Fancy this: a classroom where national award winning director, J. Mahendran (of Nenjithai Killathe a 1980s Tamil film) walks in to conduct a class. A little later, maybe Madhu Ambat, another national award winning cinematographer walks in to talk about photography in films. Or it could be Tamil actor-director K.Bhagyaraj (of Mundanai Muduchu fame) lecturing on screenplay writing. An added treat would be watching old classics of theirs. Now who would want to skip classes here?
Bofta-Blue Ocean Film and Television Academy, the new address in Chennai, offers such an environment to students aspiring to make a career in films.
The brainchild of G. Dhananjayan, who is with Disney-UTV, Bofta was launched in Chennai on March 4.
Dhananjayan, who has been a visiting guest lecturer in film schools of India, says, “During these visits, I understood the real need of the students, which is to interact regularly with the masters and learn from them directly instead of professors and academicians, especially with regard to the art of film making.”
It sparked the idea for Bofta.
Dhananjayan next worked on bringing experts from different fields of cinema and television.
He emphasises that veterans from the industry will be regular faculty members and not guest lecturers.
“They will be taking a minimum of two to three classes a week. Students will learn the skills directly from them.”
With a list of accomplished professionals on the list of faculty members such as editor B. Lenin (national awardee), actress Kutty Padmini (head the department for Television Production), actor-director R.Parthiban (also national winner for Puthiya Paadhai), as well as young directors like Vijay (remember Madrasapattinam?) and Karthik Subbaraj (of Pizza and Jigarthanda), Bofta aims to become south India’s most prestigious film and television academy. Dhananjayan will be a part of faculty dealing in film production course.
Bofta offers courses in acting and different aspects of filmmaking as well as a course in film journalism.
Located in Kodambakkam, with world-class infrastructure that includes preview theatres, dubbing suites and a library of books and DVDs, Bofta is open for admissions. The academic year will commence from July.
Dhananjayan who has authored two books (rather tomes) on Tamil cinema (The Best of Tamil Cinema and The Pride of Tamil Cinema) says, “Our aim is to train and develop talent by imparting practical knowledge and to help students achieve their career dreams in the industry.”
Producers T. Siva, Kutty Padhmini, JSK Satish Kumar and V.M. Lalitha are the investing partners of Bofta.