To succeed in any field today, professional training is a prerequisite, be it management or acting. “By joining such institutes, even if you don’t learn acting, you learn how to watch cinema, what is good and what is not,” said veteran film actor Vikram Gokhale, who teaches at the DES Institute of Film and Television.
It’s never too early to start learning and this adage holds true even for acting. There are several institutes that teach youngsters in the city so that they can progress faster. “We have even seen people come at the age of 60 to learn acting; they want to learn as they are interested in it and there are roles for them as TV serials and advertisements require senior actors. “It is always good to start early as kids are very enthusiastic and ready to learn new things; they are also able to practice a lot. They are like a clean slate on which one can write what you want,” said Smita Talwalkar, founder of Asmita Chitra Academy.
Indira Acting School, which was started in association with actor Jackie Shroff, also includes acting courses for students. The Diploma programme is modelled on the programmes offered by acting schools around the world. Shroff had earlier pointed out that an actor is born an actor, at a press conference. But he added that, “A good actor evolves after skillful training and guidance. In a world full of competition and rat races, it is a great help to groom the natural actor within to achieve the fullest potential,” he had said.
Asmita Chitra Academy is all set to start two new training programmes spread over three and six months. During these short-term courses, lessons on theatre basics, camera handling, editing and screenplay writing will be introduced to the candidates. The academy that started with just 25 students now boasts of hundreds of students on its roster. A formal syllabus has been introduced and at present there are eight instructors. The curriculum covers acting lessons as well as activities such as script-writing, dialogue delivery, direction, make–up, hair styling, music and backstage operations.
Acting aspirants can also enroll at the DES Institute of Film and Television where acting veterans like Vikram Gokhale, Abhiram Bhadkamkar and Girish Kemkar are involved in academic planning and regular training. They have certificate courses where the main focus is on introducing filmmaking, direction, craft and aesthetics, content design and writing for visuals, etc. At the end of term, each student has to produce a short film, documentary, fictional sequence or a social advertisement with a maximum duration of 7 to 10 minutes.
At DES Institute of Film and Television, Chiplunkar Bhavan, Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, near Alka Talkies, Navi Peth; Asmita Chitra Academy, Sinhagad Springdale School, Khilare Path, next to Kalinga Hotel, Erandwane; Indira School of Communication, 85/5-B New Pune-Mumbai Highway, Tathawade; FTII, Law College Road.
Where to enroll
> Courses at Asmita Chitra Academy will start from July 28 at Sprindale school, Karve Road.
> Courses at DES Institute will be held every Saturday (6 pm to 9 pm) and Sunday (10 am to 5 pm). Last date of admission is July 26 (till 6 pm).
> For courses at Acting Academy at Indira School of Communication, the last date of admission is July 27.
> A two-year Diploma course for post-graduates can be done at FTII. It starts in August but the admission process starts in January itself.