Children explore AISFM & Annapurna Studios!

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AISFM has opened doors for outreach programs in a big way. Starting with the recent International Teacher Training Workshop for the local schools, Annapurna Studios & AISFM are playing an active role in the local culture & education system, bridging the gap between the society & film industry. AISFM & Annapurna Studios was vibrant with little voices and smiles of excitement as 40 children from across India visited their premises on a day-long trip.

AISFM took this initiative being an Academic Partner in the International Children’s Film Festival of India (ICFFI) 2017, organised by Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and the Telangana Government. As a partner of this film festival, popularly known as, ‘The Golden Elephant’, Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM), hosted dinners for delegates, CFSI board meetings, and sent their experts as panel members to support the festival.

The cheerful little students came from various places, including Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa etc.

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Then it was time for a quick, short and crisp learning session for the students. Divided into two groups, one group learnt about the finer nuances of animation and the other group learnt the art of acting. The Animation Group had a small six-scene storyboard to follow, wherein the children created live models of each scene in the story with play dough which was then shot on a camera; when replayed was a mini-animation movie in itself! The Acting Group learnt what goes on behind the camera in acting and how to act and express oneself.

While all the children unanimously said that they loved the whole experience, they all wished to have a full fledged longer workshop.

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Mohd. Nadeem, a Grade 9 student from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir, who was attending the film festival and coming to Hyderabad for the first time, loved the ambience and said “the ambience, cleanliness, people and facilities are very nice and I loved the movies shown too.” J Abhilash, Grade 9 student from Government School, Narsampet said, “I want to learn acting and know more. This workshop was very nice and it will help me in concentrating too.” Aivya, Grade 8th student from Ryewood International School, Lonavala found the workshop very interactive and interesting and Kabir from Sharda Mandir, Goa felt that the workshop was an eye-opener into the field of film and media.

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G Venkateshwarlu, teacher from Government School, Narsampet, lauded the AISFM facilities and said, “The workshop was really nice and was a way of expression for the students; more such workshops should happen.” R Saraswati, teacher from ZPHS, Hayathnagar said “the children’s wish is not fulfilled in one day; they want to join it and want to come back for more.” Shweta Pardesai from Ryewood International School, Lonavala said “both the workshops were very good and they will really help the children in eye-hand coordination, concentration and in studies. What I really liked was that all the children in each workshop were given an opportunity to showcase their talent.” Veena Kumari, teacher from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir said, “It has been a great experience for the children to see the studios, campus and workshop and also the movies at the festival; and we would definitely want to come again.”

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Children need to understand the value of visual media and film and that it is a very powerful medium which should be included in all curriculums. This event was very helpful for the students to learn more and gave them great exposure and a concrete idea on how things work in the film industry, be it animation, lights, sounds, music etc., according to the need of the movie. These skills are something that the children can use in their classrooms too.

Annapurna Studios and AISFM are proud to be a part of the CFSI activities and glad to open its arms wide for the imaginative young audiences & future citizens of India.

Movies that are kept in your Book Shelf!

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Adapting books as a screenplay for movies has been going on as a routine in the movie business in any form of cinema. Adaptation of novels or stories into movies is another way of putting out quality literature by transforming it into a screenplay for a movie on the big screen. Here’s a short list of books that might be kept in your movie hard-disk.

  • Gone With the Wind:

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Director: Victor Fleming | Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh |

Based on: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

  • The Godfather

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Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino |

Based on: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

  • Gone Girl

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Director: David Fincher | Starring: Ben Affleck, Roasmund Pike, Neil Pattrick Harris |

Based on the Novel by: Gillian Flynn

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

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Director: Sam Taylor Johnson | Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan

Based on  the Novel: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

  • Inkheart

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Director: Ian Softley | Starring: Brendon Faser, Eliza Bennett

Based on the book: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

  • The Hunger Games

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Director: Gary Ross | Starring: Jennifer Lawerence, Josh Hutcherson |

Based on: The Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins

  • Life of Pi

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Director: Ang Lee | Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

Based on: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

These are a very few examples; different storylines or concepts give birth to many different ideas and with diverse applications of multiple forms of media, a story can be put out in so many different formats. Some people prefer books over the movies, and some can’t get over the movies to read the books.

What’s your favourite movie quote?

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Every film fan has a favourite movie quote, including you and me! The memorable lines are also some of the greatest lines in film history. Sometimes, they reveal a vital truth about the film, introduce the film or give you a glimpse of what the film is all about. The dialogues often set the mood and tone of the film and are often great one-liners.

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“Elementary, my dear Watson.” Did you know that Sherlock Holmes never utters this line in any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories; it was invented entirely for the movies.

Keeping us hooked onto them forever, here are 30 favourite and greatest Hollywood movie quotes ever, carefully handpicked famous quotes and lines from new and old movies for you to compare to your own list.

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  • “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Love Story, 1970
  • “As if!” Clueless, 1995blog1
  • “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” Chinatown, 1974
  • “I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” Midnight Cowboy, 1969blog3
  • “They’re here!” Poltergeist, 1982
  • “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, 1937blog4
  • “I wish I knew how to quit you.” Brokeback Mountain, 2005
  • “My precious.” The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002blog10
  • “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Jaws, 1975
  • “May the Force be with you.” Star Wars, 1977blog6
  • “You talkin’ to me?” Taxi Driver, 1976
  • “There’s no place like home.” The Wizard of Oz, 1939blog11
  • “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Fight Club, 1999
  • “I’ll have what she’s having.” When Harry Met Sally, 1989blog8
  • “I see dead people.” The Sixth Sense, 1999
  • “You can’t handle the truth!” A Few Good Men, 1992blog5
  • “E.T. phone home.” E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
  • “It’s alive! It’s alive!” Frankenstein, 1931blog12

Top horror-comedies to look out for!

 

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Ever been scared of laughing too much? Nobody can be. Here’s a special film genre that blends horror and comedy into one hilariously terrifying experience. As it mixes the ends of two unexpected worlds, you may end up screaming with laughter. Here is a list of horror comedies you should look out for to experience this special genre to its fullest:

  • Zombieland (2009): In the post apocalyptic world, where partying with Bill Murray in his house is as natural as killing zombies sets an edge for this American zombie comedy film. Add this one to your list to be in treat for a hilariously terrifying experience.
    Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone.

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  • The Cabin in the Woods (2012): Another American horror comedy which includes monsters like Zombies, a werewolf, a unicorn, a merman and essentially a group of college students revolving around the events from an underground facility.
    Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison.

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  • Scary Movie (2000): Being known for a parody of horror and mystery genres. It is followed by four more sequels and has proven to have a legacy in this special genre. From the writers of Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans comes a roller-coaster ride of unexpected horror twists and funny turns.
    Starring: Anna Faris, Regina Hall.

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  • Shaun of the Dead (2004): Another apocalyptic zombie uprising is Shaun of the Dead, a British horror-comedy movie. It successfully pokes fun at all zombie movies making you giggle, jump or cover your eyes at the same time.
    Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost.

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  • Ghostbusters (1984): Despite being hilarious, the scary scenes in this movie are not to be ignored too. There is a balance between the horror and the comedy. Bill Murray’s hilarious one-liners cut the tension and make the movie worth re-watching.
    Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd.

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  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010): The Canadian Horror-comedy never fails to impress, it is an instant cult classic as it is so well written. Crowd pleaser at the Fantasy Film Fest in Berlin and many other film festivals. Do not miss watching Tucker and Dale being funny, gory with heart and delivering a gem of a movie.
    Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden.

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  • This is the End (2013): Take another one from Seth Rogen with James France and Jonah Hill facing an apocalypse while attending a party at James Franco’s house with many other celebrities. You love these actors; you’ll love the movie.
    Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Seth Rogen.

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  • A Haunted House (2013): A fan of paranormal activity? Watch it come to life in a hilarious take. This movie is a parody of the “found footage” genre much like Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside. A sequel followed the next year.
    Starring: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte.

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Horror and comedy can be a complimentary combination, if taken in the right sense of humour. It’s just like Halloween in a way; Comical but with a touch of horror.

“Find that unique ‘You’ and develop it”

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Geeta Singh has been an editor for nearly two decades and has edited and put together over a 1000 hours of programming, across genres, cross channels and in different formats. Having been a linear editor in the past, her fundamentals and craft are rock solid, which allows her the opportunity to experiment and push the boundaries whenever it is demanded. Having edited three shows and programs that have been shortlisted to the exclusive Panda Awards (also known as the Green Oscars) is testament to her abilities as an editor.

She is currently editing Tigmanshu Dhulia’s feature film, Yaara and is the co-writer and editor of feature films like Listen Amaya, with the Late Farouque Shaikh, Deepti Naval and Swara Bhaskar, which was released theatrically and has travelled to several international film festivals. She was also the series editor for a four-part series on the Kolkata Knight Riders for the Discovery Channel titled ‘Living with KKR’ and the editor for the international version on the Kolkata Knight Riders called ‘Sons of Kolkata’.

She visited the AISFM campus recently to conduct a Guest Lecture and we spoke to her to know about the finer nuances involved in the art of editing. Read on to find out what she has to say.

Do you think editing styles have changed over the years?
They have become more refined and more conscious of editing. I don’t think that much thought was given to it earlier. There is a lot more thought, technique and craft that goes into it now, though it is still an invisible part of the filmmaking process. Because it is not very often that you see a film and very rarely do you comment about the editing. You might comment about the other technicalities but not editing, so in that sense it is still invisible. But the editors and directors have become more conscious of the small details and cuts involved, so I think the importance of editing is been recognized. Thank God for that.

Do you think editing can make or break a film?
“Well, I think it is 100% true. The editor comes right at the end of the film and then it is the editor’s responsibility, it is on his or her shoulders, to ensure that the film turns out as per the director’s vision and exceed the expectations.

While we often confuse editing with pacing, I don’t entirely agree with that because every film has a different need of pace and rhythm. Every film cannot have the same pace because it is motivated by the characters and so many other factors. Very often you may have shot a particular script and when it comes to the editing table, you come to know that it is not working and you might have to change the whole ending. That could change the way the film works or doesn’t work. Also sometimes the point of view of the writer’s can be greatly improved by editing and the way you construct shots, the usage of shots, etc. For example if you have A, B & C, the order and arrangement of these three shots can make a difference, and how much you hold a shot. It’s just that one frame extra that can make it or break it. Sometimes you feel that shot could have been held that much more. It’s just those fine details that really make all that difference. That’s where the editor’s job lies where you can construct that narrative and you can keep that rhythm that is required for that film. A fast film is not necessarily a good film; if it’s fast, it’s a requirement of that film and if it’s slow, it is for a reason.

You’ve worked across different genres and formats, out of all those which one was the most challenging and why?
I find documentary editing the most challenging because it is less structured, so you can begin and end anywhere, find a viewpoint and you could change the whole thing around and there is no one way of starting a story. Whereas if you talk about feature films, it is a little more cemented because you have a bound script. Even there, there is flexibility where you might decide to not begin the way it was shot or the way the director imagined it to be, you might change it around. But documentaries, for me, are still more challenging.  And having come from a large documentary background, I think it is an advantage for me.

What’s your favourite film, in terms of editing; a movie that you wish you had edited?
There are two films that I wish I had done, which are extremes in terms of editing styles and story. One is a French film called Amour, where you really need courage to edit like that. Where you have the courage to believe that you can hold a shot for two-and-a-half minutes without cutting, you need to internalise that kind of rhythm. You need to find your own internal rhythm to know we can pull the shot more. So that’s a bit of a challenge and which is interesting for me to do. The other thing is of course the Oscar winning film Whiplash, in terms of editing, which is extremely opposite to Amour, in terms of pacing and the student-teacher relationship. So, again here you have beat, rhythm and drama and it is very different. These two films are very different, equally satisfying to watch and be a part of. In terms of classics, I would have liked to work on some of Satyajit Ray’s films.

As an editor, have there been instances of professional differences where the director has his stand and you yours; and how does it always sort out?
Differences are there and differences are good because if there is no conflict then there is no fun. Conflicts always bring the best out and I think as long as it is not a conflict of ego and if it is for the betterment of the product, the film, then I think conflict is great. I think it is one person communicating with the other about the logic and reasoning and about why it should be a particular way and not the other way; and then arriving at an amicable solution.

That said, do you think, the director should not be interfering in the editor’s arena because he has his perception and wants to see it a particular way?
Fortunately or unfortunately, I always maintain that I cannot work if the director is sitting with me constantly while I am editing; so I prefer to go and edit myself so that I have that freedom and objectivity. Because I am seeing the rushes for the first time and with a very objective approach, where I don’t have any preconceived notions and have only read the script, so I am able to interpret it in my own way; and I like it that way. Once I am done then the director comes and sits with me at that time, and I am happy with that. I am not happy if the director will sit from the beginning till the end.

Have there been instances where the director has said, ‘sit along and see how its shot, so that you also see what I have in mind’?
Very rarely, only once or twice. Largely no and I prefer it that way. I am conscious of the people that I work with, since the relationship between a director and an editor is extremely crucial and if that equation is wrong then it is not good.

Any suggestions and key elements to keep in mind, when it comes to editing?
Well, as they say, ‘Cut with your gut’; keep your instinct alive. The other thing is that we all tend to become very close to our work, where we are not able to take decisions, which is not very good. It’s good to be close and love what you do, but beyond that one should be open to another opinion. Students still have a long way to go and the more they do, the more they practice, the more they watch to learn; and not just to sit back and enjoy, and learn about what went into the edit and other technicalities and apply that, is important. It is imperative to find that unique ‘You’, that separates you from the clutter, which comes over the years, is what is essential and needed. But if you are conscious of it, then you develop it and evolve it further.

Top Ten Pick of 2015

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The year gone by has given some great gems and even bigger duds. But mostly it has been good for Hindi films, which had a good balance and mix of a variety of movies ranging from historical to romantic and from the best of VFX used in movies to real-inspired stories. And they all seemed to have managed to work well with the audience.

While some movies may not have been big-budget films, they still have fared brilliantly at the box-office and most importantly earned great reviews from the critics.

Here’s our list of some of the best movies 2015 has seen:
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  1. Bajrangi Bhaijaan
    The story of a man with a noble heart who tries to take a young mute Pakistani girl back to her homeland to reunite her with her family, touched the right chord with the audience and it was a big hit. Salman Khan essaying the lead role was much appreciated and people flocked the theatres to see it over and over again.

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  2. Bahubali
    In ancient India, an adventurous and daring man gets involved in a decade-old feud between two warring families. The slick film with great special effects and exceptional performances broke all language barriers and was widely well received making it a big blockbuster across the country. Cinemagoers are eagerly looking forward to the second part of this most expensive film ever that has an otherworldly medieval landscape, with gigantic waterfalls, towering mountains and forests.

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  3. Drishyam
    Drishyam had what it takes to `hook’ the audience, be it in any language. This was one movie that had a universal appeal and touched the right chord, a story that people liked and appreciated for its novel theme and treatment. The original Drishyam (Malayalam) was inspired by Japanese crime-writer, Keigo Higashino’s novel The Devotion of Suspect X and was later made as Drishya (Kannada), Drushyam (Telugu), Papanasam (Tamil) and Drishyam (Hindi). The story is about a man who tries desperate measures to save his family from the dark side of the law, after they commit an unexpected crime.

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  4. Bajirao Mastaani
    The tale of romance between an Indian general Baji Rao I and Mastani, a Muslim princess proved to be a box-office success. Right down to its sets, songs and war sequences, everything was grandeur personified. The lyrical masterpiece with its poetic dialogues and literary brilliance strike the audience with its grandeur.

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  5. Manjhi
    Using only a hammer and a chisel, a man spends twenty-two years carving a road through a treacherous mountain. This movie is a salute to the acting skills of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and was based on a true story and critically much appreciated.

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  6. Talvar
    The film is about an experienced investigator who confronts several conflicting theories about the perpetrators of a violent double homicide. It is as real as reality can be with its portrayal of the professional rivalries between investigating teams and is a brave film that devastates and makes for a compelling watch.

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  7. Tamasha
    Tamasha is about the journey of someone who has lost his edge in trying to behave according to socially acceptable conventions of the society. This complex and intriguing journey is a theatrical attempt at exploring love, life and the love for life in its best form – free from the shackles of society. Ranbir and Deepika’s performances were a notch above the rest.

    Piku

  8. Piku
    The quirky comedy about the relationship between an ageing father and his young daughter, living in a cosmopolitan city, dealing with each other’s conflicting ideologies while being fully aware that they are each other’s only emotional support is a new story never before seen on screen. The movie offered no romantic escapades but the relationship between the eccentric family of Piku was endearing and much loved.

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  9. Badlapur
    After his family is killed during a bank robbery, a man tries to avenge their death. That is the story of Badlapur, a revenge saga that plays out with great intensity and superb acting by its lead actors.

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  10. Dum Laga Ke Haisha
    A slim uneducated guy is pressured into an arranged marriage with an over-weight college girl. The mismatched couple are challenged to compete in the annual wife-carrying race. A new kind of story, it was critically acclaimed.

Rewind: Best of 2015!

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The year 2015 finally came to an end a couple of days ago, and like each year, we look back to see what gems the year had to offer. Without any further ado, AISFM presents ‘Best of 2015’. Our list includes the most downloaded apps, music, films, TV shows, and much more. There are a few surprises on it, but for the most part it’s pretty straightforward and you’re probably already a fan of most of the mentioned items.

Most Downloaded Song
(Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ featuring Bruno Mars)uptown funk
The track, which features Bruno Mars, notched up a combined sales and streaming total of 1.76 million to finish at the top of the end of year chart. The song’s total combined sales since its release in November 2014 stand at 2.25 million! This was followed by Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and Adele’s ‘Hello’ which, to be fair, came out a lot later in the year than the aforementioned tune, which came in at #6.

Most Downloaded TV Show
(Game of Thrones)
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On the small screen ‘Game of Thrones’ (Season 5) was the #1 download. Here’s a nerdy statistic for you ‘Game of Thrones’ fans: There are more illegal downloads of the show every week than there are people in King’s Landing. That’s according to piracy monitoring service Irdeto, which monitored illegal TV downloads for two months earlier this year, and found GoT to be increasingly popular. Around 116,000 copies of the show were downloaded each day on an average. (King’s Landing, according to the George R.R. Martin books, has a mere 500,000 souls.)

Most Downloaded Movie
(Interstellar)
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According to figures from Excipio, which tracks BitTorrent downloads, the Matthew McConaughey flick got a whopping 46.7 million downloads from the start of this year to December 25. Compared with ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, which was number one on the same list in 2014, with 30 million downloads, 56% more copies of the film were downloaded. This is so out of this world!

Most Downloaded App
(Trivia Crack)
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When it comes to free iPhone apps, social media definitely ruled. If you had a hunch that Instagram and Snapchat were in the top 10, you’re right. They were #5 and #4 respectively. The #1 spot in this category went to Trivia Crack. When talking about paid iPhone apps, the games ruled. Heads Up!, Minecraft: Pocket Edition, and Trivia Crack were the top three downloads.

Most Visited Website
(Google)
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Alexa ranks websites based on a combined measure of page views and unique site users. Alexa creates a list of “top websites” based on this data, time-averaged over three-month periods. Only the site’s highest-level domain is recorded, aggregating any sub-domains. According to Alexa Internet, google.com is the most visited website of 2015.

Most Used Instagram Hashtag
(Love)
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Instagram is slowly but surely becoming the new Facebook. With hash-tagging becoming the most used thing with every passing day on instagram, we just could not complete this list without including the most used hashtag of the previous year. According to Webstagram, in 2015 the hashtag used the most was #love. This was followed by #instagood, #me and finally #tbt.

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