25 February, 2021

The Chennai Express Of Film Schools

Private film institutes in Tamil Nadu are grooming students for hands-on cinema

Master Class
Cinematographer Mahesh Muthuswami teaching at BOFTA
The Chennai Express Of Film Schools

Where do engineering dropouts go these days? Try visiting some of the new film schools in Chennai, you’re bound to find some of them there—honing their skills in wielding an Arriflex camera or writing a screenplay. Chennai’s private film institutes have now become the finishing schools for many graduates and drop-outs from engineering colleges looking to pursue a career in cinema.

“Film schools have been the grooming grounds for the new talent that you have seen in South Indian cinema during the last decade. And inevitably, many of these people happen to be engineers, reluctant ones at that,” observes K. Hariharan, former director of L.V. Prasad Film and TV Academy. It’s a telling commentary on how engineering is often the choice of parents who push their protesting wards into the courses. Having completed the regimen (often with passable grades) under parental pressure, most graduates are now opting for careers they find exciting.

G. Janakaraj, 23, was eagerly waiting to complete his B.Tech in Computer Science. On passing out, he...

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