_id=2152

If you need directions to Annapurna Studios, just give us a call on 040 4914 1234.

Hope to see some of you here tomorrow!

48 Hour Film Project lands in Hyderabad! Are you ready?

The 48 hour film project (or 48FP for short) is an awesome competition in which teams of filmmakers (or aspiring filmmakers) are given a prop, a theme and a line of dialogue. They then have 48 hours to make and submit their film.

The competition first started back in 2001 and has spread around the world. In 2009, almost 40,000 filmmakers across 76 cities made 3000 films.

The exciting news is that in 2012, the competition reaches Hyderabad for the first time!

Here at AISFM, we are always looking for ways to help spread the filmmaking bug, so we are proud to partner with 48 HFP as the gold sponsor for the event.

The competition starts this coming Friday, April 6th, so you don’t have much time to organise your team and get ready for a couple of sleepless nights 🙂

How’s this for an incentive: the winning team, selected by the panel of judges, gets a fifty thousand rupee cash prize!

For all the details, and to register, head to http://www.48hfp.in/?page_id=2152

Looking forward to seeing you there!

P.S. We will be providing a super cool workshop for all teams in the next weeks, with hints on short filmmaking, to help you psych yourself up for the competition.

P.P.S Feel free, as always, to throw out questions in the comments, but we’ll probably be referring you to the official website www.48hfp.in for details.