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First Russian-Indian film school to open its doors in Mumbai

July 18, 13:27 UTC+3 NEW DELHI

The announcement of the school’s opening comes at a perfect time, just as the filming of the first Russian-Indian movie since 1990s titled Best Friends has gotten underway

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NEW DELHI, July 18. /TASS/. Russia and India will open its first joint film school this year, that will train actors, who are familiar with the contemporary cinematic traditions of both countries, head of Chechenfilm Beslan Terekbaev told TASS.

"We have agreed with our Indian partners to open an international film school in Mumbai. We plan on opening it on December 1. Russia will be represented by Chechenfilm, and India by Pen N Camera International, which is among the top five leading Indian film distribution companies," Terekbaev said.

"Indians are interested in the European approach to cinematography that is why they greeted the news about school’s creation with such huge interest. We are going to bring specialists from Russia, to teach at this school, plan to invite teachers from other countries as well," he said.

Terekbaev added that Indian students will be the first enrolled at the school, but there are plans to open six branches of the school in the North Caucasus and other Russian regions that will be staffed by Indian teachers. Plans are also in store to have a social outreach program, where children from poor and disadvantaged families will be recruited into the youth program.

Head of Pen N Camera, Mehood Ali told TASS that the first program will have 200 students, and will last one year, after which the students will receive an official diploma. "Students will study acting, dance, that’s important for Indian film, and other specialized subjects, even yoga," said Ali.

The announcement of the school’s opening comes at a perfect time, just as the filming of the first Russian-Indian movie since 1990s titled Best Friends has gotten underway in the South Asian country. Many famous Indian actors are participating in the project, including the infamous Disco Dancer Mithun Chakraborty, said Terekbaev.

Best Friends is a children’s adventure feature film about three boys - Russian, Chechen and Indian, and is set in Russia and India. It is a joint Chechenfilm and Pen N Camera International production. The project has been made possible with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of North Caucasus Affairs.

The film, set to premier in December 2017, is one of the many projects to honor the establishment of Russian-Indian diplomatic relations 70 years ago.

Head Cameraman Mika Hamzyan told TASS that the best thing about the movie is that it’s specifically for children.

"It’s been a long time since Russian cinema has seen children films, especially international ones, the movie connects different cultures, religions, languages. We can say that we have not made any casting mistakes. Everyone is acting very well, the young actors eyes are filled with excitement. We have a lot of children, the three leading actors are children, and out of the 40 secondary roles, 20 are children," Hamzyan said.

According to Terekbaev, there is already talk of a sequel - Best Friends 2, for which Chinese counterparts will join the project.

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