Rs. 9.5 crore sanctioned for development of infrastructure at MGR Government Film and Television Institute in city

After talented filmmakers and movie technicians, the State will soon be able to produce quality visual-effects experts.

Work is on at the MGR Government Film and Television Institute to create laboratory facilities and frame a syllabus for a new course to be launched the coming academic year.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sanctioned Rs. 9.5 crore for development of infrastructure at the Institute, said minister for information and special programme implementation, K.T. Rajenthra Balaji, on Thursday.

The Institute will provide three-year diploma courses in motion picture visual effects and motion picture animation.

“Film is a tool that can disseminate socially significant messages to the masses. It can also wreak havoc if used inappropriately,” said Mr. Balaji.

There are very few visual effects experts in the country who can successfully compete with those trained abroad. As a result, most filmmakers prefer to use foreign talent.

Kadal, Dasavatharam, Enthiran and Ra.One used foreign visual-effects teams,” said N. Srinivasan, academic coordinator of the Institute, who is likely to take charge as principal in March. “The newly-designed course will help students from weaker sections of society to pursue a world-class course at an affordable fee,” he said.

Courses in animation and special effects are expensive at most private institutes. “Such institutes charge lakhs for animation and allied courses but produce talent that does not know the language of filmmaking. The course to be launched by the government will produce visual-effects creative heads who will create a big impact in the film industry in a few years,” said R. Subramani, another faculty member.

The course fees will range around Rs. 3,000 for students from the weaker sections.

R. Chandrasekaran of Prasad Group said the course should have been launched a decade ago.

“Chennai’s filmmaking institutes have produced good directors, sound engineers, film-processing heads and cinematographers. But we have to depend on visual effects experts from foreign countries for cutting-edge technology. The newly-designed course will help fill the gap,” said Mr. Chandrasekaran.