Television

Digital Academy set for launch

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Professionals complaining about a shortage of institutes to impart training in the field of film and television finally have something to look forward to. Digital Academy, which claims to be Indias premier television and film-making institute, will open on 5 April with a career fair.

The institute is the brainchild of Kartikeya Talreja who will be the managing director. Talreja says that the idea came about due to a lack of trained professionals in the entertainment industry. The venture has received the backing of his father Basant Talreja.

An official release informs that Digital Academy positions itself as somewhere between the extremes of a university and a career institute. The objective is to provide short intensive curriculum offering basic to specialised courses covering all aspects of film-making. These will benefit the novice as well as the serious film-maker. Offerings will also be related to pre-production, production and post-production in filmmaking the release states.

Elaborating on the strategy, Talreja made the following remarks: The Digital Academy is located at Andheri East between Seepz and Tunga Paradise Hotel, MIDC. It is housed in the Gemini Studio complex where we have our production facility - a building of four floors with expansion capabilities of three more floors."

"Digital Academy will offer extensive hands-on, practical oriented training. And our students will get to make a demo feature film as part of their course, encouraging them to start off as independent film-makers by the end of their course.

"Other sections of the campus houses a mini theatre with the finest equipment for projection and to reproduce sound at its best in acoustic surroundings, a faculty room, a well furbished library, a digital editing suite, digital sound editing and recording suite.

"Special subject class rooms including over a 1000 sq ft dedicated to the acting and direction classes with web cast facility, each of the class rooms are being cabled for networking and to recieve the broadband signal whenever they arrive and a cafetaria.

"The building houses all the facilities, props, shooting equipments, make up rooms, special effects and editing suites, DV cameras and other equipment required to make a complete film without stepping out of the building.

"The institute will be ready for operations on 5 April 2002. At the moment we are giving the finishing touches to all designs. We would like to put this on record that 70 per of Digital Academys faculty are full time employers while 30 per cent of the faculty members will be on our Guest Board.

"Besides this Digital Academy will also have visiting artist and technicians who will be giving lectures and conducting seminars. At any given time a minimum of eight full time faculty will be on the premises. The total staff strength will be around 30."

Talreja said the Digital Academys efforts will be supported by industry professionals and celebrities, including ex-FTII graduates, as faculty members. Digital Academys large investment will house bleeding age technology machinery to assist the students to make a feature film on a shoe-string budget.

Elaborating on course content, Talreja says the academy would be offering two main courses besides specialised elective courses. The academy is offering The Film Appreciation Course & The Foundation Course and various specialised courses. The Home Film Essentials Course is targeted at housewives who are curious about the world of film. The Little Actors Course can be taken up by little children during vacation time.

Regarding the response Kartikeya says: "We expect to enroll and train 1200 students in the first year of operations with plans to expand through a carefully chosen franchisees. Once franchisees are in place we expect to train another 1200 students."

One of the prominent guest faculty who would be giving lectures at Digital Academy is Prayag Raj, a writer who has long been associated with Merchant Ivory Films, as well as having scripted Bollywood blockbuster films like Coolie and Amar Akbar Anthony, Talreja says.

The various courses offered by Digital Academy are intensive period courses. The courses will run for about three months, five days a week non-stop for six hours a day in two batches. The Foundation as well as the various specialisation courses will run for three months each, according to Talreja.

The career fair is being held on 5,6, and 7 April. For details call 022-6901427 or send an email to response@digitalacademy.info.

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