April 20, 2006

Filmmaking in India

Akira Kurosawa, the legendry Japanese Film Director's son has started a private film academy to teach movie direction in the spirit of Kurosawa. Many of his colleagues including Teruyo Nogami and Tatsuya Nakadia will also be part of the institute which will offer courses in production and acting.

The school is still in production but applications for the 80 seats in production and 30 in acting which the institute would offer are being accepted. The application form is still in Japanese which means that you can apply only if you know the language. Kurosawa might have taken his art to high levels, but it has still failed to break the barrier of language.

Film making is an art form, which many of us desire to learn. So I decided to compile a list of resources which are available to us right here in our country. Though I still believe that the best way to get into film making would be to buy or rather lend a camera and start shooting, and take your film to BYOFF next year, a few references wouldn't hurt.

Application Form (via)

In you are interested in film studies in India, you might have a look at a few of the following schools:

1. FTII, Pune
Established in the year 1960 on the erstwhile Prabhat studio premises at Pune. It is now considered as a Center of Excellence not only in India but also in Asia and Europe. Films made by students have won many National and International awards and have the alumni has penetrated all corners of the Indian film and television industry.

2. Whistling Woods, Mumbai
This film school by Subhash Ghai recently has the best equipment amongst the schools in India. The Head of Departments include Naseeruddin Shah, Anjum Rajabali, Rajen Kothari, Umesh Gupta, Rakesh Ranjan and Ashish Kulkarni. It offers diplomas and short professional courses.

3. National Institute of Design, Ahemdabad
They offer graduate and post graduate courses in Animation Film Design and Film & Video communication. Admission announcements would begin by the end of Septemeber. This year students from NID have won 5 awards in Indian Documentary Producers' Association Award for Excellence.

4. Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata
The Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute has been set up to provide the students latest education and technological experience in the art and technique of film making. Financed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, it offers a 3-years Diploma course in Film Direction, Motion Picture Photography, Editing and Sound Recording.

5. St Xavier's College, Mumbai
It offers courses in Television & Video Production which are aimed at providing an integrated overview of film and television with emphasis on direction and production. According to the website, there are input sessions three days a week in the evenings from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m. and a practical/laboratory/self-study session from 4 to 6 pm everyday. Works out more like a part time course.

6. Asian Academy of Film & Television, Noida
It offers graduate, post graduate and very short term courses in varied disciplines. The school is spread over 100 acres and students get to work with directors like Satish Kaushik, Subhash Ghai and Ram Gopal Verma.

7. Digital Academy, Mumbai
This school offers courses in Acting, 3D animation, Screnwriting, Cinematography, Non Linear Editing, Direction, Film Making, Sound Recording and Engineering.

If you're still looking for more, take a look at FilmMaking.net. Well however, if you don't have the time or the energy to take up one of these courses (like me), you could get some of the following books to wet your appetite. They are available in Pune at Manny's and I'm sure the would be available across India.

1. An introduction to Film Studies, by Jill Nelmes
2. The Filmmaker's Handbook, by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus
3. The Filmmaker's Guide to Directing, by Renee Harmon
4. Teach yourself Film Making, by Tom Holdon.

Related Links:
Self Reliant Filmmaking (link) Sam Longria's Film Blog (link) Film making Central (link) Osian's Cinefan Talent Campus, a five day workshop in Delhi for aspiring Film makers. (link) New Trends in Film Making, by Fine Print (link) A blog on Good Indian movies with a focus on Paralell Cinema (link) Making Films in Western Australia (link) Film Budgeting (link) The lost face of Indian Cinema (link) Alternative Indian Cinema (link) Creative Blog Directory (link) Film Making for the poor (link) Adventures into Filmmaking (link) Guerilla Filmmaking (link)