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Department of Cinematography
Faculty & Academic Support Staffs

Samiran Datta (Professor & Head of the Department)

An alumni of FTII Pune Samiran Datta has got 18 years of work experience that includes ten feature films to his credit

Oindrilla Hazra Pratapan (Associate Professor)

Academic qualification: MA in English literature from Calcutta University; Post Graduate Diploma in MPP from FTII, Pune.

Hitesh Liya (Assistant Professor)

Academic Qualification: Mechanical Engineer from IIT Bombay & Post Graduate Diploma in Cinematography from SRFTI, Kolkata. Industry experience: Hitesh is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Bombay and a graduate in Cinematography from SRFTI. He has a keen interest in theorizing Cinema as a Visual Art by simplifying scientific techniques and blending them with the knowledge […]

Biraja Prasanna Kar (Cameraman)

Academic qualification: Trained as a cameraman at FTI, Orissa.

Keshab Chandra Manna (Cameraman, Still Photography)

Academic qualification:Expertise and specialization: Expertise in analog darkroom technology as well as digital technology

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Department of Cinematography

The department was incubated and setup under the guidance of Shri Subrata Mitra, the great Indian maestro who pioneered new trends in cinemato­graphic practices. His indelible memory continues to be a guiding light for the department. The department aspires to prove worthy of the benchmarks set by him, both in academics and in the exciting prac­tice of cinematography in today's creative flux.

The department strives towards developing cinema­tography as an area of technical expertise through theoretical and experimental approaches, in conso­nance with the aims and objectives of the institute. To that end, the department views the practice of cinematography as an integral field of collaboration in the process of filmmaking and propagates the vision that students exhibit their skills in a production of professional scale through the final dissertation project.

Cinematography Course Details
1st Semester (20 weeks) Integrated course

Through working with DSLRs and Digital Video Cameras, students learn visualizing, shot design, and are introduced to the fundamental tools of cinematography – light & lensing. To this end, all students, whether from cinematography or other specializations, are able to shoot at a basic level as well as appreciate the creative possibilities of cinematography. All this culminates in a film project where the fundamental concept of continuity narrative is applied.

Practical exercises Various practicals on DSLRs and Digital Video cameras are designed around learning basic lighting, lensing, camera movements and shot design. Practicals culminate in a conceptual and demonstrable grasp of narrating through the moving image.

Specialization (III-VI semester)
The department views the practice of cinematography as an area of collaboration in the process of filmmaking. It is a creative integration with direction, the deployment of cinematographic techniques for various narrative requirements, or even that unique element of Indian filmmaking – the playback sequence! This semester culminates in the 35mm dissertation film, a meticulously planned and executed diploma project where students exhibit their skills in a production of professional scale.

Course Outline (Curriculum/Practical Exercises/Workshops/Projects)
A thorough engagement with the B&W Film Program for around 3 months for conceptual and practicing knowledge of the fundamentals of cinematography. Lighting, Emulsion, Optics, Lensing, Laboratory practice and introductory engagement with the allied areas of aesthetics are conducted, culminating in continuity lighting for narrative. In this phase the students do a workshop with one master cinematographer in B&W techniques.
Next, the student moves onto the use of colour emulsion stock. This is an opportunity for developing a thorough grasp of emulsion theory, testing and understanding. A visit to a lab at this stage ensures an understanding of sensitometry, densitometry, processing, and emulsion behavior. An engagement both with the theory and practice of colour equips the students with skill in working with contemporary stocks and colour lighting situations.
Students are introduced to the digital image acquisition paradigm and its workflows, various formats, aesthetics and image manipulation techniques in the Digital Cinematography module.A master workshop brings to closure the students’ engagement with advanced lighting and staging a Narrative in the studio.
The analog-digital lab visit ties up all the inputs received over the preceding months to consolidate the knowledge base. After studio practical exercises, students then go through a Studio-exercise based around another element of film language, the ‘mise-en-scene’ along with the student director.
After the exercise, students are exposed to the cinematographic practice in advertising, as a workshop. This is followed by the first project where students are required to shoot ‘Short Film’ (which till now, is a 35mm sync-sound married print output)
Students move on to experimenting, thinking out-of-the-box and exploring creative expressions thrown open by the advent of new media practices. The ‘underground/experimental’ film project is the site where students actually produce works in this rich and exciting area.
A master cinematographer is invited to do a workshop with the students on that unique and historically rich area of Indian films, the playback sequence. Following an intensive workshop, students go on to shoot their own playback project.
The objective is now provided for meditation, reflection and the development of the dissertation film. It is to work towards not just producing technical excellence but coupled with reflective intervention,. The dissertation film is currently a 30min 35mm diploma project.
Topics in Curriculum
  • Art & Visual culture: Film Aesthetics & Cinematographic Techniques
  • Principles of Cinematography, and the Imaging Device
  • Physics of light, Color & Application in Practical Cinematography
  • Electricity & Power: Applications in Lighting & Luminaires
  • Optics & Lensing
  • Emulsion Technology & Lab Processes
  • Principles of Digital Image Acquisition, Workflows & Image Manipulation Systems
  • Basics of Art Direction/ Production design
Practical exercises
  • Lighting for B/W inside studio
  • Simulations
  • Silent 5/7 shot B/W film narrative
  • Mixed lighting for colour
  • Night lighting on location
  • Lab practical
  • Format comparisons
  • Mise en scene/ shot in colour film
  • Experimental film initiative
  • Candid camera initiative
  • B/W film workshop
  • Mixed lighting workshop
  • Advanced Lighting/Narrative Workshop
  • Playback workshop
  • Ad lighting workshop
  • Experimental Film Orientation
  • Documentary workshop
Apart from workshops the department has one master class conducted under the aegis of KODAK Student Program. Projects Short Film Experimental Film-Project Underground Playback Dissertation Film   The students cinematographers’ films are eligible for the following contests:
  • Kodak India Student Cinematographer Contest
  • Asia Pacific Student Cinematographer Contest
And various National/ International Film Festivals  
Our Alumni
  • Sakyadeb Chowdhury (7th batch)
    Independent Cameraperson in 5 programs
    Pooja Sanjay Gupte(6th batch)
    Assisted Rajen Kothari in Mumbai, Currently has shot various independent projects on film and video in Mumbai, has shot award wining short film

More about Our Alumni..

  • Film studio
  • Television studio
  • A Classroom Theater


More about Facilities..