Venkatesh Chakravarthy,the Dean of Direction and Screenplay Writing in Ramanaidu Film School at Hyderabad is a noted film maker, playwright and an author. On January 13th 2010 he was invited as a chief guest for the seminar titled ‘mise en scène’ organized by Reelty Bites, a film club in Madras Christian College, Tambaram. Excerpts from an interview with him…
Who was your motivation behind film making?
My father, Srinivasa Chakravarthy is a great inspiration for me. He had produced around seven movies in Tamil. Travelling along with him to the film sets and locations inculcated a desire and a passion towards film making in me.
How the academic life in Madras Christian College molded you?
MCC always have a special place in my heart because it is where I did most of my higher studies. I gained a lot of knowledge, experience and built lasting friendships from this prestigious institution. Blessed with great lecturers, there was great amount of interaction among students those days.
You were one among the architects of Bachelor’s Degree Course on Visual Communication which is popular among media aspirants…
When we look to Western universities, there are numbers of courses on media especially on film making but in India, unfortunately, less emphasis has been laid on media courses. That is why me with both Father Jaipathy and Suresh Paul of Loyola College took initiative and launched this Bachelor’s Degree course in July 1989.
Which of your works you consider as your lifetime achievements?
I have scripted, directed and edited the first mega serial in Tamil called Paramapadham and another seventeen episode serial engaging in a critical analysis of landmark films of Tamil Cinema titled Chitram Pesuthadi. One of my plays called Mirror and a documentary titled Chennai: The Split City received international critical acclaim. It was also an honor to work as the Executive Producer of an Indian English feature film- Framed written and directed by Chetan Shah of Rawfilms.
What is your advice to the young media aspirants?
For the past years Indian media industry has grown manifold owing to technological explosion and increased investments. Today, opportunities are immense in this arena. There are lots of challenges as well as opportunities out there. So, youngsters should get groomed to face and seize them.
To my mind, cinema is an excellent medium of artistic expression. Sadly, plague of profit-making has transformed cinema into a consumerist package of visual, narrative and performance pleasures. Today technological advancement too has started manipulating cinema taking away its realistic exquisiteness.
Do you have any movies or documentaries in the offing?
During my professional stint of 30 years, I have crafted number of documentaries and also corporate films. In fact, I have lost count! Today I’m channelizing most of my time grooming young media aspirants. Yes, of course, if I get an offer from a good producer, I’m in to shoot a feature film.