‘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!

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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Things You Didn’t Know About The Minions!

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Minions, minions everywhere! The minions of Despicable Me have become so popular that it spawned its very own movie. You see them everywhere, all over social media feeds, T-shirts, toys, you name it!

Playing a lead role in the movies is Pierre Coffin, the director, who voiced all the hundreds of minions in the movie. There are so many minions serving Gru in the Despicable Me movies that it would be impossible to actually stop and count each individual one. But, if you had to, you would find out that there are actually 899 minions. This is just one of the facts packed into this article!

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Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Minions. We expose Gru’s mischievous, fun-loving, goggled little helpers and the secrets behind their creation. Read on to find out facts that you most likely never knew about Kevin, Bob, Stuart and the rest of their banana loving, overall-wearing crew.

  • What exactly is the ‘Minionese’ language? Well, it is actually a mash up of multiple languages and not just gibberish. Some languages featured are English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Filipino and Italian. Most o the words that they say actually are names of foods in different languages.
  • The minions developed their eclectic language because they are ‘supposed’ to be an ancient and prehistoric race that has served various masters from around the world for centuries.
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  • Some words in the minion language are taken from Bahasa Indonesia. For example, “kemari” and “terima kasih” mean “come here” and “thank you,”
  • A minion from one of the movie’s early trailers says, “C’est banana. Miam miam!” after picking up a banana. That’s French for “It’s a banana. Yummy!”
  • Kevin frequently uses the phrase “se pa la.” It’s also a Spanish expression that means “who knows.” The minions also say “gracias,” which means “thank you” in Spanish. Interestingly enough, the minions say “thank you” in multiple languages throughout the movie.
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  • A sign that says “Abbey Road” is a reference to The Beatles’ 1969 album, Abbey Road. The album’s artwork is also referenced when the minions walk across the street.
  • Sandra Bullock generally plays a nice role in her movies, but this is the first movie that she’s depicted as a villain. She is the voice of Scarlett Overkill.
  • The movie is set in 1968, or 42 years BG, which means “Before Gru.” What happened in 2010? The first Despicable Me was released, when the minions made their debut.
  • In order to sound a lot more accurately like how Mr. Perkins would normally sound, Will Arnett put on weight! Talk about dedication!
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  • In this scene from The Lorax, if you look closely, you’ll find a minion inside a junk drawer!
  • Did you know that the number Gru used to contact Lucy is actually a real phone number?
  • Look closely at Gru’s collection of paintings and you will see that there are a lot of famous paintings in his collection! These paintings were most likely obtained by stealing, back when he was still a bad guy. Some of the paintings in his house include The Mona Lisa and A Starry Night.
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  • The minions were supposed to be the same size as humans or even bigger, but due to budget issues, they had to scrap the idea and create smaller versions of what was planned. This turned out better for them as the little minions were a huge hit!
  • Sleepy Kittens story in the movie that Gru was forced to read for the kids as they go to sleep became very popular and the same book was turned into a real children’s story that was published around the world.
  • As seen is the first movie, Gru’s speed dial list had the names Dave and Stuart, two of his minion workers.
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  • Following the immense success and gigantic popularity of the two-eyed and one-eyed creatures, a spin off movie was made for the minions and the latest one Despicable Me 3 released in 2017.
  • The minions’ design was inspired by the Jawas from Star Wars and the Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
  • All the minions are male and have been given standard English-style names. Dave, Carl, Kevin, Steve, Phil, Jerry, Tim, Bob, Lance, Stuart and Norbert are just a handful of the ones that have been mentioned by name.
  • Stuart, Kevin and Bob, the three main minions featured in the new film, were designed to resemble the traits of Gru’s daughters, Edith, Margot and Agnes.
  • Purple equals bad, yellow equals good. Evil Minions are purple because purple and yellow are opposite to each other on the colour spectrum. Yes, here good and evil minions are literally exact opposites. Evil minions were inspired by old Looney Toons cartoons where Tweety Bird would drink a potion and turn into a monster.
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  • The minions were designed to have only five different hairstyle options, one of which is completely bald and every tall Minion has the same sprouty hairdo.
  • The directors originally had created minions to help make Gru more likeable for audiences and surround him with childishness and incompetence.
  • Minions only have three fingers packed into those little black gloves.
  • Despite several hundred minions existing, there are only about 48 possible design combinations of height, build, hair, and eyes of the minions.
  • Unlike most evil masterminds, Gru genuinely likes the minions, shows appreciation for their work and somehow knows every one by name.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Real to Reel: Biographies Galore!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drone Filmmaking – Master Class & Demo Workshop

The forefront of drone cinematography has paved its way up along the technical aspect of filmmaking in the course of time. A remote controlled operation to capture the flying view through the camera connected to a so made “drone”. As captured footage is meant to ignite a stimulating emotion in the viewers mind, the drone can be controlled in a way to cater to the stimulating emotion that the filmmaker wants to portray.

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Venkat C Dilip, Cinematographer (DOP) for Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade and Jyo Achyuthananda, was at the AISFM campus to conduct a Master Class and a Demo Workshop on how to shoot with a Drone, for our Cinematography students. Venkat, as cinematography is his expertise started off by offering his teaching on the subject of camera, light, composition and then connecting it to cinematography.

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Our guest lecturer, followed by the Master Class, arranged a Demo-Workshop where he could demonstrate the process of drone filmmaking. With the help of Venkat, our cinematography students attempted to fly a drone and experiment with it on the footage. With a couple of tries, the demo workshop managed to provide a gainful insight to the students in a broader depth of cinematography. As the students would use such techniques in their future job roles, it gave them a practice on how to get the job done in the future, this particular way.

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Venkat mentioned to the students that the vision of the eye is the best element to judge a shot’s authenticity. With the evolution of technology, it has become precisely convincing to execute a filmmaker’s vision on screen. The modes of executing the vision have varied from medium to medium. Speaking of Drones, the technique behind its functioning is fascinating and the best way to know about it is, is to use it. The students during the Q/A exchanged a decent discussion on the nuances and trend from the top cinematographers in the west, doing it right and the assistance of technology needed for achieving the footage.

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The medium is still the message. A lot of drone films are experiments to see what can be done. Eventually, those techniques will, hopefully, just become another toolset cinematographers can use, like tracking or Steadicam shots. As various mediums and concepts keep innovating, technology does too. The filmmaker with his equipment in today’s day and age can achieve anything on screen. It’s the idea, the process and definitely the execution in the end that matters. Luckily, though, directors are born tinkerers, so learning a new trick comes easy. It’s even a bit fun.

Brilliant Movies of 2016 You Missed!

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The year 2016 that went by gave us many blockbuster movies to watch but there were a few that even the most ardent fans would have missed out on watching. They were the movies that were really good, but somehow got overshadowed by the other super successful ones that released along with them. With this in mind, we have made a list of movies that definitely deserve more than a watch. Adjust your watch list queue, plan your weekend to squeeze in some of these movies, make some time and binge on some of these movies. Take a look at some, a dozen to be exact, of the best movies released in 2016 that you have not seen yet! Read the synopsis, watch the trailer and decide for yourself, what you want to watch first!

  1. Paterson
    Adam Driver plays Paterson in a movie called Paterson living in Paterson, N.J. He is a hard working bus driver who follows the same routine every day, observes the city and listens to fragments of conversations while driving. He also writes heartfelt poems in a notebook and walks his dog. Waiting for him at home is Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), his beloved wife who champions his gift for writing.
  1. Hell or High Water
    Toby, a divorced father is trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner is an ex-convict with a short temper and a loose trigger finger. They plan a series of heists against the bank that’s about to foreclose on their family ranch. Standing in their way is Marcus, a Texas Ranger who’s only weeks away from retirement. As they plot their final robbery, they must prepare for a showdown with Marcus. It’s Hell or High Water!
  2. Midnight Special
    Midnight Special is a science fiction film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The government and a group of religious extremists pursue a man (Michael Shannon) and his son (Jaeden Lieberher), a young boy who possesses special powers. What are those special powers that the government is after?
  3. Swiss Army Man
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     is a comedy-drama film about young Hank (Paul Dano) being stranded on a deserted island. Lonely and without hope he prepares to end it all, until he spots a man (Daniel Radcliffe) laying by the shore. Unfortunately, he is dead and quite flatulent. Using the body to his advantage, Hank makes it back to the mainland but now finds himself lost in the wilderness, and dragging the talking corpse named Manny along for the adventure.
  1. Kubo and the Two Strings
    Kubo and the Two Strings
     is a 3D stop-motion fantasy action-adventure film. Young Kubo’s (Art Parkinson) peaceful existence comes crashing down when he accidentally summons a vengeful spirit from the past. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) to unlock a secret legacy. Armed with a magical instrument, Kubo must battle the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and other gods and monsters to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known.
  2. Jackie
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     is a biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim. The film stars Natalie Portman as Jackie After her husband’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy’s (Natalie Portman) world is completely shattered. Traumatized and reeling with grief, over the course of the next week she must confront the unimaginable: consoling their two young children, vacating the home she painstakingly restored, and planning her husband’s funeral. Jackie quickly realizes that the next seven days will determine how history will define her husband’s legacy – and how she herself will be remembered.
  3. The Edge of Seventeen
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     (originally titled Besties) is a coming-of-age comedy-drama. Everyone knows that growing up is hard and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until an unexpected friendship with a thoughtful teen (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.
  4. Sing Street
    Sing Street
     is a musical coming-of-age comedy-drama film. A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes. The teenager (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) tries to win the heart of the aspiring model (Lucy Boynton).
  5. Manchester by the Sea
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     is a drama film. After the death of his older brother Joe, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked that Joe has made him sole guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick. Taking leave of his job as a janitor in Boston, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea, the fishing village where his working-class family has lived for generations. There, he is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife, Randi (Michelle Williams), and the community where he was born and raised.
  1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    Hunt for the Wilderpeople
     is a New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film. A boy (Julian Dennison) and his foster father (Sam Neill) become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness. A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.
  1. Silence
    Silence is a 2016 historical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based upon the 1966 novel of the same name. Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey to Japan to find their missing mentor (Liam Neeson). While there, the two men minister to the Christian villagers who worship in secret. If caught by feudal lords or ruling samurai, they must renounce their faith or face a prolonged and agonizing death.
  1. Arrival
    Arrival
     is a  science fiction film. Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touchdown in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

Amala Akkineni Awarded ‘Nari Shakti Puraskaar’

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It is indeed a very proud moment for us! AISFM Honorary Director & Founder and Chairperson, Blue Cross of Hyderabad, actress, philanthropist, Amala Akkineni, was awarded the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskaar’ (2016) by President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of International Women’s Day in New Delhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 8th 2017.

The award is given to eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service for their country by the Union Women and Child Development (WCD), Ministry of India. Amala Akkineni was one of the 33 women from all over India who were awarded for rendering distinguished services ranging from mountaineering, environmental protection, wildlife protection, womens empowerment, sports, animal welfare, art and culture, economic upliftment of socially challenged communities – a rich and interesting variety of unusual contributions, all by women.

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Speaking to us and sharing her thoughts, on receiving the Nari Shakti Puraskaar, she said “It is an honour indeed to be recognised for work one does as a woman. It gives me an additional sense of responsibility now in the spot light of recognition; I feel I must do so much more. It’s important that suffering around us must never go unnoticed and un-addressed. We cannot fill our days with tasks or our shopping carts with expensive things and expect to fill the void in our souls. It is most definitely serving a greater good that gives life true satisfaction and meaning.”

The essence and importance of Women’s Day means making a difference in our own way she said, “Today I remember millions of women who live in a system that is yet to recognise their contribution. Millions of others who struggle to make a living, ostracised, discriminated against, paid less and taken advantage of. It is demeaning to have to face this day after day. I reach out to them in solidarity and understanding support, with sisterhood. As women we must stand together for change. Each do what we can to make a difference. It’s good that we have a special day to remember this.”

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She added that women can empower themselves with education, skills, work and economic self reliance and added that “This gives a woman power over her mind, her body, her choices and life.”

On a parting note she shared a few words for both men and women and said, “For now my thoughts drift to the disparities around us that are alarming. Exploitation of any kind is unethical. As a thinking and caring community we need to become comfortable having difficult conversations and make choices to push change. Change is resented at first, resisted next and challenged before it is accepted and embraced. Dialogue promotes understanding and understanding gives energy for change. Our world needs to grow and change for the better of all – eliminate exploitation that destroys the fabric of our community togetherness. It can’t be one person’s mission. It needs the energy of large numbers. Don’t just enquire “how I am” – find out instead what causes me anguish. Can I in return look into your eyes and ask “Are you truly happy? What is it that is troubling you in the depth of your heart?” And if I say “I saw something that moved me deeply”, you may stop and listen to the story and offer to do something useful about it along with me. I would do the same for you. I would never squirm and look the other way.”

A special thank you to all the wonderful men, women and living creatures who make me Nari Shakti!

Digital Domain: Leading Hollywood VFX Company visits AISFM!

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Digital Domain, is known for VFX on about 200 blockbuster Hollywood movies like “Titanic”, “Maleficent”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “Iron Man 3”, “TRON: Legacy”, “Furious 7”, “Pixels”, “2012” and many more. Providing an exciting new future in storytelling and content creation technology, from Digital Domain; Austin Armus, Director – Business Services Integration, Lala Gavgavian – Vice President, Human Resources/Recruiting/Training, and Sudhir Reddy – Head of Digital Studio (India) were at the campus addressing the students along side Bala Raj (Dean, Academics) and Amala Akkineni (Hon. Director, AISFM).

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The Master Class included the representatives of Digital Domain showing us their work reels as an introduction to display their creative techniques and talking about the content that they have been making. The session then commenced from being an introduction to turning into a informative Q/A between the representatives and the students.

As VFX is one of the most indulged courses at the institute, art/animation enthusiasts were present amongst the students and faculty members. During the Q/A, the concerned representatives, according to their expertise, answered questions put up by the students in depth. With a vast number of movies in their roaster, they have worked with the best of the directors in the industry including Steven Spielberg.

Talking about the rapid pace at which the technology is evolving, Digital Domain mentioned that they fully utilised the potential of the advancement in their equipment, over the years. With High Definition viewing, HD has also paved it’s way for VFX and animated content to be seen by the audiences in HD.

As they plan to expand to India, working alongside the offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver they want to diversify in terms of creativity by having a presence in different countries. Austin also spoke about the scale of planning and collaboration with the director that goes into the pre/post production stage before they start on a film project.

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As technology is advancing day-to-day, Digital Domain tries to keep up with the best technical resources to get the desired output for their films/commercials. As high definition viewing has become necessary for the quality of the product, Digital Domain has expanded to areas of Virtual Reality, and are currently working on movies made especially for VR.

Founded in 1993, Digital Domain is one of the largest and most influential visual effects studios in the world. The company and its artists have produced industry-leading work for movies, commercials, video games, music videos, concerts, and virtual reality projects. The company has been at the forefront of innovation for over two decades and pioneered the creation of internationally famous Digital Performers including Virtual 2Pac (the “Coachella Hologram”) and Teresa Teng. Digital Domain was also a co-producer on the feature film “Ender’s Game”.

During that time, its artists have earned multiple Academy Awards in the Visual Effects and Technical Award categories. Digital Domain has evolved in its artistry to hundreds of commercials, video games, and music videos, from “Become Legend” game trailers, to Nike’s virtual reality “The Neymar Jr. Effect”, to the ground-breaking Ronda Rousey fight trailer “Revolution” for the UFC.

From setups in California and Vancouver, including its own state-of-the-art performance capture studio, Digital Domain continues a tradition of creating extraordinary imagery and productions for entertainment and advertising purposes.

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