The workshops/ short term courses or the cinema-centric learning journeys at Auroville Film Institute are conceptualized, curated and coordinated by Richa Hushing and Rrivu Laha. The curriculum design for each course/workshop is worked out in consultation with the respective course directors/ visiting faculty.
Some of AVFI’s main course directors / associate faculty are:
Kamal 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.
Sudipto Acharyya has studied cinema at FTII, Pune, with specialization in Direction and Screenplay Writing; and Masters in Film Studies from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sudipto has a long engagement with teaching Cinema. He is currently a Senior Faculty at Whistling Woods International – Mumbai. He has presented academic papers on cinema at film schools like Lithuania Music and Theatre Academy, Vilnius; Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman University; Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg and Bilgi University, Istanbul. He is part of an Artistic Research project involving BRICS nations that look at social interstices with the help of cinematic practices. His film ‘Harbour Line’ and ‘Weekend Chill’ has travelled to national & international festivals.
An alumnus from SRFTI, Kolkata, Debkamal Ganguly is an independent filmmaker, researcher and teacher of cinematic arts. He taught for 8 years 2012-20 and designed curriculum in FTII, Pune, in the depts of Film Editing, Film Direction and Screen Studies. Also served as guest faculty in NID, Ahmedabad, Flame University, Pune, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar. His films have won several awards including the ‘Tiger Award for Shorts’ in Rotterdam (IFFR 2007). Hid video work got published under special curator-ship from Lowave, Paris. his other artworks featured in the exhibition ‘Indian Highway’ in galleries of various cities of Europe and Asia. Debkamal has presented papers in various international seminars on themes like Deleuze studies, visual art, interfaces of art practices, translation studies, collective memory, Bengal studies, Media studies, pedagogy of cinema etc.
Madhu Apsara is one of the most prominent sound designers in the industry. He has a long and highly impressive list of films to his credit starting from Hawa Hawai where he worked as On Location Sound Recording to the recently acclaimed Andhadhun where he worked as Sound Designer. The Dhoom Series, Ab Tak Chappan, Ek Hasina Thi, Hazaron Khwaishen Aise… are few of his many notable works. He is a Filmfare and National award winner. Not only an ace industry professional, he is an inspiring and much loved teacher. Currently he is teaching Sound in Film and Television Institute of India.
Amitabh Chakraborty is an ace editor and a National Award Winning Film Maker. He is an alumnus of FTII, Pune who is respected for his Art-house cult films like Kaal Abhirati,Bishar Blues and Cosmic Sex which has been critically acclaimed in India as well as other countries. He has been on jury of several internationally reputed film festivals. Amitabha has also conducted classes and workshops in the prime film schools of the country over more than two decades. He has been a revered mentor for several generations of film students.
Putul Mahmood, an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), is a filmmaker, producer and teacher. She is the producer of the indie Bengali feature film Cosmic Sex and has directed several short fiction and documentary films including You Who Never Arrived featuring Irrfan Khan and Geetanjali Kulkarni, Man of Silence- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, I Shoot U, Atasi and Three Sisters. Atasi won the Best Film Silver Conch at MIFF 2020 and a National Award in 2022. Putul Mahmood also works as a Script Consultant on short fiction and feature films- Serious Men on Netflix is one of her recent works in that capacity. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Direction and Screenplay Writing Department of the Satyajit Ray Film and TV Institute in Kolkata.
While being a DoP for other stalwarts, Ranjan Palit’s tryst with his own kind of cinema as a director has only intensified. Known to play with shadows, Ranjan Palit’s latest feature film “Lord of the Orphans” is truly ingenious, reflecting an exceptional creative order summoned from a chaotic underworld. One cannot but feel a haunting luminescence… Alumni of Film and Television Institute of India, Ranjan Palit is a 4 times National Award Winner. To know more of his body of work, please visit his IMDB page here.
Avijit Mukul Kishore is a filmmaker and cinematographer who stretches the boundaries of documentary filmmaking, incorporating multidisciplinary elements as he explores the capacity and influence of moving images. Rohan Shivkumar is an urban designer and architect interested in the social issues that shape usage of and infrastructure around built spaces. As collaborators they have delved into an exploration of Indian modernity that encompasses a look at the country’s changing citizenry and evolving ideas about how architecture defines notions of home, spotlighted in their recent film Nostalgia for the Future. Kishore has directed nearly a dozen films and worked as a cinematographer on more than fifty. Shivkumar has served as principal of his own architecture and interior design firm since 2002 and is the Dean of Bachelors at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture, Mumbai. Both have deep roots in academia, regularly giving lectures, publishing articles, and curating film programmes.
Dr Deborah Stein is the author of ‘The Hegemony of Heritage: Ritual and the Record in Stone’ (UC Press 2018; and Mapin 2019). Trained as a medievalist art historian of South Asian Art, Dr. Stein holds a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and has taught widely at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, Mills College, San Francisco State University, and California College of Arts. She has lectured locally and internationally in Hindi, French, and English. Professor Stein has published several peer-reviewed articles on topics such as multi-sectarian patronage and early modern industrial sites, corporeality and early tantric religion in India, mineral resources worship and stone in tribal premodern India. Dr. Stein teaches Arts of Asia, South Asian Art, and Special Topics in Early Modern and Medieval Global Arts at SF State as well as Introduction to the Arts and a new multi-media studio/theory course entitled, Diachronic, at California College of Arts.
Dr. Shyaonti Talwar is an academician, researcher and a writer whose areas of interest include popular culture, social inequality, literature, mythology and gender. A poet and a performing artist, she loves creative expressions and feels it is important to voice her critical observations. “Devi in the Diva” is her latest publication (ISBN 13 : 9789390961320).
Shanti Bhushan Roy is a Filmmaker, Cinematographer, Educator and Motion Picture Consultant. A former software engineer, He is an alumnus of FTII, Pune. His wide range of filmography includes fiction films like Oscar shortlisted Ballad of Rustom, Wedding Anniversary, Shuttlecock Boys & Humne Gandhi Ko Maar Diya but also Non Fiction films like Rubaru Roshni, Partners Crime etc. He has worked on the milestone TV program “Satyamev Jayate” hosted by megastar Aamir Khan. He is amongst the few Filmmakers in India to be exploring the VR, 3D-360, AR.
Sanket Ray is an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune where he trained as a cinematographer (2016). He graduated in Journalism from Mumbai University in 2012 and worked as a journalist in The Times of India. Later he worked with Times Now as a web editor and assistant promo producer for two years. He then shifted to NewsX where he worked as Assistant Producer in feature shows. Since 2015, he became involved in cinema and studied under Richa Hushing and Rrivu Laha, documentary film makers and co-founders of Auroville Film Institute. He assisted in television serials and assisted in many documentary films. He also conducts photography and drawing classes for children.