Film Education


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Introducing Hasan Khan                                                   Omkar Sakpal


“As a first time Director I was nervous shooting in uncontrolled public spaces in Dharavi. I had the notion that the slum people of Dharavi would be hostile but I realised how judgemental and wrong I was. They were very gracious and co-operative, many times they went out of their way to help and that was s big reason for the success of my film”


Oorvazi Irani Interviews

Nemil Shah – IBDP student batch 2015-17

It was exactly two years ago, when I joined Oorvazi Maam’s film class in the SVKM JV Parekh International School to discover a whole new different world of CINEMA and here I am today after two years where I actually discovered myself. I always say and will keep saying that she helped ‘me’ to find ‘me’ out of ‘me’.

1. Has your idea of filmmaking changed and how from the first day of class studying film as a subject offered by the International Baccalaureate ?

Definitely, I mean to me filmmaking was always very appealing and fascinating form of art because of the combination of the audio as well as visuals. What has changed is that now I call it as the ’Language of films’.

2. How do you define art and an artist? 

An artist could be any normal people who can express and reflect their own selves. This reflection is what I perceive as art.

3. Which filmmakers do you look up to?

Satyajit Ray, Alfred Hitchcock, Ritesh Batra.

4. Is there a rel between the form of poetry and film as art and how? 

The visuals and imagery is what bring these two different arts closer. However there are no restrictions in art. Therefore any art form can be expressed with respect to the choice of the artist.

5. As a teacher do you feel I have a unique approach to the subject? What did you like and dislike? 

The practical approach is what I feel was very helpful because that is what helped us to bring out the ‘art’ in us. What I like and dislike is the fact that you reply to us faster than we do…

6. What kind of films do you aspire to make?

Experimental Art films as well as Drama.

7. Why do you aspire to be a filmmaker? 

It’s the language in which I can express myself quiet well.

8. What has the greatest deepest lesson making your first short film teach you?

It is rigorous, painful, stressful etc. etc. but this is what makes me happy. This process is what I love.

9. What to your mind is the future of cinema?

Art often comes with no or very little expectations.


Testimonial by Nitin Neera Chandra


Nitin Neera Chandra

National Award Winning Filmmaker 2016

Attended Oorvazi’s Film Appreciation Batch 2009

Nitin pic

After I Completed my Masters learning Cinema for two years at Pune University, I came to Mumbai and started working as a production assistant but until I attended Oorvazi’s Irani Film Appreciation classes, I did not know what I was missing. Those 8 days of workshop literally changed the way I was thinking and streamlined a lot of thoughts about Cinema and how it is suppose to work. I remember making two short films for which I was rewarded with a DVD which I have still kept.

I directed two films Deswa and Mithila Makhaan, I had joined Oorvazi’s workshop as preparation of for Deswa. Deswa want on to become first film in the Bhojpuri language to get selected at Indian Panorama section of prestigious International Film Festival of India, Goa. in 2012

My second film Mithila Makhaan is winner of National Award, ‘Best Film in Maithili Language’ in 2016. Thanks to Oorvazi because one part of my little understanding has her contribution.

Testimonial by Nishi Panicker



Nishi Panicker posing with Oorvazi Irani on her school Graduation day


Nishi Panicker

International Baccalaureate Film Student, SVKM International School(Batch 2014-16)

Currently awaiting her final results with IB

I joined IB thinking that film would be the easiest of my subjects and now when I reflect back it was probably the most challenging. Our very first class, I remember Oorvazi ma’am asking us why we chose film and what aspect we loved the most. I was confused because I remember feeling like I didn’t know anything about film,which in retrospect was true. I don’t know how two years flew by but one thing I can say confidently is that there’s not a single a class with ma’am where I’ve left with the same knowledge as when I entered.

There’s always something to learn from her whether it’s her undying love for the art of cinema,her enthusiasm or her unwillingness to ever stop pushing you to be the best that you can. She helped me develop my love for writing,she taught me to always dig deeper because when it comes to learning there’s never an end point. Every single moment of frustration was followed by an increase of reverence whether it was her pushing me to a better writer and director or just sitting on the sidelines and letting me learn from my mistakes.

Oorvazi ma’am strives to teach you about film but unknowingly teaches you how to be a better learner and a greater person and for that I will always be grateful to her. To me she was more than just a teacher who had an allotted two hours,she is someone I look up to because she will never stop caring.

Testimonial by Altamash Jaleel



Altamash Jaleel

My first IB film student

International Baccalaureate, SVKM JV Parekh International School (batch 2010-2012)

Currently pursuing his dream course in the footsteps of his idol Martin Scorsese

Student BFA in Film/TV Production at NYU Tisch

Altamash pic


I came to Ms. Oorvazi Irani’s IB (International Baccalaureate) film class as a Martin Scorsese fanboy and graduated the program as a full-time Cinemaniac. Ms. Irani is a living, breathing film encyclopedia, and her students develop not only an appreciation for the great masters like Truffaut and Kurosawa, but come out with an education of the entire history of cinema and how it shapes and unites cultures through the universal language of film. But, I feel that there is an even greater aspect to her approach, and that is in her persistence to find one’s truth. She advocates the ‘auteur’ path to filmmaking and has always encouraged me to reflect on my personal experiences as source material for my films. I think I was very lucky to have her as my first film teacher, since she never stopped pushing me to dig deeper and find meaning in the littlest of these experiences so that I could write and direct a personal story, and ultimately a film that I will always be proud to call my first.




AUTEUR & ACTING – The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique


The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique

Presented by Oorvazi Irani


If cinema is the director’s medium 

And the director is an artist, an Auteur

An Auteur director works in collaboration with the writer which is the first stage of creation

But collaboration with an actor with an acting technique can lead to an exciting final stage of creation waiting to be explored

The question I propose to ask today is  – Can an auteur director involve with the actor with the technique of acting itself. Rather than orienting himself to the actor’s style of acting can he introduce and work with the actor together as a collaborative teamwork. Can they both work in a new collaboration where the character comes to life and is truly born from the marriage of the writer , auteur director and actor.

The next question will be how does the auteur director go about this process.

The first step would be for the auteur director to understand the challenges of the actor as an artist and put himself through the process. Not to become an actor but to experience firsthand the possibilities.

Also what this does for the auteur director is that it helps him to live the part of the character and become one with his creation, he might not be the most skilled individual to bring the character to life but he can share the joy of creation with the actor and discover his characters from a deeper source adding nuances that have escaped the writer. Ofcourse the writer could also be included in the process, as acting is the final phase of the written script and it actualizes the potential of the story and screenplay.

The challenges an actor faces are the demands to transform himself into other characters and to bring them to life by emoting truthfully. Every actor has his own way of responding to these demands which he either evolves with experience or by following a particular acting technique.

The most popular means used to act is – to use one’s personal memories and personality to act. As an artist I find that limiting the ‘art of acting’. I believe any form of art should put the individual in a position to evolve and not regress and high points in artistic creation are experienced by the artist and audience when the artist has transcended the ego.

The Michael Chekhov acting technique unlike some other acting techniques is not regressive but fun and creative and any individual who wants to creatively ‘play’ can start the exploration. Michael Chekhov himself was a great actor, director born in Russia in 1891. He devoted his whole life to developing and perfecting a revolutionary acting technique that does not use personal memories and one’s limited personality to act but at the core of the technique is the use of the actor’s ‘Imagination’ and the actor’s ‘Body’ . The actor is treated as a creative artist and the possibilities of creation are infinite with specific tools like the ‘Imaginary Body’ – ‘Imaginary Centre’ – ‘Psychological Gesture’ – ‘Sensations’ with which the whole world opens up to the actor and the world inside him  strives to reach out surrendering to the joy of creation.

An Auteur can rediscover himself and his film in artistic collaboration with the actor – are there any takers in India for this exciting journey to join the list of internationally respected actors and directors who are inspired by and follow the acting technique like Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, Marilyn Monroe, Joanna Merlin, Anthony Quinn, and many more.

For more information on the technique do visit my website, link below


Article first published on the movie website

Tips For A Creative Artist



From the diary of a filmmaker Oorvazi Irani

  1. Create what you know about or have experienced.
  2. After getting an exciting idea, developing it requires discipline.
  3. Find a partner to share your ideas with, brainstorm and help you keep at it and refine and develop it.
  4. Sleep sometimes works as a defense mechanism  for an uninspired mind when you sit to create.
  5. Closing your eyes and focusing for a few minutes on a thought or idea or problem might be more insightful than hours spent with the rational chattering mind.
  6. Try to search for original, unique ideas and ways of creating. Your subconscious mind can offer exciting possibilities. Try diving in to your subconscious by psychic automatism or meditation.
  7. Use other forms of art to explore the development of your ideas like painting, music etc.
  8. Life itself seen with keen eyes has so many ideas floating around, its just about the way we see things that makes all the difference.
  9.  The germ of the idea can be an image, a word, a character, a theme, a place etc which is unique and fires your imagination.
  10. Films, Literature, Newspapers, Paintings, any creation can be an inspiration but what is important is how do you make it your own and take it to another level.
  11. Creativity and art is about a process of finding your own answers not stating ready made answers from others. It’s close to a scientific invention if it’s the work of a genius.
  12.  Creativity is about self discovery and many auteurs feel they are making the same movie again and again with slight modifications. Your work is a reflection of who you are.

Satyamevjayate – Aamir’s Television Show Review

Satyamevjayate – Going beyond a Talk Show to become a Documentary 

My Review of Aamir Khan’s new programme on television telecast today

A personal touch and a sincere effort is what strikes you in the first episode. The television show tackles one problem of India’s many and tries to bring it out from mere statistics of news papers to a more human level  of emotional truth. Dry facts can make you think but emotions can move you stronger to action is what Aamir deeply recognizes and is true.

Its not that we don’t know of female infanticide taking place in India but it just does not happen in our personal world and thus we are not part of its reality. The show holds your hand and forces you to see and hear human stories of struggle and takes you in the midst of the reality emotionally, politically and intellectually.

The treatment of the show is as basic including the sets, the approach and treatment. It is the format of a talk show with its appeal in witnessing real people and listening to their stories but Aamir does not stop at that he tries to involve researches, doctors active in the filed so that it takes the programme  to a deeper purpose of understanding the issue  and giving a complete picture to reflect. Importantly statistics with human stories and breaking of myths that the illiterate poor are the people in India that are most responsible for this evil but its the middle class, upper middle class well educated docters, lawyers, PHD individuals who are at the forefront of the continuation of such a inhuman act. What really is at the core of this action and their desires is what it leaves you with, what makes these individuals commit such atrocities. Its in perceptions and mindsets that lie the power of change and that is not necessarily achieved by dry education or brute money.

What is the society that we are part of, what is the present and what will be the future is what the show addresses and I must congratulate Aamir in his attempts to reach out and speak up for what he believes in.

Newspapers and news channels do report these stories but hoping that Aamir’s voice will help make it reach the ordinary man and make a difference.

The female gender – a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife… but above all a human being an individual just like a man …why does some sections of society forget this basic fact.

Three cheers for Aamir Khan and his team

By Oorvazi Irani