Top Colleges to Learn Movie Direction in India
By : Veda

Top 6 Colleges to Learn Movie Direction in India

You may have the best of looks and best of bodies but in the absence of the best of brains, the rest of the package isn’t going to take you far.

Something similar is the case with movie-making. With the best of actors, awesome location, best of musicians and a script worth dying for, the film could still drown without a trace….in the absence of a good and seasoned director. A Director to a film is the equivalent of a brain to a body. If it isn’t doing its job well, you aren’t going far.

It thus makes sense for any movie-making aspirant to try and learn the fine art of movie direction. And while he/ she is at it, they might as well do it from a good institute which practices what they preach. Mentioned below is a list of institutes which fall in the category of top colleges which teach movie direction in India.

  1. Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune

This name HAD to be here i.e., at the very beginning of this list given that its predecessor, the famed Prabhat Studios came about even before India became independent! Yes, it’s roots can be traced to as far back as 1929 when it started at the hands of Film Doyen V Shantaram. Starting as the Film Institute in 1960, it got into TV production in the 80s and is known to teach every aspect of film making including acting, direction, editing, scripting and cinematography. As regards Direction, FTII holds a 3-year PG Diploma in Direction, the minimum criterion for which is a Graduation across subjects from any recognized university. As of now, for the Direction specialization at FTII, there are a total of 12 seats with a strict selection process which includes a written entrance examination and personal interview.

2. Satyajit Ray Films and Television Institute, Kolkata

You could name an institute any better than this! Maestro Satyajit Ray was in a way responsible for defining what it is to be a director, right from the time of conceptualizing an idea to its final execution on screen which was to include the actual act of Directing, research, managing the team and set, cinematography in all its hues, editing and final display of a film. He gives not just his movies but also the very process a feel of a poetry!

This Institute situated in Kolkata is without a doubt, a national center of excellence which among others, offers post-graduate program in every branch of cinematic studies including Direction. Established in 1995 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961, it is an autonomous society funded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Govt. of India and is said to closely resemble FTII in Pune both in terms of quality of education and reputation in film making. Like FTII, this one too has a membership to the CILECT (International Liaison Centre of Schools of Cinema and Television), an organization of the world’s leading schools of film and television.

SRFTI is said to disseminate classical and contemporary theories of movie making be it with respect to mainstream, parallel, art-house, experimental or non-fiction narratives and has ever since its inception, managed to garner for itself, accolades from the world over. It has an awesome campus with a perfect setting for audio-visually driven ventures where the saying goes “creative energies fuse with cinematic craft to transform ideas into life”!

3.Digital Academy the Film School, Mumbai

Located in Mumbai, the nerve-centre of the film and media industry, they teach everything right from conceptualisation to execution- all under one roof & that too on the latest machines and equipment’s under the watchful eyes of those with age-old experience! Some of their best have found themselves in production houses like Yash raj Films, Mukta Arts, Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions to name a few! This in itself speaks of the level of dedication which the institute showers on its students. They, in their own words, create professionals and not mere technicians & encourage their students to work in a realistic though creative environment!

Direction is of vital importance in film making. It’s finally the director who tells the story thru others who put it together. He/ She is the original visualizer, writer and editor whose constant efforts make the film what it is! And at Digital Academy- The Film School, students learn this important aspect of film-making in all its glory from the Masters of the field!

Film direction course:

78 sessions of 3 hours each over 6 months

Plus, additional 2 months to complete the final film project

4.Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida

The Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT) is a film-production and training institute located in the Noida Film City in NCR near Delhi. The institute as also the entire film complex is quite popular in the region for the making and learning of films and TV software. Asian Academy of Film & Television is part of the vast Asian education group, a known entity in the field of education in the north of India which has besides other vocations, such courses as Mass Communication, PR, Digital Media Marketing etc to name a few.

AAFT is a JV between the International Film & Television Research Center and the Marwah Films & Video Studios which came about in the year 1993 when it was founded by Shri Sandeep Marwah, a known entity in the field of Media, Films and Digital Communication and founder of the NOIDA Film City.

It has been approved as an “International-level training centre” by the City & Guilds in the year 2002 & was the first of its kind to receive an ISO 9001:2000 certification in South Asia. Students at AAFT come from far and wide- close to 100 countries worldwide. Its alumni number in excess of 12000!

They teach film directing like none else in the field! To get each student to do their best and get their money’s worth, they go out of their way and employ the best faculty, machines and methodologies!

5.National Institute Of Film And Fine Arts, Kolkata

The National Institute of Film and Fine Arts (NIFFA) located in Kolkata was founded by Late Shri Dhiresh Ghosh, the former head of the Department of Direction at FTII in Pune. NIFFA is a registered not-for-profit society that is affiliated to the Federation of Film Societies of India & Member of National Film Archive both of which fall under the Government of India.

NIFF has as its objective the development of talent for the film and allied industries by introducing students to the right set of skills through the correctly made career development programs. Born at the hands of India’s best film-making brains, NIFF is sure to train its students to become stars in their respective fields.

At the moment, NIFF has courses catering to a wide range of subjects including acting, direction, videography, non-linear editing, dance, modelling, news reading & anchoring, journalism to name a few. These besides, the Institute has commenced courses in very contemporary subjects which include multimedia, 2d and 3d animation to name a few. Courses here are

DIPLOMA IN DIGITAL CINEMA PRODUCTION (full and part time) of 18 months (and 6 months as intern) consisting of:

Digital Cinema making (Film Direction)

Digital Cinema editing

Digital Cinematography


Advance Acting (Cert.)

Advance Acting (Dip.)

Screenplay Writing (Cert.)

Sound Recording & Editing (Cert.)

Music Direction (Dipl. 18 m)

NIFF’s USP remains its staff and faculty most of whom are from the famed FTII of Pune who conduct very many special classes, workshops and seminars. Also, of special interest are sessions taken by contemporary celebrities from the world of movies and videos. These unique USPs give NIFF’s students an edge to seamlessly integrate themselves in any professional setting. Another thing unique to NIFF is that being an offshoot of the National Film Archives of India, students here enjoy the facilities of getting to see world classics cinema every now and then and when even sometimes form part of their curriculum!

6.Access Atlantech Edutainment, Chennai

AAT or AAT Media College is one of India’s most modern of educational institutions in the field of teaching media, entertainment, film production and communication. AAT is known for the high quality of its Diplomas, Degrees and PGs which cover all the vital aspects of media operations. In addition to providing high-class, contemporary education, AAT also has done what others have shied-away from: tying up with renowned Indian and International bodies for the promotion of education in media and movie-making. It is said to have a shareholder in the form of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd who print India’s foremost newspaper, the TOI.

Starting in the year 2000 from its first branch in Chennai, it has today spread its wings to operate in significant places including Mumbai and Bangalore. They are said to the first to start a full-time 3-year Degree course in Audio and Music Production besides a UGC-approved B.Sc. in Visual Communication. Their courses include, in audio, various Degree & Diplomas in Audio & Music Production including international Degrees.

In films and video production, they have a Diploma in Digital Film & Video Production, a Degree in Film & TV Production & even an International Degree in Digital Film & Video Production.

Their USP include the presence of their students in known places such as BBC, CNBC, Radio Mirchi, Infosys, Tata Elxsi, Yashraj Films etc. with an astounding 3000 students who have gone thru AAT’s courses in the last decade. They are said to have in excess of 500 corporate tie-ups for Internships and have the best of media workstations and advanced machines to teach audio and video making.