Aayush: Working in ‘Mom’ is a dream come true!

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Aayush Agarwal is on a roll, after bagging a role in the latest Sridevi starrer Mom. Now that the movie has released, his role has been appreciated. A Film and Media student (specializing in Advertising and Digital Marketing) of AISFM, Aayush talks to us about his role in Mom and describes it as “One of the happiest moments of my life”. In our tête-à-tête, he shares that he feels lucky to be working with legends in Mom. Read on to find out what this young actor has to say about his foray into Bollywood and much more!

How did your role happen in Mom?
I auditioned at the most renowned casting company in Bollywood i.e. Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company that has casted for films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Dangal, Chennai Express, PK etc.

How did you feel when you realized you bagged a role in this movie?
Bollywood has always been where I wanted to be and I certainly felt and still feel blessed to have this on my plate luckily at a young age, where being in Hyderabad didn’t become the kind of barrier it would have been a few years earlier. There is a lot of gratitude and extreme sense of pleasure to be associated with a film of this magnitude with legends on board.

How did this movie compare to your other past work in your life?
Well, all work has its own importance and value and you value whatever comes your way at that given time and then you join the dots as you look back. I have been a part of Drushyam and 24 earlier when it comes to feature films and they’re as special to me as Mom is.

How did your family feel about role in this movie?
Probably every one out of two people know Sridevi and we have all seen her films and grown up. I can say this for myself and for the generation before me. Both my parents have been fans of Sri Ma’am and when they found out that their son would not only meet her, but work with her and share screen space with her, I guess their happiness had no bounds and at my end, I only hope and wish I try and make them proud with whatever little I can do.

How will you enjoy your accomplishments in this movie?
I have enjoyed the process of the movie and that is more important to me. As far as accomplishments of the movie are concerned, it is most definitely one of the best teamwork I’ve seen on set. I remember that after the premiere, there were wonderful reviews and we celebrated by dancing our way off for the fact that we finished the film.

How did you feel at the end of the day working for such a movie like Mom?
You never want journeys like these to end, because they’re your dream turned into reality where you are in the same space as veterans of the industry, in the kind of atmosphere where you’ve met alike people and made friends for life. The last day is obviously very heavy. But, it only ends one journey with hopefully many more to come, and doesn’t end any relationship.

How do you think others see you as a professional at this young age?
I am unaware if others see me as a professional or not, but I just hope some manage to notice the passion that runs within because I am a firm believer that persistence always wins over intelligence.

How do you see yourself now and five years later?
I do not know, and I am glad that I don’t know. I’d like to take one step at a time and would rather be efficient in what comes my way to be the best in that moment in terms of what I can deliver. If I manage to do this well, I’m certain that five years down the line would be a sweet spot.

How do you want others to see you as a professional?
Effective, Efficient and Deserving.

What was the happiest moment that you encountered while working on this movie and why?
I was on board as soon as I received the confirmation call from the casting company that I have been locked for the character Rishi. And that, I think was the most happiest moment for the fact that I knew I had my first Bollywood role falling in place, and the scale of it was huge.

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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Hollywood Business Expert joins AISFM Business Administration Program

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AISFM in its ever striving approach for bringing in the best in each field now brings on board renowned Hollywood business expert, author and President of FilmProfit, Jeffrey Hardy as an Advisor for its Business Administration Degree program.

Jeffrey Hardy who has consulted for companies like 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Company, Eastman Kodak, BBC, Universal Music Group and many others, will now be an Academic & Industry Advisor for AISFM, and will also offer Master Classes for the AISFM students.

Jeffrey Hardy is the President of FilmProfit, co-author of FilmProfit software and the sole author of The FilmProfit Guide to Film Distribution Deals, a respected primer to deals in key film distribution markets.

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Mr. Hardy has acted as an expert resource for The Hollywood Reporter, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Times, WSYR radio, The Black Film Report, as well as many other publications. FilmProfit contributed to The Independent Film and Videomaker’s Guide (2nd ed.) and the Independent Filmmaker’s Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Investors (1stand 2nd ed.).

Jeffrey has also provided business and strategic planning for over 100 motion picture projects, with budgets ranging from the micro level to $100 million.

With Jeffrey Hardy’s involvement, AISFM’s pioneering MMBA program is ready to grow to international standards by preparing the students for their careers in the global arena. This unique Business Management program with a combination of core conventional business subjects as well as rapidly expanding media & entertaninment components is already becoming the most desirable degree for these changing times.

 

Hyderabad In A Blink!

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Hyderabad In A Blink, is quite literally that! A beautiful, descriptive, engaging, creatively shot and captured video!

Capturing the various aspects of Hyderabad that make it the city that it truly is, an amalgamation of old world charm and new-age technologies, is wonderfully captured in the video ‘Hyderabad In A Blink’ shot by our AISFM BFA students.

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Directed and cut by Kushal Raj Patnaik, it was shot by Kushal Raj Patnaik, Navneeth Dodla and Shashank Dommalapati. The video by Drifting Nomads has been featured in VoxSpace, ChaiBisket and other blogs and was also featured on Radio Mirchi Love 104.

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Speaking about the video, here is what Kushal has to say:

“An interesting way of exploring the city, the project began as an experimentation of what can be done out of what we have. Being in Hyderabad for four years sure did make us feel monotonous about the city, but it all went away as we stepped out of our little cubicles and explored the city at a stretch. And I must say, the city is not just about Charminar or Golconda, but also about the various people that reside in it and the charm they have around them.”

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“The residual Iranian culture in the city, the Royal Gourmet of the Nizams and the Mughals, the Arabian Shawarma; the list shall go on until my fingers start bleeding from typing them all.”

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“This is Hyderabad seen by us in a week of amazing times, beautiful smiles, little talks over chai and don’t forget the plethora of crispy dosas that the city is known for. Hope you like the video.”

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P.S. I don’t care which Hindi you speak, Hyderabadi Hindi is the best I have heard so far!

Enjoy the video here:

 

Srungaram, AISFM Students’ Music Video Premiere Held

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A proud achievement and moment for AISFM, a few of our talented students have made a music video with some of the legends of the film industry. Srungaram is the music video that was premiered on June 10th at the AISFM preview theatre!

The list of the AISFM talented students; music video produced, conceptualised, written and lyrics by Krishna Kiriti (MA – 2), directed by Rahul Jasti (MA – 2), cinematographer & DI Aditya Lolla (MA – 2) and edited by Anil Kumar (MA – 4).

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“Everyone thinks only in one dimension about Srungaram, but there is deeper meaning to Srungaram which we are not aware about, this music video is all about that. We had tried to tell the divine meaning of Srungaram. To understand what actually Srungaram is, do watch the video,” is what the students say.

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The song is composed by famous music director Mani Sharma while it was sung by legendary singer S. P. Balasubramanyam and the cast is well-known actor G V Narayana Rao and Archana Raj.

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The video premiere was attended by famous people of the Telugu industry; Movie Artist Association President Shivaji Raja, Music Director R.P. Patnaik, senior artist Shiva Parvathi, Bahubali Line Producer Devika, Movie Director & Producer PVS Varma, G V Narayana Rao who also acted in the music video and young actors Josh Ravi and Naveen.

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Guiding them ably with sound designing and song mixing was Sanjeev Kumar, Faculty of Sound Design at AISFM; who designed the sound and song mixing for the project. The students said that he was the back bone and a huge support for the project! Kudos to the entire team for a wonderful video!

Watch the music video here:

Things you didn’t know about Bahubali!

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Bahubali, a movie that has created and rewritten history in the annals of Indian cinema and how! The most awaited film, SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Bahubali: The Conclusion surely kept its word as the biggest film made on Indian celluloid and the massive, stupendous and record-breaking response it received on its opening weekend is more than valid proof enough. It has strengthened its hold at the box office like never before and cooked up a storm, witnessing a mad rush at the ticket counters with numbers reaching new heights by the day.

Did you know that the magnum opus, entered the Rs 100 crore club on its release day and no other Indian film has ever entered the Rs 100-crore club on its opening day. It was also the widest ever worldwide release in close to 9000 screens, no less! Want to know more about the epic movie, then read on to find out about the things you didn’t know about Bahubali!

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  • Bahubali: The Beginning and the sequel Bahubali 2: The Conclusion together are the most expensive Indian movies ever made, with an approximate budget of nearly 450 crore.
  • Out of 100 years of Indian cinema Bahubali is the only movie to be featured in a BBC documentary. And The Rise of Sivagamiis one of the books of Bahubali fiction trilogy.
  • More than 800+ technicians, including the special effects team of Jurassic world, were hired for the making of the movie. Bahubali involved a lot of complex computer-generated imagery (CGI) and VFX shots which comprise almost 90% of the movie, that is about 4,500-5,000 VFX shots in 3 hours!
  • Prabhas worked with his local trainer to build his body. He visited the US and interacted with WWE wrestlers to understand their training regimen. He was so impressed with the infrastructure that he got the equipment, costing INR 1.5 crore, and built a personal gym imitating the set-up of the WWE wrestlers.
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  • Prabhas would work out for 6 hours daily and start training early in the morning. His regime would start with about one-and-a-half hours of cardio, with focus on muscle building. In the evenings, to strengthen his body muscles, he would lift weights for about one-and-a-half hours.
  • Prabhas gained a whopping 20 kilos for his part as Amarendra Bahubali and his diet consisted of fish, egg whites (40 half boiled eggs and egg whites), vegetables and almonds. The actor would eat a meal every two hours, and had a total of six meals every day, which did not include rice. The total calorie intake of Prabhas while shooting for Bahubali was between 2000 to 4000 calories a day!
  • Prabhas did not sign a single movie for the past three years so that he could focus on Bahubali and sink into the feel of it.
  • It is the only Indian movie to be made in 4D and many of the movie halls had to adjust their projectors just to show this movie on their screens.
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  • This is the first Indian war movie which has stood in the category of Hollywood war movies such as Troyand 300.
  • This is the first time any regional movie is getting outstanding applause in the world market.
  • The movie took more than three years to get completed and the pre-production and scripting took one year, while the live action shooting took two years. Post production took more than six months.
  • The production crew consisted of 25 National Award Winning artists and technicians.
  • About 20,000 weapons were designed and used in the entire move and it had 50,000+ VFX shots spanning both the parts.
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  • 110 acres of space was reserved at Ramoji Film City for the shooting of the war scene.
  • Bahubali: The Beginning is the biggest VFX film in Indian film history with around nearly 90% of the final output achieved through various visual effects techniques such as rotoscoping, chroma removal, wire removal, 2D and 3D tracking, matchmoving, color correction, live action shooting and CG (3D Computer Graphics) integration, matte painting, camera projections and compositing.
  • Around 2000 junior artists were in live action shooting.
  • A total of 17 VFX studios and 600+ 3D animation and visual effects artists worked to finish the post production of the movie.
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  • Bahubali poster entered into Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of World Records – the production team held an event in Kerala where they revealed a movie poster measuring 51,968 sq ft and gained entry as the biggest poster of motion picture in both the books.
  • Another record set; SS Rajamouli tweeted on March 17: “50 million cumulative views of our trailer, across all languages, on YT & FB. The most viewed Indian movie trailer in 24hours. #BB2Storm”.
  • The climax of Bahubali: The Conclusion was shot with a whopping budget of Rs. 30 crore, which was almost double the budget of the climax shot of its prequel Bahubali: The Beginning.
  • The waterfall scene in Bahubali – The Beginning that took almost one-third of the total shooting time of the entire film.
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  • To get their bodies fit for the role they were playing Prabhas and Rana Daggubati were on a strict fitness regime, including diet and workout. They were even trained in martial arts by Vietnamese trainer Tuan. Both actors gained over 30 kilos to get into the skin of their characters.
  • Reportedly, director SS Rajamouli plans to make Bahubali 3.
  • It is said that Rajamouli took about more than 100 days to get the waterfall shot right. Being the most important scene in the movie, the team shot the sequence at three different waterfall locations to give it a grand effect.
  • A new language named ‘KILIKI’ was invented for the terrifying Kalakeya tribe in the movie. A completely new language was developed, with 750 words and 40 grammar rules!
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  • It will be the first Indian movie to have its own museum. The museum being made will house all the weapons, armours and costumes that the actors sport in the film.
  • ‘Bahubali’ has surpassed ‘300’ in IMDB ratings and is ranked at 9.4 out of 10.
  • A leading ticket-booking website revealed that they sold one Bahubali ticket every 12 seconds, breaking records there too!

The Man behind the “Visual Treat”: D.o.P of “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” at AISFM Campus!

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SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” is breaking all records with its successful run at the box-office. The film which is in its second week has garnered an estimated whooping 1000 crore across India, on its second Monday.

Mr. K K Senthil Kumar, D.o.P/Cinematographer of “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” visited the AISFM Campus for an Interactive session. AISFM hosted a special screening of “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” for its cinematography students and also for the camera technicians working for Annapurna Studios. Followed by the screening, Senthil was congratulated by AISFM, for the huge success of the film and the impact it is creating on millions of people.

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As VFX and storyline are an integral part of the movie, Senthil shared his thought-process and ideas on certain shots of the film.; sharing facts like – the film was shot on 4:3, rather than a 16:9 to purposely serve the IMAX screen. “The directors vision for the complete series was accurate in his head, and as the D.O.P, I helped him execute that vision through my camera. We worked with each other on most of the pre/post production,” said Senthil answering a question posed by one of our students.

When asked about ‘VFX to normal scenes ratio’ in the movie, and how it acts on his decision-making while capturing particular scenes; he said “The key is to keep it simple. I always try to keep it simple while I’m working. I have a list of scenes and I approach each one with the simplest solutions.” he answered.

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“As the film had exceeded expectations with the first part of the movie, the director had to take it up a notch, to surpass the audiences’ expectations which were set really high, already,” he added in the Q/A session, which was really insightful for the attendees who could gain behind-the-scenes knowledge about this blockbuster phenomenon taking over the world.

He also mentioned that planning and resource management is really important with a high budget project like Bahubali. He further added that, it took a complete year of pre-production before the sequel’s shoot began. If a brief idea of what has to be projected on screen is fairly accurate in the head, the execution becomes way easier. He mentions the skill-set to be prepared for instinctive decisions as when the shoot happens, improvisation for getting an edge should be done, naturally on a regular basis.

As Bahubali will be known for setting a trend, in the size that it has, it was an honour to have an interaction with the D.o.P of the biggest hit in the cinema industry, making and breaking records, in quality of talent and quantity of revenue, while uniting the world globally with the fascinating art of filmmaking.

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Real to Reel: Biographies Galore!

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It is easy to see why so many movies are been made on biographies, they are hugely popular!!! Real life stories have always been a constant source of fodder for writers and directors in the Hindi film industry, in the bargain sometimes creating masterpieces on the silver screen. Of late, we have been treated to many biopics with some of the biggest stars readily taking up promising projects.

Of course, it is always a treat to watch our favourite celebrity performing the role of a real-life character giving us the chance to gain a understanding of the person on whom the movie is based upon. Here we take a look at a dozen biopics that stand out and what they are all about!

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  1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
    The 2013 Indian biographical sports drama film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, with a script written by Prasoon Joshi, is based on the life of Milkha Singh, the iconic Indian athlete also known as ‘The Flying Sikh’, who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. It narrates the ups and downs of the legendary athlete and has Farhan Akhtar in the title role, who gave one of his best performances till date.

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  1. Mary Kom
    Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte, better known as Mary Kom, is an Olympic Indian boxer hailing from Manipur. A five-time World Amateur Boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships she is nicknamed ‘Magnificent Mary’. She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in South Korea. Priyanka Chopra played the title role in Mary Kom, a biographical film about her life, and her performance was much appreciated.

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  1. Special 26
    Special 26 was based on 1987 Opera House heist done by a conman, who posed as a CBI official. The Indian heist crime thriller film directed by Neeraj Pandey had Akshay Kumar in the lead with Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Rajesh Sharma, Kishor Kadam and Divya Dutta as his accomplices in heists in the movie. It won widespread critical acclaim and was regarded as one of the best films of that year.

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  1. Gulaab Gang
    Gulaab Gang is a 2014 Indian crime drama film centered on the struggle of women in the country, directed by Soumik Sen and had Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in the lead. Though the film received mixed reviews, critics raved about Chawla’s performance in the film, calling it the best performance of the year. Gulaab Gang members are activists and vigilantes in Bundelkhand Uttar and Madhya Pradesh. They wear pink sarees and take up issues like domestic violence, the dowry system, rape, electricity matters and education.

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  1. Airlift
    Airlift is a war thriller film directed by Raja Krishna Menon and features Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur in lead roles. Menon was encouraged to make this movie after he completely studied the war details that were available. The film takes after Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based businessman who gets what he wants but at the time of the war, he sees that his own money cannot bring him safety. He alone plans on a common operation to contact the Indian Embassy and ask for help to get hundreds of Indian people back to India from Kuwait amid the war zone.

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  1. Bandit Queen
    Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi, was directed by Shekhar Kapoor and had Seema Biswas in the lead role. It traces her life story; how she was married at a very young age, molested, the hardships she faced and how she was forced to leave the village and join the group of dacoits.

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  1. Gandhi
    This is an epic biographical film based on the true life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of our nation. Though the entire life of Mahatma Gandhi cannot be covered in a single film, makers of this film have tried to bring in the most important portions of his life. This movie makes a splendid showing of defining Gandhi’s life. Ben Kingsley won an Academy Award for his splendid depiction of Gandhi in this iconic motion picture.

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  1. Manjhi – The Mountain Man
    Manjhi is a biographical movie based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi and was directed by Ketan Mehta. Dashrath was a poor labourer in the Gehalur, in a small village near Gaya in Bihar who was encouraged to carve a road through a mountain after his wife fell down from the mountain. Nawazuddin played the main role brilliantly.

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  1. Azhar
    Azhar is a sports film based on the life of the famous cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, the match-fixing scandal and how his personal life went for a toss. It is directed by Tony D’Souza and written by Rajat Arora. Emraan Hashmi played the role of Azhar, and others in the movie were Nargis Fakhri, Prachi Desai and Lara Dutta.

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  1. Neerja
    The plot centers on the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, on 5 September 1986. The film is shown from the point of view of the flight’s head purser, Neerja Bhanot, who thwarted the hijack attempt by alerting the pilots, thus grounding the plane. She was killed by the hijackers while helping to save 359 of the 379 passengers and crew on board. The government posthumously awarded her the Ashoka Chakra and she was the youngest person to receive it. This film directed by Ram Madhvani had Sonam Kapoor as the lead character, who received rave reviews for her performance.

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  1. Dangal
    Dangal is a biographical sports drama film, which tells the story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught wrestling to his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. The former is India’s first female wrestler to win at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where she won the gold medal (55 kg) and her sister Babita Kumari won the silver (51 kg). It is one of Aamir Khan’s most popular movies and one of his best performances too.

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  2. Dhoni: The Untold Story
    Sushant Singh Rajput was seen as the most celebrated Indian cricket captain, MS Dhoni, in this film. The film chronicles the life of Dhoni from a young age and the series of life events that finally culminates to his stardom in the realm of cricket. Helmed by Neeraj Pandey, on one of the most loved cricketers of India it was very popular, especially with Sushant’s great performance.

Upcoming biopics to watch out for are based on Sanjay Dutt and Saadat Hasan Manto, with Ranbir Kapoor and Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing the lead roles respectively. With many others in the offing, movie lovers’ fascination with biopics continues!

Top 10 Cinematography Shots of the Year – 2016

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Movies in 2016 had an impact visually on the big screen as the quality of work from the DoP’s and the directors vision resulted in turning out to be a visual treat for the audiences. Looking at the detailing and the frames, the desired effect and the authenticity remains to be strong in this list of the Top 10 Cinematography Shots of the year – 2016. (If you have missed on any of these films in 2016, check out their trailers and pick your choice)

1.) “LA LA LAND”
Director of Photography: Linus Sandgren, FSF

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“When we found the location, we had to adapt. The sun was limiting in that the desired camera move would not be possible in one long take without shadowing the actors. It was multiple levels of synchronisation between drivers and crane operators, and also precision drivers in the cars that would fill in the traffic. There were hidden tricks on this shot, but it’s fairly analog. Damien [Chazelle] wanted the camera to be like a character in the film. He wanted to give the sense of being there and watching it breathe and not doing any cuts, and then hopefully you would appreciate the numbers better because you were involved.”

—Linus Sandgren

2.) “THE BIRTH OF A NATION”
Director of Photography: Elliot Davis

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“I was trained as an architect and there are many structural visual elements that were incorporated in an architectural way. This is one of them. The whole film is really encapsulated in this frame. It’s a very stark reading of a complex idea. It’s about the polarization of a system and of a people liberating themselves from an oppressor. But there’s no pretense of friendly fascism and slavery. The role of religion is delineated between the two conflicting sides, the slaves on one side, and the dying system on the other.”

—Elliot Davis

3) “SNOWDEN”
Director of Photography: Anthony Dod Mantle, ASC, BSC, DFF

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“In this scene, I wanted to allow for potential innovative dialogue or improvisation. We linked the two shooting sets for recording both characters simultaneously, through high-quality projection of Corbin onto the screen at the set where Snowden stands to face him. I also wanted to seize this one opportunity in the last meeting between these two characters, to underline, visually, the degree of power and influence bestowed on a superior officer, and to give Rhys [Ifans] the necessary tools to visually enhance this theme by using the space in the frame I allotted to him.”

—Anthony Dod Mantle

 

4) “LEMONADE”
Director of Photography: Chayse Irvin, CSC

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“There was a compositional arc throughout the whole collaboration with Khalil [Joseph], a desire to conceal a lot of information in the frame, or at least the most important information. This shot is a great example of that, because we’re concealing her face with that coat she’s wearing. It was this kind of beast or this mythical creature starting to transform. And what Khalil did with the sound was captivating and interesting. His form of editing is beautiful. He’s constantly stitching together the most contrasting of images to give some sort of metaphor or meaning that resonates on a subjective level.”

—Chayse Irvin

5) “DON’T BREATHE”
Director of Photography: Pedro Luque

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“It’s a great way of introducing the geography and making the house credible. But also it’s a symbol for the whole movie, because you see all of the things that will come into play later. There’s a sense of a bigger order of things. We talked a lot about ‘Panic Room.’ It’s very elegant and beautiful, but the cinematography we did in this movie was a little more expressive in a way, where colors are stronger and shadows are more pronounced. But this was like a mini-‘Panic Room.’ We had a stage, but it was small compared to Fincher!”

—Pedro Luque

6) “ARRIVAL”
Director of Photography: Bradford Young, ASC

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“That shot was a total gift: All that fog appeared out of nowhere. We took off early in the morning to shoot the valley before the sun came up. To the right was the St. Lawrence River and to the left was just these mountains and rolling hills. And then we cleared a ridge line and there it was, that fog rolling off the St. Lawrence. It was like, ‘Hold on, is this really happening?’ That’s all in camera. It’s one of those happy accidents where the movie gods are looking out for you. An aerial shot that was just going to be the most mundane shot in the history of cinema turns into something really special.”

—Bradford Young

7) “JACKIE”
Director of Photography: Stéphane Fontaine, AFC

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“We wanted a very strong texture and a great deal of saturation. The best way to mimic it was to use film stock, as opposed to trying to find the right plugin in post after using a digital camera. In this shot, we’re almost seeing things from Jackie’s perspective. It adds to the intimate feeling that we looked for. Most of the time she’s centered in the frame, which helps translate the fact that she’s part of a bigger picture and she’s always overwhelmed. At one point we were even tempted to shoot in 4:3, which would have been quite extreme, but we ultimately settled on the 1.66:1 aspect ratio.”

—Stéphane Fontaine

 

8) “MOONLIGHT”
Director of Photography: James Laxton

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“This was in the script, so we knew we were building to this moment. We wanted an image that would be everlasting in the audience’s minds, something that evokes some strong emotional consequences. I think it’s almost like asking the audience to be contemplative and have a moment to think to yourself about what you just watched. I think it’s just asking us all to think about each other and think about these characters to try and find some humanity within us all that connects us. We all have these very similar experiences in our lives on some level and we can all relate to each other.”

– James Laxton

 

9) “KRISHA”
Director of Photography: Drew Daniels

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“Every shot in the movie was supposed to suggest Krisha’s point of view. This was one of our Altman kind of shots. Instead of cutting into coverage — because obviously you want to end this scene in a close-up — we start zooming once the conversation begins taking a turn for the worst. First we push in on a dolly to elevate the intensity of the conversation, and the zoom, that’s when we’re just going totally subconscious. Krisha has zoned out and you can tell it’s not going to go right. The zoom pushes past her guard and into her psychology, where basically she feels isolated and there’s this total disconnect from her son.”

—Drew Daniels

 

10) “SILENCE”
Director of Photography: Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC

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“We weren’t very clear in general about how he was going to see these faces of Christ that are described in the book and the script. Here, it ended up being this painting from Goya. This shot was an important moment where you would think Rodriguez is starting to lose his mind in his confusion of where Christ is and the silence of not answering his prayers. Jesuits try to mold their way of life and spirituality in Christ himself, and I think this moment speaks to that, as well as that confusion of, ‘How would Christ behave in this situation?’”

—Rodrigo Prieto

Just like an artist who would want his piece of art to stand out, by giving it the perfect execution; with filmmakers, it works according to the execution of the DoP keeping in mind his directors vision for the story to put forward the appropriate message. Kudos to the films of 2016 for a remarkable body of work, which will be remembered by film buffs as a learning tool.

A 2-Day Filmmaking Workshop: Vancouver Film School

Michael Baser (Head of Department, Writing for Film and Television), Bob Woolsey (Independent Film Maker), Rodger Cove (Senior Instructor, Feature Script / Character Essentials) from Vancouver Film School were at the AISFM Campus from 18th March, 2017 to 20th March, 2017 conducting a workshop for the filmmaking students.

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While the 1st Day included covering the aspects in: Storytelling, Basics of Scriptwriting, Script to Screen, Theme and Plot building, Moving Master (single shot scene) it was followed by the 2nd Day which included activities like Blocking a scene, Scene Rehearsal, Shoot: Moving Masters, Screening. The students were a part of a discussion with the delegates of Vancouver Film School. Exchanging thoughts on the craft of filmmaking, techniques of screenwriting and the execution of an idea translating to a decent result on screen.

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Michael Baser, Rodger Cover and Bob Woolsey were impressed with the campus facilities provided and the exposure being gained by the students. “As the institute is located within the premises of a studio, it helps them getting a better understanding on a working environment while they are studying about the same,” they said. The Vancouver Film School team also would be happy to host exchange programs between their students and the students of AISFM as cultural diversity can be a key element to analyse new perspectives.

The students on the other hand, could get a better grasp of the basics that revolve around the process of filmmaking. With different stages of the workshop being aimed at mastering the basics of the craft, the students had to go through a learning curve in order to complete the workshop. As the stages of the workshop were meant to be a progressive learning for the students, it also acted as a great build up for the final product at the end of the two days.

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“My learning’s definitely are that I got an opportunity to strengthen my basics of writing and also, I understood why to keep it simple and that writing is the cheapest way to better the film on which they stressed upon on” said one of the students who attended the workshop.  As these workshops are meant to nurture the technical and skill aspect of filmmaking in these upcoming filmmakers, it enhances the basics and makes the execution of their ideas easier.

The students of AISFM look forward to more such workshops from global professionals all over the world playing key roles in the field of filmmaking. As the industry demands valid skill sets for each technical aspect, these workshops help in building a foundation for students to build an idea, pitch/sell it and by the end of it, release it on the big screen.