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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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!

Samantha visits AISFM!

 

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Spotting a celebrity at the AISFM campus has become a common occurrence over the years, thanks to the support of our founding family. Actress Samantha was seen at the campus grounds recently, along with our Honorary Director, Amala Akkineni. Samantha Ruth Prabhu is a popular Indian actress and model. She has established a career in the Telugu and Tamil film industries, and is a recipient of three Filmfare Awards!

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Amala gave the actress a tour of the AISFM campus and the new block that was recently inaugurated, Maya Bazar. They then took a small detour and found themselves amidst a lively discussion on storytelling in one of the classes taken by our faculty.

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Coincidentally on this very day, the students held a small programme for their faculty on the occasion of Teacher’s Day. Amala and Samantha, both joined in on the festivities. The students played a few games with their teachers, and Samantha was asked to say a few words on the occasion. She got nostalgic and reminisced about her days in college and spoke to the students about how they must cherish all of the memories they are making. She went on to comment on how a film school is a fantastic opportunity for budding talent and also mentioned her desire to one day, join one of the courses here, at AISFM.

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Welcoming a new batch at AISFM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the complete video of the interesting session right here: