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Annapurna Studios launches International School of Film & Media

It is the only non-profit, private film & media institute in India.

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 1, 2011

(L) to (R) - Kurt Inderbitzin, Nagarjuna and N Akkineni Nageswara Rao

Annapurna Studios Private Limited today announced the launch of the International Institute of Film & Media (ISFM) in Hyderabad, the only private, non-profit film and media institute in India.  The institute has the dual mission of providing world-class education to aspiring students and offering highly trained talent to the entire media industry. The launch event was marked by the presence of Akkineni Nageswara Rao, veteran actor Nagarjuna and institute CEO, Kurt Inderbitzin who jointly unveiled the logo of the institute.

Located in the premises of Annapurna Studios, the International School of Film and Media will provide a world-class learning experience by combining government-recognized degrees with the best practices of international higher education. The institute will also associate with multiple international film schools, establishing student and faculty exchange programs and other international opportunities for aspiring students.

ISFM is built on a pillar of state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology, aiming to address very relevant concerns raised by the media industry today. These concerns include, according to FICCI Frames 2008, a shortage of quality institutions offering technical training in media and resulting in a huge “shortage of skilled media professionals.” These concerns also include, according to the National Skill Development Corporation, that the Indian media and entertainment industry will require an additional 3 million trained staff over the next decade.

CEO Kurt Inderbitzin summed up the issue, “India should be a global destination for media content production.  But unfortunately it is not. Despite the fact that India is developing world-class studio facilities all over the country; despite the fact that labour here is still relatively cheap; despite the fact that the country has extraordinary locations for shooting; despite all of that, relatively little international media is created in India. And we believe the major reason for this is the accurate perception that there is a lack of properly trained people here in media.”

Annapurna Studios, one of South India’s leading film production companies and studios, has taken a giant step towards tackling these problems by way of creating access to a 22 acre campus, with 10 sound stages, permanent sets and cutting-edge post production facilities for aspiring students at the International School of Film & Media. The institute is affiliating with the world’s best media technology companies to provide students with 24 hour access to the latest computers and filmmaking software and is backed by some of south India’s biggest names in filmmaking, acting, animation and visual effects. These relationships will provide students with unparalleled opportunities for internships and placements.

As India’s first private, non-profit film institute, ISFM will strive to help the film and media industry  throughout the country by putting students’ quality of education over profits and by encouraging media companies to be involved with the school by offering training input, facilities, equipment and/or donations. Also, as part of the institute’s commitment to giving back to the community, all full-time students will be involved in community service, helping other charitable organisations to understand and utilise media better.

The institute is also establishing an endowment fund, managed by an independent board of directors, to provide scholarships to talented students from underprivileged backgrounds.

ISFM is built on a model of openness and transparency, with publicly available data posted online for all to see, and staff and faculty meetings open to the public.

N Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Founder, Annapurna Studios, commented at the event, “Since time in memorial, the Akkineni family has made a mark in a variety of ventures. There has always been a discussion within the family on ways to give back to the industry and community and the country. We strongly felt that the best way to give back was through education, and specifically, education in media. Hence, a decision was made to develop a non-profit film school to train the next generation of media professionals.”

CEO Kurt Inderbitzin added, “The media industry in India has not historically embraced professional training.  Now, as competition increases in India from domestic and international media sources, there is a growing realization that for Indian media to survive and prosper long into the future, it must have well-educated professionals to lead the way. And that is what we will be providing at the International School of Film & Media.”


Admissions open from 1st July for short courses in film-making. These courses have small class sizes and limited seats. Students are requested to apply as early as possible.

Admissions for degree programs will open in the next six months to a year.


The faculty will be comprised of experienced filmmakers and media industry professionals. ISFM is currently in talks with potential faculty across India and around the world, and is looking forward to announcing our teachers shortly.  The faculty will undergo rigorous training to ensure that their teaching methods are top-notch.

Veteran actor Nagarjuna commented, “The major force of change is globalisation. Indian films are reaching wider audiences around the world and international films are constantly being released in India. The result is that Indian film, television, and animation has to compete on a global stage. Today, there is a greater tendency among the young Indians to compare Bollywood movies with the latest Hollywood productions and they expect the same technical and story quality. In order to match international standards there is a dire need for well-equipped film institutes like ISFM.”


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