Sania Mirza & Neha Dhupia visit AISFM

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Interacting with celebrities of all walks of life and learning about their life experiences is an integral part of AISFM campus life. However, this time, it’s an interesting combination of two personalities – one a film star and an accomplished sportsperson together.

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Celebrated international tennis star Sania Mirza and talented and beautiful actress Neha Dhupia visited our campus recently. They interacted with our students at length, spending quality time with them; answering their queries about their life experiences… students thoroughly enjoyed the interactions with both these stars.

Sania Mirza appreciated the film school’s facilities and expertise that helped her with a recording project.

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Neha Dhupia spoke about the importance of learning the craft of filmmaking and shared her thoughts on the value of trained directors and technicians in the film industry. She said, “Some people are gifted, yet they like to educate themselves. The strongest weapon that you can have in today’s day and age is education. A lot of people think that if you don’t want to study then you can be a part of films. But that is not true, because the most successful writers, directors and even actors are the ones who are educated in the craft and that’s what sets them apart from the rest of us.”

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Lauding the efforts of AISFM she added, “AISFM facilities and ambience are amazing. The venue, the sound team, the recordists, I feel like I am at home with family. The equipment is top-class, the technicians are top class.”

Veteran Editor Marthand Venkatesh @ AISFM

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Working with the best, interacting and learning from industry professionals in an important part of education at AISFM. Veteran Telugu film editor Marthand K. Venkatesh who has edited more than 400 feature films, conducted a Master Class for our students.

Life experiences and social awareness are his biggest teachers, which have sculpted his societal positioning and aesthetics in his edits across genres. A third generation filmmaker, he interacted with the students at length about the learnings of his editing career. More than 80% of his films have been extremely successful at the box office.

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He bagged prestigious Nandi Award as the best editor for films like Tholi Prema, Daddy, Pokiri and Arundhati. He shared his insights into the industry including his personal aesthetic conflicts as a filmmaker and the balance he attempts to strike in his editor-director relationships.

Making his expertise available to budding editors, enlightening them about common editorial concerns and sharing his trade secrets through advice was the crux of his Master Class. While all the students benefited greatly from his session, a few students have penned down their reflections about their learning experience. Read on to find out what our students have to say.

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Mahesh Gaddam, (4thYear, BFA, Editing + Direction Specialization)
“We learnt many important things during the workshop; like: Work flow – Editing the first cut of the film on the basis of just the visual intensity of the rusheswithout knowing the story or having the director guidance gives a fresh approach and visualization.

Repeated analysis of cut in silence (without sound) makes you understand the flaws in the edit. Each key character gets a different pattern according to their characterization, (where we discussed an example from the film Happy Days).

When the film is based on a specific character’s journey, the editor has to focus on that character and emphasis more on his arc. (Here we discussed the film Fidaa).

Edit suite is the “first auditorium” and the footage has to excite the editor.

Over usage of opticals (transitions) is spoiling the content in contemporary film making.”

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Chaitanya Khairkar, (2nd Year, MA, Editing + Direction Specialization)

“The best part about the masterclass was that he was vocal about his thoughts and gave us knowledge about how the real film industry works. He didn’t sugar-coat or mince his words, instead told us about the real commercial side of the film industry. He shared his knowledge about his motivation for cuts, the internal and external rhythm of the scene as well the characters.

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He spoke about the difference in his approach for different films, for e.g. His approach was different for Pokiri than that for Billa; Pokiri was rougher whereas Billa had a more stylish flavour to it. He also shared his thoughts about his recent release Fidaa, and explained how the first half of the film was different from the second half; how the cuts relate to the protagonists of the film, while the ‘Hero’ had smooth cuts, the ‘Heroine’ had abrupt and quick cuts to it and her character was more bubbly and lively, as lightning speed.

He explained his working pattern, where he mentioned that he does not take part in pre-production stage of the films; he avoids listening to the story of the film before the edit, and he does the first cut of the film all by himself not allowing the director to take part in it initially. He also gave tips for the freshers who are trying to get into the industry, and explained the job of an assistant editor.”

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Athul Prabhakaran, (4th Year, BFA, Editing + Direction Specialization)

“Mr Venkatesh believes if everyone does their job to work for the film’s best, then the film will obviously work, any sign for the addition of just aesthetics and not story is not what he encourages. When the edit is first received, he gets his assistants to set up scenes with the good and bad and then comes in to edit. He reviews this finally with the director of the film to completely achieve the perfection the film deserves, sometimes with a lot of healthy arguments and discussions and so forth. He says that the director may stop a personal style from coming in. But it’s never bad to try, only that the final word comes from a director who is confident. The other people who may influence your edit design may be the cast members or the producers who panic and jump to editorial decisions. This may be seen as working for individual characters but not for the entire story.

He thinks commercial action films do not require much intellectual thought into how they are set up. It’s always fast paced with structures that hit marks. Editing films by filmmakers like Shekar Kammula is what gets him going as he gets to explore characters through edits. In Happy Days he set up a style of edit for different characters. In Fidaa the lead character in the girl takes the films narrative pace.

We spoke about silences and how they are really important. As easy as action films are, if they don’t have any silences in them, they tend to get loud and this can be down played with comedic scenes or emotional sequences. Silences, he says should also guide in edits without music or sound designs; they will allow for places that show a lag.”

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Abhishek Khapre, (3rd Year, BFA, Editing + Direction Specialization)

“Mr. Marthand explained his own way of editing films. He talked about treating movies of different genres in different ways. For example, an action film is cut or paced a little faster than something like a “feel good” movie or a family film, which has slower cuts to help the audience absorb the emotions. This, he feels, is a difficult task. An editor should feel the pulse of such films and edit intuitively to bring out the required emotion.

Moreover, each character is also treated in different ways by Mr. Marthand to bring out their characteristics. He gave an example of keeping two frames of lag for the hero, two frames of lag for the heroine and maybe 4-5 frames of lag for the antagonist. This creates a difference each time the character is seen on screen. He also talked about using different transitions and optics for different characters, e.g. dissolve for some, speeding up the footage for some, and using straight “visible” cuts for others.

Lastly Mr. Marthand talked about knowing the demography the movie will cater too. This may change the editing pattern. If the movie has a famous cast, then the editing pattern may change for a commercial movie as it has to cater to a specific audience. If the cast is not that well-known then the editing pattern changes along with the expectation of the audience.

Overall Mr. Marthand held a productive session and gave an insight into the Telugu film industry and the job of an editor in the industry.”

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’s Pioneering Teacher Training Workshops Launched

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“How did you learn to learn?” A thought-provoking question that sets you to ponder deeply about the teacher-learner relationship. This was just one of the many questions and thoughts that set out the attendees to deliberate upon. Various pedagogical strategies like Experiential and Reflective learning, and Critical Pedagogy among others were explored at the ‘International Teachers Training Workshop’ conducted by AISFM in collaboration with Critical Education Academy, USA. Select school teachers from various International Schools from twin cities participated in the daylong intensive teaching methodology workshop brainstorming on ‘why we teach the way we teach and how to teach the next generation.’

Launching the workshop, AISFM director Amala Akkineni said, “We have been in the Film & Media education for the past five years and we take pride in ourselves as a holistic educational institution, and one of our missions is to improve the quality of education around us by actively participating in and advocating educational research in India. Hyderabad education scene is currently as vibrant as ever before with the advent of numerous international schools, institutions and work spaces.”

Workshop directors, US based Educational Experts Dr. Ambika Gopal Raj, Ph.D. and Dr. Lauren G. McClanahan, Ph.D., took the participants on a rigorous daylong journey through various educational methodologies that are changing the face of education in the United States & other Western Countries today.

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Dr. Ambika Gopal Raj, Ph.D. (USA), is a Professor at the Charter College of Education, California State University, Los Angeles. In her 16 years of teaching career, she launched various M.Ed. & MA programs, developed new methodologies in education with a synthesis of experiential learning, critical pedagogy, creative pedagogy and “storying”(as opposed to ‘storytelling’) as a novel way of looking into one’s own learning process. She has also authored a book titled ‘Multicultural Children’s Literature: A Critical Issues Approach’, a SAGE Publication, which is readily implemented as an official text book for M.Ed. programs in various US universities.

Dr. Lauren G. McClanahan, Ph.D. (USA), Professor, Secondary Education, Western Washington University, Seattle specializes in using Film & Media as a way into formal education to enhance the learning experience covering multiple intelligences as well as critical thinking and creative thinking in secondary level students.

Amala Akkineni, Honorary Director of AISFM, speaking about this pioneering effort and the thought behind launching these workshops, said “These two reputed educationalists from the United States – who are known for such transformational workshops for educators encouraged the participants to pause and take a look at various new approaches in education the world today. Learning cannot be forced or commanded. It is a complex process. The mounting pressure on students to get higher scores does not help. We hope our efforts will bring in breakthroughs of pedogogical research for teachers in Hyderabad and across the country.”

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Elaborating further, she said, “One cannot live in isolation or expect to succeed standing alone. Our students come from across the country, and to enter their worlds to let them know about the career options they could have is certainly our responsibility. But before that we need to lay the foundation in the education system itself that each student is unique with his/her own learning style and  yet, they are the products of a combination of social, geographical, cultural convergence of all he or she has been exposed to during the growing up years. Providing a space for teachers to take time to re-discover themselves as learners, helps their renewed understanding of their own teaching processes and styles.”

Bala Rajasekharuni, Dean of Academics and Faculty of Direction & Screenwriting, speaking about this initiative said that, “this is just the beginning of an ongoing outreach program that AISFM has launched. In future we will introduce workshops for school children also. This will bring awareness among them about other educational opportunities beyond the existing conventional choices. This can result in helping them chose a career path of their own choice that utilizes their innate talents to the fullest.”

Participating teachers lauded AISFM’s efforts in launching such a program for the benefit of local educational system. They were from various schools of the city, and received a Certificate of Participation, from Amala Akkineni. They also received a membership in AISFM International Education Network to attend such future events, and an ongoing mentorship by AISFM’s Academic Advisory experts from United States.

‘The White Fields’ Wins Best Editing Award

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Magic of Cinema’ Relived at Exhibit

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Moving Images, Annapurna Studios, Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM) and Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad proudly presented a Photography Exhibition, very aptly titled ‘Magic Of Cinema’ at Annapurna Studios.

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The Magic of Cinema was a novel exhibition of black and white and color photographs which juxtaposed photographs of old movie theatres, film studios and galleries of Hamburg against old cinema houses and film culture of Hyderabad. The German counterpart focused on pictures based on archival material from Film-und Fernsehmuseum Hamburg. Exhibition concept was by Rita Baukrowitz and Volker Reissmann with artistic creation by Hauke Hatzelhoffer. Hyderabad photographs were commissioned in 2014 by India Week, Kinemathek Hamburg and Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad. Creatives and photography for this part were by the Hyderabad based photographer Prashant Manchikanti.

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The exhibition was inaugurated by the famous director Mohan Krishna Indraganti with Amala Akkineni, the guest of honour. Amala Akkineni reminisced about how magic was created literally on the very sets where the exhibition was being held. Recalling her Shiva days she said that most of the film was shot in the Annapurna studios and she had fond memories of those days. She recreated for the audience – some of whom were seeing a film studio for the first time in their lives — the whole process of ‘lights, camera, action’!

Mentioning how the studio and the film school (AISFM) was a dream of her late father-in-law, the legendary actor Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao, she said that technology had changed the face of the industry for the better.

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Mohan Krishna Indraganti, the well-known filmmaker was nostalgic when he spoke of the magic of single screen cinema halls. He was of the opinion that today’s nameless multiplexes have neither the charm nor the charisma of the old theatres. He spoke humorously of how the magic of cinema created a New York in Toronto! Viewing a film in a multiplex theatre was not the same as the audience was more likely to walk out 5-10 minutes before the film’s end so as not to get caught in the crowd or traffic. He often had to keep that thought in mind while writing his script he said jocularly. Prashant Manchikanti spoke about how and why he was inspired to take the pictures.

Padma Ramesh, Core faculty of Liberal Arts & Business Communications at AISFM, spoke about the old, cinema halls of Hyderabad which have all but disappeared giving way to multiplexes. She reminisced fondly about the ambience in those bygone days, the theatre goers and the whole culture of film watching which has now gone. She added, “I personally loved the B&W photographs of the old Hamburg theatres. I think it’s such a good idea to have an exhibition of this sort in the studio, as it was about cinema halls and the films that played there.”

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The 9-day cinematic extravaganza which was inaugurated by Amala Akkineni, was followed by the screening of Cinema Paradiso, a classic movie about a boy coming of age in WWII Italy who develops a lifelong love affair with movies, in Annapurna Studios. The exhibits will be on display from July 24th to 30th at Goethe-Zentrum.

Amita Desai, director, Goethe-Zentrum, Hyderabad said “We are excited to showcase the cinema culture of Hyderabad, the magic that is cinema, which has been with us since the 50s, is what we will discuss, deliberate and put forth for the next nine days.”

Namireddy Krupakar Reddy, Chief Operating Officer of AISFM, was also present on the occasion.

It was a stroll down memory lane that brought back fond memories for many in the audience. The event was very well received and the audience liked the display of photographs and for many it was indeed very nostalgic bringing back memories of a happy childhood outing or a teenage date!

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.

Graduation Ceremony of FFM & Animation

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Our short courses are very popular for a reason; they are a practical way for working professionals in the media industry to upgrade their existing skills and knowledge, keep up with the ever-changing technologies and learn new talents that can help their professional development and growth. Another reason that makes them popular is that they help non-media professionals try out the world of media and pursue further by joining our degree program if they enjoy it.

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Another set of 30 students graduated on July 14th amidst much excitement at Mayabazar in our campus. The Graduation batches were people who joined our Fundamentals of Film Making and Advanced Diploma in 3D Animation & VFX course. The chief guests for the event were famous music composer, singer, actor and director R P Patnaik and well-known actor Ravi Prakash.

R.P. Patnaik while interacting with the students emphasised on the importance of the story, character design, music and background score in a film and shared some acting tips for the acting students who attended the session. He then also spoke about marketing strategies and how it can help a film, with the FFD students.

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Ravi Prakash stressed on the importance and benefits of studying in a film school and how it will make them better equipped to face the film industry. He also shared a few glimpses on how the present work atmosphere is in the industry.

Our Dean Bala Raj, CAA Dr. Raghava and FFD anchor faculty Dr. Kiron were also present at the event. Along with the graduating students the Fundamentals of Film Direction and Acting short course students also attended the ceremony to gain some valuable insights. The students then engaged in a lively interactive session with the chief guests and asked many questions, while learning and understanding the workings of the film industry.

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Our Fundamentals of Filmmaking course provides hands on training in professional filmmaking at an introductory level where students explore the complete process of digital film-making during the course period. The Advanced Diploma in 3D Animation and VFX course with an exclusive intake of just 13 students helps master the art and science of animation and visual effects in the one-year course.

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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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Master Class with Veteran Film Writer Akella

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Master classes are always looked forward to, by our students. For it is the value that the master class setup brings; all students benefit from the master’s comments on a subject and get expert advice, while still learning the finer nuances of their art. They also help students network and plan their future career development.

This time it was a Master Class by the veteran and versatile creative artist and film writer, Akella Venkata Suryanarayana, popularly known as ‘Akella’; who is a film writer, film director, TV writer, TV director, stage writer, stage actor and director.

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Akella has written more than 200 short stories in all leading Telugu magazines and many of his stories were translated into various Indian languages. He has also written more than 30 novels and he was credited with “Yuva Magazine Chakrapani” award, “Visala Andhra” award, “Vijaya Monthly” award and “Andhra Prabha Novel” award. His most outstanding novel “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha” was translated into French. The celebrity drama writer has written more than 40 plays, playlets and traditional plays (Padya Natakam). His theatre plays won 13 State Nandi awards.

The Master Class was attended by great enthusiasm by our Acting and Fundamentals of Film Direction (Telugu) students. Interacting with the students, the writer-director spoke at length about the importance of a story, screenplay and dialogues. He laid emphasis on the importance of characterisation, behaviour, body language and emotions for actors and how it is essential to read books to gain more knowledge and perspective.

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Bala Raj (Dean, Academics), who was present on the occasion, also shared his valuable inputs about the film industry and the importance of hard work and dedication to one’s craft.

The Master Class offered our creative and motivated students an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the working of the writing and directing fields of the film and television industry.