January , 2018


It Happens Here :>

Students at the seminar. Credit: Ghost Rider

St. Mary’s College, Yousufguda conducted an ‘International Documentary Film’ seminar on 13th August, Thursday. The seminar was conducted to encourage the students of ‘Mass Communication and Journalism’ to take up documentary filmmaking during their college life so that it would give them hands-on experience in the longer run and also to help people understand the moral of movies by producing good quality films. (Picture: Students at the Seminar. Credit: Ghost Rider)

The seminar was specially organized by the lecturers, principal and students of the college. They had put in a lot of effort and hard work during the preparation to make the seminar interesting and worthwhile for the students. The media too was also invited to cover the seminar. Reporters from various media houses such as TV9, Sakshi TV, Local TV, etc were seen covering the event and taking interviews from the dignitaries and students. Students from other colleges were invited for the seminar as well. Few of the people, who attended the seminar were mass-communication students from Villa Marie College and few other colleges, the mass-communication students from St. Mary’s College too had taken and active part in the seminar.

Two international documentary films were screened, as a part of the seminar. Beginning Filmmaking, a 23 minute documentary, produced and directed by Jay Rosenblatt was the first one. The story revolves around Ella, who is gifted a video camera on her fourth birthday by her dad, who is a filmmaker. About two  and a half years ago, she had told him that she wanted to be a filmmaker as well. It took the audience through one year of trying to teach a preschooler how to make a film. Ella rises to the challenge but on her own terms. The audience experienced the joys and frustrations, both of being a parent and of being a child and also found out that they do have to be careful what they wish for on their birthday. The audience liked the story and posed a lot of questions to the jury members and all of them  were answered.

The Director of the college with other visitors at the seminar. Credit: Ghost Rider

The Director of the college with other visitors at the seminar. Credit: Ghost Rider

Dr. Joseph, Lecturer at St. Mary's, addresses the gathering.

Dr. Joseph, Lecturer at St. Mary's, addresses the gathering. Credit: Ghost Rider

Dignitaries from the Consulate of US, Hyderabad, at the seminar. Credit: Ghost Rider

Dignitaries from the Consulate of US, Hyderabad, at the seminar. Credit: Ghost Rider

The other film that was screened was The Hobart Shakespeareans, a 52 minute film, directed and produced by Mel Stuart. The movie narrates the experiences of a very gifted and noble teacher Mr. Rafe Esquith, who tries to teach English to the non natives of English. His students are the children of immigrants in LA. A Mel Stuart film, it traces the journey of the children of Hobart school throughout the year as they prepare for one of Shakespeare’s works ‘Hamlet’. It’s a touching tale, which shows how a teacher can mould any and every child into a great human being. Post the movie, Ms. Sandra Ruch screened an interview of Mel Stuart himself, exclusively for the students. Among his other expert comments & experiences of Mel Stuart while making the movies, he shared the 5 Golden rules of documentary filmmaking, namely:

• know that you have it in you to be a film maker
• know that you have Luck
• find you Guardian Angel
• work the room, and
• the power of the Idea

Student volunteers of St. Mary’s College, with other Dignitaries pose for a picture. Credit: Ghost Rider

Student volunteers of St. Mary’s College, with other Dignitaries pose for a picture. Credit: Ghost Rider

The man, who has 190 films to his credit, gave out a final message that one shouldn’t invest time in something that one doesn’t believe in. A press meet followed the screening. The students, who had some documentary films to their credit also had the opportunity to screen their films, which were appreciated by Ms. Sandra. A student of Villa Marie College had the chance to screen her movie titled the ‘College Day’, which received a good applause by all the students because they could relate to it. At the end of the program, the Director of St. Mary’s College, who has been the driving force behind the success of this program presented the guests with a ‘Goody Bag’ out of the ‘Tuck Shop’ of St. Mary’s College. The personalized college merchandise- T-Shirts, Caps and Coffee mugs were given as souvenirs to all the visiting dignitaries. Dr. Joseph Christadoss proposed the vote of thanks. The visiting dignitaries, students and members of faculty were treated to a High Tea.

Students were made to watch the movies and a question and answer round was conducted after the completion of each movie. All the students actively participated in the seminar and clarified all their doubts that were related to film making. Both the movies were very much liked by the audience and the venue was seen packed with more that 200 participants. The movies were screened in the mini theater, which is located in the last floor of the college. The theater has boasts state-of-the art facilities and the latest sound systems. Some of the other dignitaries at the seminar were Mr. Salil Kader, Cultural Affairs Specialist, Consulate of US, Hyderabad; Mr. Rachel Chadalavada, Admin & Cultural Affairs Assistant, Consulate of US, Hyderabad; Mr. Phalguna Jandhyala, Media Advisor, Consulate of US, Hyderabad; Mr. Showkat Rather, Media Advisor Assistant & Web Master, Consulate of US, Hyderabad; Mr. B. Arogaya Reddy, Chairman, St. Mary’s College; Ms. Y. Mary Reddy, Secretary & Correspondent, St. Mary’s College; Mr. B. Mahender Reddy, Director, St. Mary’s College and Dr. T. Rabbi Puthiran, Principal St. Mary’s College.

The chief guest for the seminar was Mrs. Sandra J. Ruch; Sandra Ruch served as an Executive Director or the International Documentary Association (IDA) (a non profit membership organization with 3000 members that promotes nonfiction film making and supports the efforts of film making around the world) and the publisher of Documentary Magazine from 2001 – June 2008. Ms. Ruch enjoyed a wide range of responsibilities, including events (such as Documentary week and the IDA awards), Special programmes (such as screenings and seminars), the fiscal sponsorship program (which grants nonprofit status to independent documentary filmmakers so that they can more readily raise funding), publications, the IDA website, public relations, marketing and financial operations – but what she has always been most passionate about is working directly with independent filmmakers.

Program co-ordinator Mrs. Anju Prasad with the Chief Guest Ms. Sandra Ruch. Credit: Ghost Rider

Program co-ordinator Mrs. Anju Prasad with the Chief Guest Ms. Sandra Ruch. Credit: Ghost Rider

Mrs. Ruch was a part of  juries and expert panels at film festivals and conferences around the world. Most recently, she was invited to the 2008 cinema Vérité Festival of Iran and served on the prestigious Joris Ivens jury at the 2008 International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA). She is currently working on a project for the US Department of state, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, creating the American Documentary showcase (a special collection of 30 American films that will tour US Embassies and festival throughout the world in 2009), Ms. Ruch is also the co-Founder of DocAngeles: The Los Angeles International Documentary Film festival, to be launched in 2010. Ms. Ruch has extensive entertainment industry marketing experiences. Prior to IDA, she was: President of marketing for New Line Cinema; Sr. Vice president for Cinergi Pictures and for 12 years served at the Manager of Cultural Programs for Mobil oil Corporation, where she supervised the Mobil/PBS television series, Masterpiece Theatre, aw well as MYSTERY! With WGBH/Boston and co-produced the PBS series Pride of Place: A History of American Architecture. Mrs. Ruch also co-produced Quick Silver Highway, a FOX TV Movie of the Week.

The seminar was a grand success and all the students enjoyed it and thanked the college for organizing such an interesting seminar. “We really had great fun and it was a really great experience and I thank St. Mary’s College for organizing such a seminar for us, hats off to St. Mary’s”, says a student at the seminar and another student adds on saying, “This was my first seminar, where I never went to sleep, thanks a lot”. “We got a chance to showcase our talent and we hope St. Mary’s comes up with many more seminars like this in the days to come”, says a student from Villa Marie College. The student volunteers deserve a special word of praise. They were smart, well mannered, pleasant and performed all the tasks assigned meticulously and energetically. Mrs. Sandra Ruch was highly impressed by the energy of these volunteers. All in all it was a day well spent and well learnt. Kudos St. Marians!

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