MMBA, A Specialized MBA for the Media Industry

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A career in Media and Entertainment is indeed very promising. Want to know why?

  • Over the next five years, the industry is poised to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11-12%​
  • By 2022, total employment across the industry is expected to be 6-6.5 million from the estimated 3.5-4 million in 2017.

With ​myriad emerging options​ and career tracks​ to choose from; like ​Over The Top (OTT), ​Print Media,​ Out of Home (OOH), Animation, VFX, Film Business, Music Industry, TV Broadcasting,​ Publishing, Online Media and other electronic media – the Media ​+​ ​Entertainment domain is a multitude of opportunities for professionals ​and potential aspirants.

What some of the industry professionals have to say about how a specialized MBA in Media and Entertainment, makes all the difference!

Shobu Yarlagadda, Producer of Bahubali:
The industry is evolving rapidly, the way we produce films and the way we manage and market films is changing very fast. And there is a need for people with good management skills, good strategy and good communication skills. Students with an MMBA background will be an ideal choice for a production office like ours.

Akkineni Nagarjuna, Film star:
Entertainment business management in India has been unorganized for the most part. As the business is growing more and more diverse; studios, production companies and media companies are experiencing a serious skill gap. This results in the increase in demand for trained professionals. To meet this demand, a MMBA program, a unique inter-disciplinary program, spanning across both business and media is the solution. MMBA graduates master the conventional business subjects as well as media and entertainment subjects, a winning combo, which makes them, survive and succeed in the fast growing media industry.

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Jeffery Hardy, Founder of Film Profit, Hollywood:
I think business side of the business is obviously what I focus my life on. The business side of business is what makes everything run well. You can’t just think about only 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 place, you have to manage it well, manage relationships with distributors, exhibitors, with everyone.

More people need to focus on it because we need people who can run good productions, who can run good distribution companies and really understand this business, not just from a creative point-of-view or personal desire point-of-view, but from a business point-of-view; only they will make the business work well.

Kandaswamy Bharathan, Producer of Roja:
The Indian film, media and entertainment industry has witnessed remarkable transformation in the last 5 years. This industry has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12% per annum as compared to India’s national GDP growth of about 7.5 % per annum. What this means is that there is a huge demand for trained creative technical and management professionals in this fast growing industry.

Smitha Sasidaran, Programming Head, Fever 94.3 FM:
The entertainment industry is really vast, be it radio, music, film, fine arts; so I think there is a great opportunity for everyone in this field. To sell creativity, now you have convergents of different media. Selling creativity is the biggest challenge and if it is academically taught, then the industry is more than happy to welcome them.

Understanding who are your stakeholders and consumers is very important; if you don’t understand that, then you are missing out on many opportunities. So, a specialized academic program is definitely helpful.

Kishore Kedari, Business Development, International Distribution, Arka Media Works:
MBA schools prepare the students in understanding the business, process as well as the organization structure of the industry. We need a specialization to an extent where we are offering courses exclusive to each and every aspect of film production. MMBA is not only going to give a broader prospective of the production, but also the business aspects related to the media and entertainment.

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Top Reasons to Apply:

  • Pursue a unique course that will fast-track you into the film, TV and other emerging+allied creative industries.
  • Practice and undertake production inside a Live studio environment in the heart of Hyderabad.
  • Produce a ‘Graduate Film’ and gain complete work experience (internship project) at a major media firm.
  • Study the course that is designed and delivered by top industry experts from Indian and global industries.
  • Participate in a series of Film Markets, Film Festivals, Industry Conferences, Master Classes and Guest Lectures.
  • ​Partner with business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs providing an endless pool of potential associates/producers and employers.
  • Profit from the MoU between AISFM & JNTU-Hyderabad, a first of its kind University and Industry Collaborative Program, leading to our certified professional post-graduate degree, MMBA.

Want to know more about our unique MMBA course in detail, watch our MMBA FB Panel Discussion: https://goo.gl/pUQrhc

Want a quick overview of what MMBA is, watch this MMBA Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbBWQyLbY

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Brief Profile of the author: MNVVK Chaitanya
In his current role, MNVVK Chaitanya provisions academic advisory by means of curriculum design, development and delivery for the MMBA course. In addition to undertaking teaching, industry interface and project supervision; all aimed at creating an India based research plus teaching agenda in media & entertainment business and management areas.
In the immediate past, at KSK Energy Group, he conceptualized and implemented twenty different OD, talent management, leadership, employee engagement and policy designinterventions. ​

Source Credits: According to the report published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled ‘Media & Entertainment: The Nucleus of India’s Creative Economy—Unleashing the Talent Tsunami to Drive Growth.’

AISFM Students Explore TV Production House

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Apart from classroom learning, enriching field trips contribute to the exposure of students to the real world and the industry.

Our MMBA 3rd Semester students visited TV 5 office, along with MMBA Faculty MNVVK Chaitanya recently and gained valuable insights. Summarizing the experience, faculty Chaitanya said, “The session started with orientation about the organisational structure (TV5 group), departmental functioning/affairs and their description, details about equipment (cameras and lighting setups, in addition to chroma keying, functioning of PCR and MCR, interface between marketing and editorial teams, interfaces between input and output desks, importance of select HR policies and procedures (related to TV production), comparison between national TV networks and regional TV networks, select programming/content strategies for USA markets and branding partnerships that TV5 had entered into. There was an entire tour of all departments across all floors, ending with a Q&A session/doubt clarifications.”

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Students cherished this visit to a working TV Production house and felt it was the important facets of their learning during the semester. Sanjeev Nair felt that it helped him internalize the theory taught to him so far in news production; Sanskrity Patra said she gained insights into the actual industry dynamics and increased her adaptability skills, to specifically tune to the industry requirements.

Chaitanya opined that this sort of an industry integration and industry interface opens up new vistas and horizons in the broader areas of curriculum development and academic readiness to launch new modules in news production/broadcasting, in addition to knowing the skill gaps from industry practitioners.

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Dinesh Akula, Editor, TV 5, and a visiting faculty to AISFM said that it was a positive and significant learning experience for students. Elaborating about the session he said, “TV production, broadcast rules and theory, audience meter and analytics related to BARC and ratings, how to produce news/TV programmes from scratch to going on air, media business and production business, industry career and in-depth analysis with students on what they have in mind and how can they be placed. We also took a studio tour learning how it all works online/offline from the conception of an idea to telecast.”

Mr. Akula also felt students of AISFM were enthusiastic, eager to learn and very articulate in expressing their thoughts, hence gained a lot of insights during this visit.

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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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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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Oscars Nominations for 2017

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Come January and the entire entertainment fraternity, of course with fans included, around the world eagerly await the Academy Awards. Interest levels are high and it reaches a crescendo up to its telecast in February, when millions of movie lovers worldwide tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony.

Considered the highest form of recognition, The Academy Awards or ‘Oscars’, recognizes excellence in cinematic achievements. Did you know that the awards ceremony was first broadcast to radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953 making it the oldest entertainment awards ceremony in the world.

The much-awaited and coveted list of nominees for the Oscars 2017 is finally out! La La Land is the leading contender for the 89th Academy Awards with a record-equalling 14 nominations. This includes nominations in each of the big four categories: Best Picture, Best Director for Damian Chazelle, Best Actress for Emma Stone and Best Actor for Ryan Gosling. Only All About Eve and Titanic have been nominated as many times in the past.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 22. Check out the list of nominations in the popular categories below. Who do you think will win?

Best Picture

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester By The Sea
Moonlight

Best Director

Denis Villenueve – Arrival
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Damian Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Kenneth Lonegan – Manchester By The Sea

Best Actor

Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor  

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester By The Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea

Original Screenplay

Hell Or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester By The Sea
20th Century Women

Original Score

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Animated Feature

Kubo
Moana
My Life As A Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Foreign Language Film

Land Of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

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.

Rangmanch’s Holi, a colourful triumph!

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AISFM’s theatre club, ‘Rangmanch’, staged the Hindi adaptation of Mahesh Elkunchwar’s ‘Holi’, an iconic Marathi play at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Basheerbagh. Over 400 people turned up for the play and the student event was a huge success.

Harshad Dinkar Fad, representative for ‘Rangmanch’ – An AISFM Theatre Club and an AISFM MMBA III student in his own words jots down the journey of the stage play, from conception to finish, capturing its every essence in its truest form!

Witness this wonderful drama unfurl; pre, during and post, in front of you with his words!

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When the clubs were revamped at AISFM last semester before the summer break, the newly elected representatives for Theatre Club, that was me and S. Venkat Narayan Murthy, had a clear vision of starting the new academic year with a grand theatrical performance. Our vision was supported by other clubs and most importantly Dean Bala sir, who suggested on staging a play that included various performing arts thus involving several clubs in the production. As exciting as it sounds, all the clubs agreed upon taking up this challenge. The theatre club was named ‘Rangmanch’ and we were set to paint the world of theatrics!

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After a lot of brainstorming the club representatives decided to adapt a critically acclaimed film into a theatrical play. Unfortunately, the producers of this film denied us the permission citing the reason that they themselves were in the process of adapting it for stage. By the time this notification came we had already adapted the first act. With such little time left to prepare, Dean Bala sir came to our rescue and suggested we stage Mahesh Elkunchwar’s ‘Holi’. An iconic Marathi play from an iconic playwright, our responsibilities were multiplied to showcase a quality production. It was difficult to find the English or Hindi adaptation of this play and hence I asked my parents to send the original Marathi script from Pune. It took a good three days’ time to translate and adapt ‘Holi’ into a Hind-English play. The adapted script for ‘Holi’ was finally locked. It was time now to build a team.

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From just me and Venkat at the beginning, ‘Team Holi’ eventually went on to be a 42 member troupe! ‘Rangmanch’ conducted its first auditions, where we found some actors with great potential. Most of these actors were completely new to stage acting and excited to explore the medium.

‘Holi’ is a play based on a hostel where everything was as paranoid as any other hostel till something beyond paranoid happened. A group of college students gather at a hostel room to express disappointment over not getting a holiday for Holi. What begins as a fun-filled hoopla amongst friends slowly turns into a revolt and then into something outrageous.

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In all there are 19 characters in the play. The backstage crew, sound team, lights team, costumes and makeup team, finance and marketing team together took the number of cast and crew to a whopping 42 members! To manage these 42 people for three weeks and maintain co-ordination was the primary challenge we faced. At times, to maintain discipline we had to take harsh decisions like replacing the actors. A few contretemps here and there but talking about issues freely and finding solutions collectively was key to keep a healthy environment during the rehearsals. It was wonderful on the part of all the cast and crew members to do rehearsals for three long weeks after six to seven hours of a gruelling college schedule. On our side, Venkat and I tried to keep the atmosphere as fun-filled and enjoyable as possible. We all danced, did some funny exercises, meditated and laughed together. Everybody’s graph of performance in all departments only showed an upward mark.

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Meanwhile, the Dance Club choreographed an energetic performance that would open the play. ‘Aarambh’, the Events Club was constantly co-ordinating between various departments while maintaining the finances. Rohit Tkar from the Music Club was going to be the lone ranger giving live score to the play. Photography Club covered the practice sessions and also took the responsibility to cover the entire event on the D-Day. The marketing team put up posters across the city and tickets were up for sale on BookMyShow.

AISFM funded the auditorium fees and equipment. Our academic co-ordinators Ms. Abhigna, Ms. Lyzandra and Dr. Vijaya Raghava were of utmost help throughout the process. We partnered with ‘Ksheersagar Sweets’ as our associate partners and Aayat Productions as our printing partners. Everything set; ‘Rangmanch’ was ready to go on the ‘manch’ of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium!

19th of August, 2016. Nervous excitement. Stakes were high. First ever theatrical performance by AISFM. First ever Rangmanch performance. First ever grand event in the presence of our Dean and AISFM Director Amala ma’am. It was a day marked with the most appropriate use of nervous energy by 42 individuals collectively. Without any frenzy, the crew and cast reached the venue with all the required properties and equipment. After the lights and sounds settings, we did a final rehearsal and the team was ready to deliver!

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To our delight, more than 400-strong audience turned up for the show. Mrs. Amala Akkineni, our Chief Guest for the evening and our very own Dean Bala Raj sir arrived. It was encouraging to see some of our lecturers and officials from administration sitting in the first two rows. With such a massive turnout for the show and fire to give a memorable performance, Holi was performed. All the hard work and penance of three weeks was seen in every action and reaction on and off the stage. The play had three change of scenes where the complete stage was changed from one location to another. As the lights went off the crew had just 20 seconds to change these settings in complete dark and they, unbelievably, were on point every single time. Practice indeed makes a crew perfect! We were blessed with a wonderful audience who were responsive to everything that went on the stage. Listening to their applause after every scene was thrilling!

It was an emotional moment when the play got over and the entire cast and crew stood there to bow in front of the audience. Surpassing all hurdles and striving for the best at every moment, we finally delivered. And the audience loved it. What more does an artist want? To see the smiles on the audiences’ faces, to see them delighted, to see the effect your performance has caused in their eyes, is all the accolades and love won. Dean Bala sir and Amala ma’am presented us Directors with a shawl. It will remain as one of the highlights of my life and Venkat’s too. Truly humbled by this beautiful gesture! It was a shawl that not only recognized the efforts we put into bringing this entire act together from scratch but also a reminder of the responsibility we shouldered into making things only better and better from here. There’s always scope for improvement and we will only go forward from here. There is one thing I always told the cast and crew, which we again proved at the end of this performance, “Success is easy, all you need to do is hard work!”

As for ‘Rangmanch’, we are not a club anymore. We are family! 

Don’t miss the action! See more photos here: http://bit.ly/2bLgzia

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Welcoming a new batch at AISFM

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A new dawn, a new beginning, a new set of enthusiastic students ready to learn and grow here at AISFM. The AISFM Students Orientation 2016 was held at N Convention, Madhapur. AISFM Director Amala Akkineni gave the inaugural address and urged students to work hard and realize their dreams. Mr. Shobu Yarlagadda, film producer and the co-founder and CEO of Arka Mediaworks, a film production company known for its works exclusively in Telugu cinema, was the Guest of Honor. Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, Information Technology, Electronics & Communications Department, Government of Telangana, was the Chief Guest.

Welcoming the students into the folds of AISFM, Amala quoted our former President of India and renowned scientist ‘You have to dream before your dreams can come true’, and said “each one of you today have had a dream and you have taken a step towards that dream. And here at AISFM we have only one objective, to help your dreams come true, whether it is becoming the next generation screen writer, sound designer, editor, cinematographer or any revolutionary new age professional in film and media. We are here to support you. ”

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Talking about how difficult it was earlier to get an entry in the film industry she said that it was either a privileged individual or a person who joined as an apprentice and spent decades learning about the profession on the job; later on these courses were available aboard and only those who could afford could have access. “Our founder Late. Akkineni Nageswara Rao brought together Annapurna Studios and Film and Media Education Society to start AISFM with a mission to be a global leader in media education, because he understood and recognized the need for this education,” said she sharing thoughts on how AISFM came into being and added, “Driven by collaborations with world-wide studios and an increasing global audience, there is no better time than now to be a part of this industry.”

AISFM Dean Bala Rajasekharuni said that traditionally a school is supposed to be a place of learning and realizing and pursuing your dreams, but the conventional education system, knowingly or unknowingly has done the opposite. There are passionate teachers and passionate students but there has not been until recently a platform to share the passionate subjects in school. “Your generation is blessed with a major shift in the educational world, that arts and media have occupied the center stage. Make a promise to them and you, that you will do beyond your best and realize the value of your foster parents, your teachers, here who will equally care for you and listen to them, so that all of us can facilitate a fantastic learning experience for you and you will go out and make AISFM proud.”

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Shobu Yarlagadda, who has produced the path-breaking and brilliant movie Bahubali: The Beginning, which recorded the highest grossing Indian film within India, addressed the students and shared his thoughts on how important it is to give your best always. “You are definitely at the right place and at the right time. Everything is changing rapidly including the way we produce films. There are a lot of opportunities, a lot of possibilities being thrown up for all of you to express your creativity and find your place in this film and media world. I say you are at the right place because you have come to the this institute where I see that there is very committed management, experienced faculty and the unique thing is that is, that it is connected to one of the big studios in the country, which means that you will get a lot of exposure to practical work which will prepare you well for real-life scenarios,” he said. He added, “Nothing comes easy, you have to give it your best shot, that’s when you walk out a winner. Wish you success and make this institute proud.”

Jayesh Ranjan too echoed the same thoughts about students been at the right place and said, “You are very very lucky in some ways. There are millions of young people in the country today who have been denied such opportunities. The opportunity to reach this level of education, the opportunity to come to a world-class institution, to interact with the best in the profession is an opportunity that very few people get. So, let us use this opportunity to not just enrich your own self by learning new things, by excelling in your craft; but at this time in your life itself, start thinking of how you can contribute back to the society.”

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Later alumnae of AISFM, Keerthika Rajaram, HR Manager, Firefly Creative Studios and Sasindhar Pushpalingam, who are realizing their dreams in their chosen fields shared their learning and how AISFM helped them get closer to their dream.

The orientation session continued with an ice-breaking session for the new students who had a good time getting to know each other, thanks to the activities. Parents of the students then interacted with the faculty and got to know about the school.

See the photos of the day here: http://bit.ly/29FGQKE

Watch the complete video of the interesting session right here:

Love & Snow, budding young author’s debut novel!

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The untidy clumps of sugar whiteness melted softly in cold surroundings of the house. Fresh snow swirled around in spiral of white, dizzying the people inside the house. What the surroundings conveyed was a determined blizzard. Located in the North of Manali, Maple Town is well known for its stunning natural beauty and quaint primitive township. It possesses all the charm and character of a small town or a village.

The surroundings spoke of a grey expanse of sky, weighed with heavy snow. The houses in the town were either sugar houses or cozy wooden or brick houses decorated in heavy, clinging snow.

Dia’s B&B smelled of maple sweetness and natural sweets, glimmered with frosting.  It accommodated her in the ground floor and left enough room for six guests in the other two floors. With a cozy kitchen, dining and enough of hall space, Dia’s B&B passed for a perfect winter stay.

The snow outside is as stubborn as the people inside. People stuck in the house because of the storm. A house which to them opens up a new world. A house which is now the world they live in.

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That takes you into another world, doesn’t it? Well, it’s the synopsis of the book, Love & Snow that Preksha Trivedi has written. An AISFM student who is currently pursuing her Master of Media Business Administration, it is Preksha’s debut novel.

“In a land faraway I was a dreamer and through that dream, Love & Snow was born,” says the young budding author.

So, was it a childhood dream that she cherished to write a book or did it just happen? To this, she says, “It all started with reading, it gave me happiness. It took me to another world, and this had me wanting to create one of my own. I wrote for newspapers and have been an independent blogger. But the idea of writing a novel was born about two years back, when I was working. To escape the monotony of a corporate job, I did what I loved the most, I created a story.”

Why a novel and why a love story? “On my 20th birthday, a friend of mine came and told me that someday she would want to read a book written by me and gave a card that said ‘write the book you want to read.’ Those words stuck with me for a long time and the urge to write a book was born. As a writer I have never written about love. My writing generally revolved around political issues, social issues or futuristic ideas. To explore myself I picked up a topic I had definitely read about but never written about,” she adds.

A book launch is a big landmark in any writer’s life and it is no different in Preksha’s life either. Now that the book is launched, she is a bunch of nerves. Says she, “Now that the book is launched, I feel empty. Till now I was living in the story. As a writer, the characters have become my family, my friends and my companions. The world was my world. And now that everything is ready, I feel lost. I am nervous about the acceptance the story is due to get. It’s like sending your baby into the big world.”

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Since this was the first time that she was writing a full-fledged book, understanding the sensitivity of it was a challenge, she says and adds that over the two years of the book writing process, there were times when she did not know how to go ahead with the story, which was frustrating. “It took seven drafts for me to finalise the story, the more I read the story the more I wanted to add. The biggest hiccup was to tell myself, to stop, the story is ready,” she adds.

What’s next on the plate for this budding writer? “The plan is not to stop. The process of Love & Snow has made me realise how much pleasure writing gives me. There are hundreds of stories I want to tell people. And I will. As for the future, I want to do a travel blog next. I will be travelling alone to locations in and around the world and write about the experience. I also have a series of short stories that I am yet to decide a medium of communication for.”

She has her friends,’ Divisha Sharma (Dia), Aayush Agarwal (Raj), Aditya (Anuj), Anurag (Rajiv) and Buddy (Buddy – the dog) too as part of the book, albeit in another role, they are the ‘faces’ of the characters.

The book was launched recently by Dr. M. V Sridhar, tournament director of the recently concluded ICC World T20 tournament. Dean of AISFM, Bala Rajasekharuni, was also present on the occasion and encouraged the young writer. Do read the book and enjoy!

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.