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 launches Corporate Role Play workshops

AISFM_Fiirefly_38AISFM faculty Nitin Mane, MFA (USA) & Bala Rajasekharuni, MFA (USA), who is also the Dean conducted a workshop of Corporate Role Play at Firefly Creative Studios, Hyderabad.AISFM_Fiirefly_32Bala and Nitin blended various actor training methods to bring out the hidden talent of the team members, accommodating a variety of personalities and their own unique modes of expression. AISFM_Fiirefly_26Every creative exercise concluded with a briefing on how those techniques can be applicable effective tools for self development and team building in any setting, be it home or the work place. AISFM_Fiirefly_16Using humor as a medium to engage the group, the instructors walked the participants through a process of profound learning, yet, making it fun to spend their Saturday morning for. AISFM_Fiirefly_13The workshop is one of the recent initiatives of AISFM outreach programs, which has started with a summer intensive teaching methodology workshop in collaboration with Critical Education Academy, Los Angeles.AISFM_Fiirefly_8AISFM believes in creating an ongoing synergy between its in-house academic expertise and various societal settings in the outside world.AISFM_Fiirefly_18

Rhythm Mojo & Prism – AISFM Students explore TV & News Production

Live hands-on experiences bring filmmakers closer to realities of the industry. AISFM always believes in this and ensures that it brings forth such enriching and learning experiences for its students. Such is the recent initiative, ‘TV & News Production Workshop’ in the professional movie set at Annapurna Studios, that was used in many blockbuster movies like Manam, Rarandoy Veduka Chuddam, Jai Lava Kusa & Manikarnika. The set rocked with Rhythm Mojo, a Rock Show and Thorough the Prism – A Talk Show by AISFM students.

Editing faculty, Satyendra Mohanty and Direction faculty Prem Ragunathan conducted a TV News and Production workshop with full fledged professional technicalities.

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There is a big difference between film and television, which they wanted to highlight so that the students would get the right kind of grooming and exposure to TV. Understanding the purpose, focus, the process, the aesthetics and the business of television shows is crucial to make a mark in the TV industry.

Students of cinematography, editing, sound, advertising and MMBA came together and worked as a team to get these two shows on to the floors. They were further divided into teams and each team had a responsibility to handle; the faculty was happy to see how harmoniously they all worked together, and the result is an end product of industry standards.

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Mohanty – an alumnus of FTII and currently a faculty at AISFM is a teacher with enormous knowledge in film and television production.

“A film can be made into a piece of art with the right editing and before editing, the ingredients are present but a film has no form yet,” Mohanty said and added that the most important qualities that need to be developed in an aspiring editor are patience, willingness to learn the nitty-grities and good observation.

“These days, editing in film and TV are almost becoming the same, because films are also adopting the multi-camera system,” said Mohanty when asked about the differences between the two media. Most TV shows are edited in real time, so you can actually cut out scenes when they are being enacted, he added.

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Prem Ragunathan, faculty of Direction, an experienced professional in TV reality shows threw light on the difference in direction methods in TV and film. He said that in films, the director comes up with an idea and approaches a production house whereas in TV, the channel comes up with an idea and the executive producer then finds a director to direct it. Sometimes the executive producer will have a program producer who himself will direct it.

To ensure that students understood this crucial difference, they were divided into teams as per the structure of a TV channel. It worked out well as each student realized what goes into TV production and were able to understand and experience it in real-time.

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Moving on to direction as a career, Prem emphasized that one should be instinctive and meticulous with excellent observational skills and one must also be able to communicate clearly, not just through words but also through visuals, he added.

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What’s his advice to students? Echoing Mohanty’s thoughts, he too said “Watch a lot of films!” Quick to emphasize, he added “But not as an audience; you must watch films to be exposed to the filmmaking technique. Take a pen and book and watch films alone and write about what you watch; it can help you understand the movie better.”

The interview rounded off with Prem praising the AISFM curriculum and campus, “students at AISFM have a thirst for knowledge and the campus provides the faculty, syllabus and space to gain this knowledge. As the campus has numerous trees, one can sit under a tree and get creative he said, “Any tree could be your Bodhi tree!”

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The workshop was indeed a great experience for the students and AISFM aims at providing many more such experiences to its students during the course of study.

Manfrotto honors AISFM faculty

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Good teachers are the reason why ordinary students dream to do extraordinary things and the best teachers are the ones who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see. Teaching, the profession that creates all other professions!

On the occasion of Teacher’s Day; Manfrotto, one of the best companies in the photography field that designs, manufactures a wide range of camera and lighting equipment honored the top photography teachers in the country with the message, “Thank you for guiding us every day. Happy Teacher’s Day to all the inspiring photographers,” and they added, “They help us see the path on our journey. Happy Teacher’s Day to all the teachers that keep inspiring us.”

Ranjit Sinha, AISFM photography faculty was one of the few honored teachers along the likes of Shantanu Sheorey, Rohinton Mehta and others. Ranjit’s carrier spans over 26 years of professional photography out of which about 20 years has been in teaching! He started his teaching career with NIFT Kolkata, where he taught for eight years and since then he has travelled to many design colleges until he joined AISFM.

It is a proud moment for us at AISFM!

Congratulations Ranjit Sinha!

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 Business Administration Faculty Wins Award

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Our MMBA faculty MNVVK Chaitanya has won the ‘Best Twitterati and LinkedIn Connect Award’ (individual category) given by Awarding ​B​ody ASMA (Adoption of Social Media in Academia), which aims to recognize and promote the outstanding contribution of individual and academic institutions involved in innovative and unique practices of adopting social media in academic development and enriching learning and pedagogical experience through honor and awards.

Chaitanya has 14 years of experience in the field of learning and development, academics, media education, policy research and management education.

Speaking to us about winning the award and his journey with AISFM, Chaitanya shared his thoughts as below.

How does it feel to win this award? Your first thoughts when you came to know that you won this award?
There are few professors and digital marketing experts that have won the award in this function, and many other academicians and experts that haven’t. You just do the best you can and personally I feel lucky enough to get it.

More than the award, what I liked more was the fact that all the flag bearers of the field of academia, research, policy making (AICTE, AIU etc.) and industry came under one roof and shared their ideas about tools and techniques of social media that will usher educational institutes towards the direction of chasing excellence in social media strategy and execution. I was informed by the awarding body that the selection process was indeed rigorous and comprehensive, wherein the audit team found my candidature to be apt. It seems I scored very high in select parameters related to postings, likes and updates, specifically on LinkedIn platform.

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Your thoughts on the ‘adoption of social media in academia’; its relevance and its setbacks, if any?
As has come out very clearly in each of the four different technical sessions in ASMA, ‘social media in academia’ is no longer a choice. Indeed it is an imperative. For a vertical like media education, which is constantly ever-changing, characterized by myriad technological and business innovations and ever increased pace of internalization, leveraging the tools and techniques of social/digital media is the only way forward. I am of the strong opinion that for tasks like sourcing great guest faculty speakers, increasing industry interface, showcasing the success stories of students, reaching out for academic advisory (more so in international subjects like international co-productions and transmedia story telling and etc), social media paves the way, in a very cost efficient manner and mode. No one can doubt the increased effectiveness also (in addition to the great efficiency).

How do you plan to take this a step further in the teaching level?
I am learning a lot by reading relevant literature and books in this area. As a constant and ever curious learner, I plan to integrate social media tools and techniques like LinkedIn polls, Linkedin Groups etc. for efficient teaching delivery methods and usage in MMBA programme’s thesis projects.

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How has your teaching experience here at AISFM helped you in your career and in winning this award?
AISFM happened to me in 2012 as a lucky accident, wherein and whereby, I managed to make a seamless and smooth transition from the ‘non-happening world of economics/general management’ to the ‘very happening’ world of  film and media education. I have been learning a lot from faculty peer groups and ‘ART’sy students in the creative programmes like BFA and MA (film making, animation etc.). As they say in creative businesses, this overnight success (bagging this award) happened over a period of five long years 🙂 The five year stint here has made me appreciate the importance of creative thinking, power of ingenuity and very importantly, the art of marrying arts with commerce, more so, in media education (theory and practice).

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.

American Education Experts share their Views on Changing Face of Education

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AISFM always setting a path for the future, making a difference and transforming lives, launched a series of International Teacher Training Workshops in collaboration with US based Educational Experts, Dr. AmbikaGopal Raj, Ph.D. and Dr. Lauren G. McClanahan, Ph.D., to help the quality of education in India.

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

Speaking to us, both Dr. Ambika and Dr. Lauren shared their views on the challenges that teachers face, types of learning and more. Read on to find out more:
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Dr. AmbikaGopal Raj, Ph.D. (USA), is a Professor of Charter College of Education, California State University, Los Angeles.

She feels both methods of cognitive approach to learning and experiential learning are relevant for today’s classroom.

Today’s teachers are faced with challenges of this age of instantinformation which is bombarding students by online sources, and increasingly shorter attention span of this generation being a concern, what’s your advice to the worried teacher?
Use it to our advantage – students nowadays are more media savvy than our generation – engage them with hands-on experiential activities.

Are you familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s Waldorf method, which is slowly gaining popularity now? If so, what are your views on that?
It is not new. Storytelling, storying and narrative theories have been there for as long as people have been teaching. I like it a lot.

Your inputs about today’s workshop and how it can start to make a difference.
I am happy for the opportunity – I hope I can give back to my city more in the future visits.

You have taken a tour of AISFM during your visit. We’re a rare film school that is situated in a working studio. And, we have a ‘liberal arts’ approach to our education. What are your observations and views on our school, the facilities, ambience etc.?
It is fantastic! I would love to be part of this institution! Liberal Arts approach is the way to go in today’s changing times.

AISFM has hosted your workshop with an intent of impacting the local education system itself. Being a film & media school, we didn’t want to limit ourselves to our core specialty – and our core team is trying to expand beyond. What are your views on that?
I think it is great! We live in a very interactive and connected world – so why not embrace it in our education? I think “trying to expand beyond” is the key. I commend the efforts of Ms. Amala Akkineni and the Dean Bala Raj for making AISFM a true center for educational research. Pretty soon this mission is going to take off in a big way, and I’m confident that we’ll see its impact on the schools around.
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Dr. Lauren G. McClanahan, Ph.D. (USA), Professor, Secondary Education, Western Washington University, Seattle.

Your thoughts on methods of cognitive approach to learning and experiential learning? Which one do you think is relevant for today’s classroom?
I prefer experiential.  We learn best by doing!

Today’s teachers are faced with challenges of this age of instant information which is bombarding students by online sources, and increasingly shorter attention span of this generation being a concern, what’s your advice to the worried teacher?
Students must learn to be critical consumers of media–don’t believe everything you read/see/hear.

Your inputs about today’s workshop and how it can start to make a difference.
Today’s workshop can make a difference by working directly with teachers.  With the knowledge gained today, these teachers can return to their schools and share with their colleagues.

You have taken a tour of AISFM during your visit. We’re a rare film school that is situated in a working studio. And, we have a ‘liberal arts’ approach to our education. What are your observations and views on our school, the facilities, ambience etc.?
I love that the film school is located on-site at a working studio! Similarly, I no longer teach my pedagogy classes on my university campus.  All of my classes are taught within local schools. Here is a short film I created explaining why it’s better to be immersed in the location you ultimately want to be a part of:  https://vimeo.com/147556678

AISFM has hosted your workshop with an intent of impacting the local education system itself. Being a film & media school, we didn’t want to limit ourselves to our core specialty – and our core team is trying to expand beyond. What are your views on that?
I think the smartest thing you (or any organization) can do is work in partnership with local schools.  That’s what my non-profit organization has done in the United States: https://www.bellinghamyouthmediaproject.org/

You have conducted a workshop for our Faculty. AISFM facilitates their ongoing learning by conducting workshops like yours. What are your views on our faculty in general? Any observations?
The faculty I have met have all been friendly and professional.  They all participated in the workshop with full enthusiasm.

You have touched upon many methodologies & theories of education in your workshop. What’s your personal educational philosophy as a teacher?
I believe very strongly in experiential education. Provide students real-world problems to solve, in collaboration with one another, just as they will later in life. Gone are the days of long lectures followed by a test. That’s not how the world works.  🙂

‘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!