Master Class with Veteran Film Writer Akella

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Master classes are always looked forward to, by our students. For it is the value that the master class setup brings; all students benefit from the master’s comments on a subject and get expert advice, while still learning the finer nuances of their art. They also help students network and plan their future career development.

This time it was a Master Class by the veteran and versatile creative artist and film writer, Akella Venkata Suryanarayana, popularly known as ‘Akella’; who is a film writer, film director, TV writer, TV director, stage writer, stage actor and director.

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Akella has written more than 200 short stories in all leading Telugu magazines and many of his stories were translated into various Indian languages. He has also written more than 30 novels and he was credited with “Yuva Magazine Chakrapani” award, “Visala Andhra” award, “Vijaya Monthly” award and “Andhra Prabha Novel” award. His most outstanding novel “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha” was translated into French. The celebrity drama writer has written more than 40 plays, playlets and traditional plays (Padya Natakam). His theatre plays won 13 State Nandi awards.

The Master Class was attended by great enthusiasm by our Acting and Fundamentals of Film Direction (Telugu) students. Interacting with the students, the writer-director spoke at length about the importance of a story, screenplay and dialogues. He laid emphasis on the importance of characterisation, behaviour, body language and emotions for actors and how it is essential to read books to gain more knowledge and perspective.

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Bala Raj (Dean, Academics), who was present on the occasion, also shared his valuable inputs about the film industry and the importance of hard work and dedication to one’s craft.

The Master Class offered our creative and motivated students an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the working of the writing and directing fields of the film and television industry.

“Don’t Prove a Point, Do it for Yourself”, says Swapna Ashok 

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8th, well-known TV host, writer, singer, journalist and radio jockey, Swapna Ashok came to Mayabazar, AISFM campus for a very engaging, interactive and lively session, which was held exclusively for women.

Currently managing editor of Telugu news channel Sakshi TV she started her career in TV anchoring with TV9 (Telugu) and has done popular shows like Shara Maamule. She later moved to radio as the regional programming head of BIG FM 92.7 and hosted interview shows including Dil Se and Close Encounters. She comes from a family who have coincidentally been associated with radio; her mother Jyotsna was a FM radio presenter known for popular programme JAPA 4 and her maternal grandmother was Radio Bhanumati of All India Radio, Chennai fame.

Starting off on a high note she posed a question to all the women audience and asked ‘what does Women’s Day means to you’. Answers from the students and staff, ranged from been given the freedom to make their choices in life to taking their own decisions. Talking about her experiences of working in the media industry, she said that “Media is responsible for the influence it can impart to the society at large as we are in a sensitive profession” and went on to speak about the role of media in shaping society.

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To the question ‘What is empowerment to you?’, some of the students raised valuable concerns that they face while been part of society at large and noted that change should start at the grass root level to make a difference. “Creative when rearranged is reactive and we need to think of different and creative ways to deal with various scenarios,” she said and added that “If you want to do something or bring about a change, do it for yourself but don’t do it to prove a point to others.”

The session ended on a charged note where a select few voiced their opinion about the need of the hour and what message needs to be conveyed. “Respect individuality”, “Teach boys from childhood about how to respect women”, “Teach girls to be strong and empowered” were a few of the messages that struck a chord. Swapna concluded the session with the message that self awareness is required for women to be empowered and said “You define, you decide, you choose!”