Analyze SHOT by SHOT John Cassavetes’ film ‘A Woman Under the Influence’ – relate it to R D Laing’s texts – ‘Knots’ and ‘Do you love me?’ Adapt Laing’s incredible, universal dialogue scenarios to your context, in your own language and style… Make your own film – with none other than Kamal Swaroop !



  • Unit 1 : 12 to 20 Feb 2022 : Analysis of Film and Text
  • Unit 2 : 26-27 Feb; 05-06; 12-13 Mar : Dialogue Exercise
  • Unit 3 : Self Paced : Make a Film

Online Session Timings : 02:30 to 06:30pm IST


The masterclass is one of a kind plunge into a web of human interactions, identifying patterns, exploring the politics of the interpersonal and transpersonal as constructed in cinema. 

The masterclass’s design is based on the confluence of 3 great auteurs : John Cassavettes, R D Laing and Kamal Swaroop – wherein Kamal Swaroop will deconstruct shot by shot John Cassavetes film, ‘A woman under the influence’ and relate the film to the texts of R D Laing’s two books ‘Knots’ and ‘Do you Love me?” 

While exploring the relationship between the text and the film, a dialogue exercise will be born. Dialogue – an exchange of words charged with meaning and emotions… In dialogues are locked the patterns of human bonds. An entire situational world can be built around what transpires between two people in words and in silences between the words. While deconstructing the relation between Cassavetes’ film and Laing’s text, Kamal Swaroop will take the participants through a construction of dialogues with archetypal characters influencing participants’ own worlds. With this dialogue exercise, with each participant a film will be born. 

Kamal Swaroop will mentor the participants through the drafting of their script (a short film script) to its production into a short film. 

Please note that analysis of film and text goes parallel to self analysis and introspection. The idea is to be able to identify our existential concerns or relationship patterns that intrigue us and give them a cinematic  release. The idea also is to gain command over the language of cinema by constructing a good dialogue. Once a good dialogue is in place, mise-en-scenes can be constructed around it. 

A note on R D Laing and his texts:

R D Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist, a countercultural guru of the 60s and 70s, winning attention world over, especially among the young for his questioning of many of the old concepts of what is “normal” and what is “insane” in a world that he saw as infinitely dangerous in the hands of “normal” people. Laing pioneered a humane treatment of the mentally ill. ‘Knots’, consists of a series of dialogue-scenarios that can be read as poems or brief plays, describing different kinds of relationships and bonds of love, dependency, uncertainty, jealousy. The dialogues could be those between lovers, between parents and children, between analysts and patients or all of these merged together. ‘Do you love me?’ is a collection of poems that show a continuing attentiveness to the everyday exchanges, some would say epiphanies of existence.

A note on John Cassavettes film ‘A woman Under the Influence’

John Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, screenwriter and director, considered a pioneer of American independent film. He financed his own directorial ventures with money he earned from his acting career. ‘A Woman Under the Influence’ is an intense portrayal of a working class family and the dynamics of family, marriage, sex and social interactions. The film is Cassavetes’ most probing, as well as most focused work, because of the filmmaker’s sensitivity and characteristically tolerant view of people, an approach that springs from his actor-centered subjective realism – wedded to a situation of greatly heightened emotional intensity: a mental breakdown and its fallout. 

A note on Kamal Swaroop

“I don’t believe in sense, but nonsense. I don’t want to connect, but rather to disconnect” These words spoken by filmmaker Kamal Swaroop in an interview are an indication of the unconventional, impossible to label nature of this artist. As a journalist once described him, “His ideas are unassumingly bold, preposterously original and tend to cut against the grain almost by design.”

Swaroop is a two time President’s award and Filmfare Award winning film, television and radio director and screenwriter. Graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India in 1974, even his student works have met with unusual international acclaim. Om-Dar-B-Dar (1988) is his path breaking masterpiece. Kamal’s iconic work ‘Tracing Phalke’ is produced in a workshop modality of his own.

Kamal has been an influential teacher to generations of filmmakers from mainstream to alternative. 

Kamal will deconstruct shot by shot, scene by scene this intense psychological drama – ‘A Woman Under the Influence’; he will relate it to R D Laing’s series of dialogue-scenarios, which can be considered as poetry – and inspire participants to write their own dialogue scenarios, which he will mentor into short film scripts. Kamal Swaroop will also mentor productions of the scripts that are finalized through the workshop period.

A note on Participants:

Film Institute Auroville invites for the masterclass experienced and emerging filmmakers and storytellers – actors, directors, writers, editors, cinematographers, audiographers, composers, cinema critics, columnists and creative explorers of all kinds… also a special invitation to psychoanalysts, psychiatrists and those working in the field of mental health.

Participants may enroll in unit 1 i.e Analysis unit alone or unit 1&2 both – Analysis and Dialogue Exercise. Enrolment in unit 3 is subject to successful completion of Unit 2 i.e only those with a final script ready will be mentored through the production of short film.


  • For Unit 1 – Shot by Shot Analysis of film and text : INR 5000.
  • For Unit 1&2 – Analysis and Dialogue Exercise : INR9000.
  • For Unit 3 – INR 3000 – In additional to Unit1&2 Fees – only for those who have finalized script and are ready for production – to be paid only at the start of unit 3.

For International Participants: Unit 1: USD 75; Unit 1&2: USD 140; Unit 3: USD 50

For Aurovilians – Voluntary Contribution.

Participation will be confirmed upon payment of fees. 


Richa Hushing & Rrivu Laha are documentary filmmakers, both alumni of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Richa specializes in Direction and Editing, while Rrivu’s specialization is Direction and Cinematography.  Their films are often character portraits; and portraits of indigenous cultures in face of conflict and at the threshold of change. After a decade-long practice based in Mumbai, in 2017 Richa and Rrivu moved to Auroville, an intentional international township dedicated to the ideals of human unity, free progress and transformation of consciousness. In Auroville, they’ve found Auroville Timelines, a media pedagogy and video arts unit, researching and curating recorded memories of Auroville, creating mnemonics of the dream. Richa and Rrivu are now steering the ‘Auroville Film Institute’ dedicated to the ideal of cinema education, integrating world cinema and world citizenship, experimenting with a new pedagogy, encouraging new practices of conscious cinema. 


Online Session Timings : 02:30 to 06:30pm IST


Digital certificates of participation will be issued.


For queries, if any, please write to: OR

call / message on +91 9969879319.

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