A Showcase Of Cinematic Talent At Whistling Woods International – Masterclasses Led By Minds Behind Award-Winning Films
This was a no ordinary week at Whistling Woods International (WWI). Back to back interactive sessions and master classes saw the campus abuzz with excitement and students satiate their quest for knowledge. Asia’s premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts Institute has always strived to inculcate global standards of education to create a generation of talent capable of working in any professional setup around the world. The Masterclasses served as the ideal showcase of this philosophy and saw the attendees benefit from the combined wisdom of both national and international teams of filmmakers over the course of the spellbinding days.
The bustling week began as WWI hosted world-renowned scholar, filmmaker, and ethnomusicologist Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy as she conducted an exclusive masterclass session for WWI School of Performing Arts – Music Department. Over the course of an enlightening session, she highlighted the importance of traditional music and shared tales from over the course of her career, while instilling the importance of preserving India’s rich musical heritage in her enthralled listeners. Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy interacting with the students further elaborated on the nature of her work – which revolves around the breaking of communal barriers through shared cultural and musical experiences.
In another masterclass, WWI hosted Bindu Sharma, Co-Founder, and CEO of Vya Naturals. Bindu started the session by advising the students, “Success is not an accident, but a direct result of hard work. Consistency is the key.” Bindu accompanied by fellow co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Hans Vivek, shared rare insights about young entrepreneurship and the challenges it poses in a session moderated by Nisha Chanda, HOD, School of Creative Arts – Fashion Department.
As the masterclass progressed, Bindu Sharma highlighted the importance of blogs on her journey as an entrepreneur and the invaluable experience of her earlier corporate role. On a more personal note, she shared her own experiences with skincare, and stated, “You need to be consistent in your routine to obtain the skin type you want.”
Vivek subsequently shared his own working experience, stressing the importance of retaining clients as a start-up. When asked about the role played by marketing, he responded, “The key is to make the public unlearn certain facts and then educate everyone again. Never rely on buzzwords.” With the session coming to an end, the duo had a final word of advice for the attendees, “If you choose to become an entrepreneur, do it for yourself. But working first is absolutely crucial.”
Yusuf Mehta, Head of Department for Animation, VFX, Gaming & Comics, organized an interactive session for the students in which he welcomed the star-studded team behind award-winning animated film ‘Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya’: acclaimed director and animator, Shilpa Ranade, members from the Paperboat Animation Studios, and Narayan Parasuram, co-producer at multimedia company, Karadi Tales. Though the film is scheduled for an India release in March, the thrilled audience was granted the privilege of an advance screening of this internationally-acclaimed hit. The panel subsequently discussed the artistic heritage behind the film’s style and the state of the animation industry in India.
Rob Giles, Senior Technician at the University of Plymouth, at another session elaborated on the challenges of independent filmmaking. He shared his experience shooting historical documentary ‘How Do You Fix a Town like Plymouth?’, which has been selected to screen at this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival. Centered on the life of Joseph Davidson Sowerby, Chief Constable of the Plymouth borough police from 1892 to 1917, Giles highlighted the process behind dramatizing a story.
The final masterclass of the tremendous week witnessed Dharmesh Joshi, Associate Creative Director at Social Kinnect, take to the stage alongside Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI. During the highly interactive session, Joshi captured the imagination of the audience as he described his journey to becoming a digital content guru. When asked about the things that set him apart, he shared, “Say your own story and you can never fail. Remember to stay true to the moment; once you fake it people will stop following you.” The session ultimately came to a close with Joshi’s final piece of advice resonating in the minds of the attendees, “At the end of the day, we aren’t here to make great content, but instead make great friends and build a great community. Always respect your connections.”
As the sessions reached the conclusion, the guests were presented with tokens of appreciation by Meghna Ghai Puri amidst the applause of a packed auditorium.
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