Saturday, January 17, 2015

What Our Participants Say

Our participants come from all walks of life, ranging from management to photography to engineering and more... We not only get college students but also a large number of working professionals. Our participants may be as young as 16 or they may be older than 50. What unites them all is a passion for films and filmmaking. 


I joined this workshop to gauge where I want to be in filmmaking; in return, I got a fresh pair of eyes, a new perspective and hands-on experience of equipment. A combination of which was completely unexpected in a weekend workshop. This is possible because of the commitment of the faculty involved... Today I have a new found love for films which will last me this lifetime. So if you want to be inspired, look at this course.
PRASHANTH VISHWANATHAN, DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER: WEEKENDS 2014
Prashanth is a noted independent photographer who shoots for Reuters, New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, Unicef and other organisations. He also teaches documentary photography in Delhi.

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I found this workshop to be an excellent space to develop an understanding of film language. Five years hence, I still fall back on things I experienced and discussed during that workshop. I credit the workshop for helping me decide on my further studies in a film school and my career as a cinematographer.
UDIT KHURANA, CINEMATOGRAPHER: SUMMER 2009
Udit is a cinematographer and an alumnus of the L V Prasad Academy, Chennai. His work as cinematographer includes the award winning short fiction, Devil in the Black Stone; For the Love of a Man (to be released), an international docu on superstar Rajnikanth; and corporate films for Muthoot Finance.

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Before joining, I expected this workshop to be a “how to” kind of training, but it really encouraged us to think on our own. As a student of journalism at Delhi University, I knew about films, but felt that there was something was lacking in the way they (the University) approached the medium. This course immersed me in the language of cinema, made it accessible and developed in me a passion which keeps me going till date.
PRIYANKA CHHABRA, FILMMAKER: SUMMER 2004
Priyanka is an independent filmmaker and editor who studied at NID after our programme. Her experminental films, The Furnished Room and A Summer Flu have won acclaim and awards in the festival circuit; and A Summer Flu has been invited to Oberhausen in competition. 

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The foremost thing I've learnt is the hard work that goes in even if you’re making a 5 minute film. There are lights, sounds, locations, production, art design, schedules, etc., of which I had no clue. [...] This workshop has given me the confidence towards making my own films.
ISHAN SHARMA, FILMMAKER: SUMMER 2011
Ishan is an independent filmmaker with two short films that he has produced and directed. Most recently, he was Chief Assistant Director on Mantra, an indie feature film that is under-production and stars Kalki Koechlin. 

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I don’t think I would have such a strong hold over the basics of filmmaking if it weren’t for the Intensive Programme. It changed the way I perceived cinema. Making a short film in such a professional environment made me confident enough to make more films and go to a film school.
MANPRIYA MAKHNI, FILMMAKER: INTENSIVE 2012
After the programme, Manpriya Makhni was taken on a BBC series as a researcher. She later joined the Prague Film School, and is working on her independent projects today. 

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The programme has turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. For one, I learnt a lot of things that I never expected to – like how to manage the difficulties of teamwork under pressure. I’ve learnt to handle the production process from zero – organising actors, locations, and all… It’s been really instructive – and tough – to apply everything that we’d learnt in practicals to the final film shoot. The editing table was a source of constant learning... It has been very close to what it’d be like to shoot a professional project.
MARIBEL IZCUE, JOURNALIST: WEEKENDS INTENSIVE 2008
Maribel is a Spanish journalist who writes for the El Periodico de Catalunya, a newspaper from Barcelona. She takes a keen interest in social documentary.

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The past few weeks have been great for my creative growth. With this programme, I hope to start working on my independent filmmaking projects.
SARANG SENA, FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER: SUMMER 2014
Sarang is a professional photographer who shoots fashion and fine art. In the past, he has worked with the India Today Group as a photojournalist working in the documentary and portraiture format. 

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I think the programme was a wonderful starting point for a person like me who doesn’t want to invest more time pursuing further studies in this field. Before this, I had gone through articles and other content on film making, which had given me a theoretical idea, but I wasn’t confident about the process in its entirety. This programme helped me to deconstruct the filmmaking process and make it less mysterious.

The final exercise in shooting fiction was the highpoint for me, as that’s where my interest lies. Working with actors, conceptualizing a scene, understanding the narrative structure and story flow – it was a wonderful experience. The course was also very insightful in terms of how filmmaking teams function as a unit. With things going wrong and things going right, it was a lesson in what to expect and how to manage conduct in real-life film crews.

Lastly, the programme has been great for me in terms of developing a network. Knowing people who are interested in film making and the performance arts will help me in identifying other opportunities and perhaps working together with some of them in the future.
RICHA LODHA, MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL: SUMMER 2008
Richa worked with the not-for-profit sector in USA till recently. She is currently based in Delhi, and intends to pursue her filmmaking activities further.

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The whole experience makes me feel more confident about what I want, and how to take things further from here.
JESSICA SADANA, FILMMAKER: SUMMER 2007
Jessica is the director of Prabhat Pheri, an acclaimed short film, and has studied filmmaking at FTII, Pune

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The most useful aspect was the practical side of the exercises. The situations got close to real conditions and proved valuable as learning experiences. The programme has helped me realise a lot of things about myself. It was great working with different people and I learnt the importance of good team work.
ANKIT MEHROTRA, ADVERTISING PROFESSIONAL: SUMMER 2006
After the programme, Ankit studied at FTII. He currently lives in Mumbai and works in the film and advertising industry. An avid still photographer, his photostreams can be found online.

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It has helped me pursue my passion in this field, and to understand how to take things forward after the programme.
VARUN SUD, CINEMATOGRAPHER: SUMMER 2005
After the programme, Varun joined Whistling Woods to learn camera skills. He is currently based in Bombay and works as an independent cinematographer in adverts and music videos.

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It helped me understand so much more about aesthetic detailing. It taught me patience, team-work and planning. It turned out to be a most challenging experience.
SUNAYANA SINGH, CINEMATOGRAPHER: SUMMER 2004
Sunayana studied Cinematography at FTII Pune. She is the cameraperson for the acclaimed docu, Tales from the Margins and has shot for various international projects.

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My expectations from the programme have been more than met. Before joining, I never imagined that we will reach this far; and the final film was truly a learning experience. The preparatory shooting exercises that we did towards building a narrative sequence were invaluable. The scripting sessions and storyboarding exercises with their mentored inputs were a great learning experience. The editing of the final project was an eye-opener – I realised half the film is made on the editing table. After this programme, I feel confident about making a short fiction film or a documentary.
MANU KHURANA, ARCHITECT: WEEKENDS 2008
Manu Khurana is an architect by profession, a jazz lover and a film buff. His work as a still photographer has been exhibited in public.

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The environment was great for learning, without fear of failure. Over a period of time, I found I was able to judge my own work - sometimes even critiquing it myself before others had a chance to do so. Handling the camera equipment was undoubtedly the best part for me – I doubt we’d be allowed to get so much freedom with cameras elsewhere. Today when I watch a film, I feel I am not a mere spectator. Even while walking on the road outside, I see things as if I were looking at them through the frame, through the camera…

I’ve understood that sometimes a film is made in the scripting, and at other times its made on the editing table… Oh, and I continue to still read the study material – it’s such a compact set of inputs that we can build upon.
ASTIK SINHA: SUMMER 2008
Astik was a student of Journalism at Delhi University at the time of joining the programme.

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The open and informal approach came as a breath of fresh air.
ABHIK GHOSH, SUMMER 2004
Abhik works as an advertising professional in Mumbai.

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Shooting on our own from the very first day, and then analysing it together, was really helpful. [...] “Learning through mistakes” been the highlight of the programme for me. It’s also been great to learn from other people’s works. Moreover, the exhaustive study material is great!
BHAMATI SIVAPALAN, MEDIA PROFESSIONAL: SUMMER 2008
After the summer programme, Bhamati studied Mass Communications from MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia. She is an independent filmmaker and video editor.

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I now understand the kind of effort that goes into a production. This understanding – which I did not have earlier – is invaluable for me towards my work.
KABEER HAZARIKA, MARKETING PROFESSIONAL; WEEKENDS 2008
Kabeer is a Partner in Mediacreaft, a media production company in Delhi.

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I learnt so much about exposure, white balance, light, colours – all those things one tends to ignore when one is so used to digital cameras. I found the film screenings very helpful – when we watched movies at the of a day, it was no longer about the story – it was all about light, sound, colour, camera placement, acting… we saw these films in a very different light, we paid attention to detail.
ARUNIMA SEN, SUMMER 2008
Arunima is a music and movie buff, who puts her handycam to constant use.

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I used to dream of making films earlier, but now I have found the way to make those film-dreams come true.
VISHAL AGARWAL, WEEKENDS 2008
Vishal works with a multinational corporation based in Gurgaon; and engages with writing, photography and filmmaking for the pleasure of it.

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The programme completely exceeded my expectations in the amount and quality of training we got in such a short period of time.
KHUSHBOO RASTOGI, WEEKENDS 2008
Khushboo is a partner in a company in the IT sector. She is looking to explore her options in acting and filmmaking.

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You think you know something, you think there hardly is anything to it, and then you get down to actually learning it and doing it, and you realise how wrong you were! This realisation was vital for me, as I intend to take up film-making as a career. I found the final fiction shooting was really important for me. It was my one chance at culminating all that I had learnt in the preceding weeks. And the amount we learnt in that short span of time was simply mindblowing. Although we cribbed about the hours, and the heat and the sun, we all knew that what we were learning was unmeasurable.
SHAYONI SARKAR, SUMMER PROGRAMME IN FILMMAKING, 2007
Shayoni Sarkar is currently based in England; and makes films – both for herself and for NGOs – as often as she can.

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The most useful aspect of the workshop is the hands on approach. The practical exercises particularly the out door ones helped bridge the gap between theoretical understanding and technical capabilities. The workshop added fuel to my interest, consolidated my understanding, and helped me realise my limitations.
CLAIRE PREST, SUMMER PROGRAMME IN FILMMAKING, 2005
Claire is an Australian who lives and works in India as a team leader for adventure travel groups.

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I have become more observant. I pay attention to colours & light lot more.
TANUSHREE BHASIN, SUMMER PROGRAMME IN FILMMAKING, 2006
Tanushree was an undergrad student at LSR, Delhi University at the time of participating in teh workshop.

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The most useful aspect is that each participant had been given access to the camera and using it with out instilling fear of the equipment.
SWASTIKA MEHTA, SUMMER PROGRAMME IN FILMMAKING, 2005
Swastika is a broadcast professional. She has worked with NDTV, MidiTECH, and several media production organisations in Delhi.

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The screening sessions introduced me to the world of documentary and world cinema which I didn’t know existed.
SONIYA BHARAT, WORKSHOP IN FILMMAKING, 2004
After completing the programme, Soniya has been assisting a Delhi based filmmaker.

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Comfort with cameras. I finally understand what an aperture means and does…
JAIDEEP S WARYA, SUMMER PROGRAMME IN FILMMAKING, 2008
Jaideep is an early-career architect and film enthusiast..

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The hands on technical experience on equipment like PD-150 cameras, FCPs, mikes etc. would have otherwise been impossible at such an early stage (in my career).
ABHIMANYU CHAUDHURY, SUMMER PROGRAMME IN FILMMAKING 2006.
Abhimanyu joined the Editing course at FTII after the workshop. He currently works in Mumbai as an editor and post-production professional.

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