Hands-on training to make films makes all the difference, says Suniti Ghoshal
It's raining courses for those aspiring for a career in the film and television industries. While age-old institutes like the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune have carved a niche for themselves, the recent years have seen a spurt in privately run institutes in Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad among other cities. Now, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) that boasts of many Hollywood and Bollywood alumni (including actor Imran Khan) wants a share of the Indian pie.
The NYFA will offer month-long filmmaking and acting workshops in New Delhi this October. This is just the beginning of more such short-term courses to be held in India by the academy, asserts Suniti Ghoshal, who is the Indian spokesperson for the institute.
A similar month-long workshop was held in Mumbai in May this year with the participation of 80 students from all over India. Buoyed by the vibrant film industry in Hyderabad and the interest shown from city-based students, Suniti Ghoshal felt the need to spread the word about the workshop in the city.
She is aware that students have more choice today. “Having said that, the difference between doing a course from an institute like the NYFA and smaller institutes is similar to the difference between graduating from the IIM and a non-descript MBA from other institutions,” she says.
At a practical level, she points out, “During the four-week intensive training in filmmaking, students will make three films. The student to camera ratio will be 4:1, which is unheard of in most institutes in India. Instead of listening to theory or watching your teacher demonstrate with an outdated camera that you will later share with 20 others, you gets hands-on training. So, instead of starting their career as glorified spot boys, they will actually know the nuances of filmmaking, editing, etc.”
The faculty will be from the NYFA and the course will dent your wallet by Rs. 1.85 lakh. “In the Mumbai course, we had a number of people who have a few years work experience and hence could avail bank loans,” she cites. These students will have the advantage of one-month fee waiver if they sign up for a full-fledged course with the NYFA eventually.
Suniti herself is an alumnus of NYFA. She began her career by assisted Sanjay Khan for The Sword of Tipu Sultan and Shashi Kapoor for Ajooba before moving on to advertising, corporate jobs and then the tourism department of Chattisgarh. Here, she got back to filmmaking by making movies on the state's tourism. “I realised I wanted to get back to filmmaking but didn't want to start from scratch. I had learnt the basics in college. I chose this short-term course at NYFA,” says the lady who then founded her company Yellow Submarine Film Pvt Ltd.
The national and regional film and television industries, she points out, is shedding its pre-conceived notions about film institute graduates. “There was a notion that film institute students don't meet the requirements of the industry. Today, though, there are a few NYFA alumni in television and film companies and know that students from such institutes have an edge over the others,” she explains.
The workshops for filmmaking and acting will be held in New Delhi from October 1 to 29 and each batch will accommodate 50 students. For details, visit www.nyfaindiaworkshop.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org .