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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AISFM Grad Film Fest 2016

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It is indeed a proud moment for Annapurna International School of Film & Media (AISFM), when our students are ready to graduate and face the world with their freshly learned and honed skills.

It was time for the Graduation Film Fest 2016 where final year BFA and MA students who completed their film making course showcased their fine skills in the short films that they made as part of their graduation films. It was held at Prasad Labs on Friday, April 29th 2016 at from 4pm to 9pm. Eight short films were screened (of about 20 to 30 minutes duration) during the film festival.

Chief Guests for the evening were; Ms. Lakshmi Manchu; famous actress, producer and television presenter who is known for her works in Telugu cinema, Tamil cinema and American television; Mr. Gopi Mohan; popular screenplay and story writer of blockbuster movies Dookudu and many more; Mr. Kalyan Krishna, who created a sensation with his very first directorial debut Soggade Chinni Nayana; Mr. Ramesh Prasad, famous Indian businessman, film producer, chairman and Head of Prasad Studios, Prasad Art Pictures, Prasads IMAX and L V Prasad Eye Institute; Ms. Supriya Yarlagadda, Executive Director of Annapurna Studios, who has been highly instrumental in transforming the traditional studio into a corporate environment; Mr. Sumanth, famous film actor known for his work and meaningful cinema; Mr. Akhil Akkineni, young star and heartthrob of many girls.

Mr. Bala Raj, the Dean of Annapurna International School of Film & Media and well-known Hollywood professional who has written, produced and directed award winning English films was also present on the occasion.

The films that were screened were of various topics; if one took you to the 1900’s then the other touched upon a topic that not many are comfortable talking about. If one was about a long cherished dream, the other was about a simple gesture, to smile!
The films screened were:
Parchaai, a drama, which features the journey of a school student who tries to redeem himself after an event that has occurred in his past.
Varnamaala, a story set in the early 1900’s where the zamindari system is at its peak. There is one head person for a village who has the authority over every person of that village. This is the time where lower caste people are considered to be untouchables and are banished out from villages. This is one story of how one man tries to change this in his own way.
Inside Job, a psychological thriller. It’s a play between the human soul and brain where the brain propels the soul to explore the untraversed territories of human senses. It tries to question you about your perception of reality and pushes you to think one more time about you, about yourself.
– One of the greatest feelings in life is to be able to smile and feel carefree, even if it is just for a moment. The documentary, Navvu, explores the importance of laughter through concepts like medical clowning in the highly stressful lives of those who’ve had to spend time at hospitals.
Sattvam, a film about Ratan, an ambulance driver. He is a very crude man, one who never believes in his duty of saving lives of people in emergency. When faced with a situation which makes him introspect the reasons behind the attitude he has developed, will he resist or accept to change?
Sort the Spot, the story of two girls and a regular day in their respective schools. But that’s not it. Something strange happens. A girl’s first period – a topic still considered taboo by many in the country; it’s time we talk about it in the open.
Khwaish, a film about Karim Khan, who is a small town guy from Kashti. Karim is a vendor of Nimbu Sarbat which he sells on his cart in the Village. Karim unlike other small town guys is very different and still hopes of achieving his dreams at any cost. Karim is very close to this small kid Arjun (12). Karim’s ambition, his goal, his only dream is to  go to Lord’s and watch India play cricket. Can Karim achieve his dream ever?
Rangula Ratnam, a story is about a Sale’s man and a Lawyer. How they meet each other and interchange their profession for one day. After that what are the challenges they face individually. In the end how they save the life of two people, who are related to the same conflict is the story. Does the story end on a positive note?

After the screening of the short films, the chief guests shared their thoughts on them. Speaking about the event, Lakshmi Manchu said, “Congratulations on such incredible work. I am inspired by all of you. It’s always inspiring to see new visions and it is very important to see new ideas come forth. A lot of hard work goes into cinema and here overnight success happens in 10 years.” Giving advice to the students she said, “Nothing is more beautiful than cinema, define yourself. What is the story that you have that is compelling to tell? Identify that and keep your passion, drive and love alive for cinema.”

Ramesh Prasad, speaking at the event reminisced about how his father, L. V. Prasad (one of the pioneers of Indian cinema and a producer, actor, director, cinematographer and businessman) started his journey in films and said that there were four things that his father followed and advised the students to do the same; “passion, patience, perseverance and purity of thought.” He further added, “You as youngsters should know about cinema. There is great power in the medium of cinema, the more you are involved, the more you churn. The challenge is the content. The future is on you, take it forward.”

Sumanth speaking at the event said, “You have a wonderful opportunity, let your imagination flow.” He also recollected an incident wherein he had gone to a top film house in Bombay recently and a person came running up to him and introduced himself as an alumni of AISFM, who incidentally was there, to sell his script to the film house.

Akhil Akkineni lauded the efforts of the students and appreciated them and their movies. He said, “My grandfather’s dream was to give back to cinema and he would have been proud to see your wonderful films.” He further added, “The harsh reality is don’t ever let yourself down if your vision is not translated onto the screen. Stay on your course. Passion for what you do is very important. If you don’t love it, don’t do it, you won’t last.”

Bala Raj, Dean, AISFM, speaking at the event, congratulated the students and said, “you have endured the making of a film and you now know what goes on into the making of a film and this premiere of your short films is a great accomplishment, so congrats to all of you.”

Later on, the students interacted with the guests and a brief question and answer session with the Chief Guests and faculty of AISFM was held. Cherishing these momentous moments forever, photographs were taken with the chief guests for keepsake!