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Documentary film screening: Danger Zone: Kabul

Masterclass by: Award winning filmmaker, Aditya Thayi

Adi

Aditya Thayi is a Singapore-based award winning filmmaker known for his unique mix of humor and pathos. Aditya has ventured everywhere from the Siberian Tundra, to the sapphire mines of Madagascar; he has lived with headhunting tribes, jailed criminals, warlords, sheikhs and celebrities. He has wrestled with sharks in the outback and dodged mines in the cambodian jungle; filmed in freezing temperatures below minus 30 degrees at the China- Russia border, to 54 degrees of heat in the Arabian desert – all in the name of storytelling.

For the past 10 years Adi has produced more than 65 hours of International programs, that have given him 12 wins* and more than 20 nominations* – most recently he won Best Director at the Asian Television Awards. His work spans in-depth documentary features for National Geographic Channel, BBC, Discovery Networks and History Channel. He is also a sought after Pilot Director creating new formats and narrative forms in non fiction. Adi has also developed original formats like entertainment shows for Sony Entertainment Television (Magic Asia), Asia’s first pan-asian comedy chat show for Star World (FOX) and Travel documentaries for BBC worldwide with Lonely Planet.

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In the masterclass Aditya shared with participants the original pitch documents and the process of getting from pitch to an actual deliverable film using the case study of Danger Zone – Kabul. Participants also got a peek into the editing process with additional scenes that didn’t make it to the final film.

He also went through the process of identifying stories and how they evolve during the course of the shoot and then further in the edits. He talked about different narrative choices for documentary filmmaking. How hosted vs non hosted programs differ in communicating to an audience.

In a lively interactive Q & A session participants had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss choices made in producing the film. Adi also gave examples from a few other films he’s worked on and discussed his approach in comparison to other types of documentaries.

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