New Cinematography Institute In Chennai

An exclusive international cinematography institute, which opens in Chennai this October, will help create a new breed of world-class talent for the industry.

The Achariya School of Moving Image Technology and Arts (ASMITA) – established by the Achariya Group of Educational Institutions in conjunction with multi-award winning Indian Director of Photography (DOP) Mr. Ravi K Chandran, and Camerimage-nominated cinematographer Professor Alexander du Prel from the Mozarteum University at Salzburg – will open its doors to eligible Indian and international students on October 19, 2015.


The institute’s globally-focussed curriculum, which will lead to a Diploma in Cinematography, has been developed by master cinematographers and Professor R Narayan Kumar, who until recently headed the cinematography department at the LV Prasad Film & TV Academy in Chennai.  Prof. Alexander du Prel has been named the institute’s Inaugural Dean.

The institute’s mentor Ravi K Chandran says the modern day cinematographer must learn to be an artist-designer-technologist all rolled into one.

“To succeed in this highly competitive industry, an aspiring DoP has to be able to beautifully unite technology with art. He/she will have to keep up with the latest trends and emerging practices, yet never lose sight of the aesthetic sensibility,” he says.

Prof. Alexander du Prel says that cinematography is much more than using the latest camera equipment and technology – it is “visual poetry.” He adds that any story, be it pulp fiction or something more serious, can be told through pictures, but what matters is how.  “Every frame has a meaning. The trick is to find a simple image to describe the situation or feeling, and to do that consistently, with conviction,” he says.

Chief Mentor of the Achariya Group,

Dr Arawindhan says the Group was proud to help establish ASMITA. “We wished to bring international standards of academic excellence to India, and also help make India an attractive education destination for international students.

 “ASMITA’s curriculum is on par with those of European film schools,” Dr Arawindhan says. “It is set up to meet the evolving needs of the global cinema industry, attract new talent and offer opportunities for collaborative learning and exchange of ideas.” R Narayan Kumar HOD, Cinematography at ASMITA who is also an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India at Pune, has over 25 years of experience as a cinematographer and teacher, straddling both roles with equal passion. His in-depth teaching experience includes stints as the Head of Department for Cinematography at two iconic Indian institutes – the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute in Kolkata and the LV Prasad Film & TV Academy in Chennai. Pondi Ravi, Director and Admin Operations at ASMITA is a successful entrepreneur, producer and actor from South India. In a career spanning two decades, he has worked on 60 feature films in various languages, including in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu.

Along with contemporary cinematography techniques, from conception to post-production, the program will teach aspiring DoPs to think like a visual storyteller, enhance their creative instincts and develop a signature visual language utilising the latest technology available in the market.

As part of their curriculum, students will attend Camerimage, the world’s leading festival for cinematography. Camerimage is the world’s most important festival for the art of cinematography. Held in Poland every November, Camerimage recognises films for their visual, aesthetic and technical values, and awards the best international talent. Ravi K Chandran and Alexander du Prel are both 2010 Camerimage nominees. Ravi was nominated for the film ‘My Name Is Khan’ and Alexander for ‘Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne.’ Here, students will hear first-hand from global legends of cinematography, learn about the latest developments in technology and art, attend workshops, join competitions and get an opportunity to integrate with the international community.

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