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Top Acting Schools in India

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Best 5 Institutes Offering Acting Courses in India

The list of some of the Top Acting Schools in India that can pave the way for you to get into the film Industry

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

The Film and Television Institute of India is on one of the most sought-after acting schools/institutes in India. It was set up in 1960. This acting school is a member of CILECT (International Liaison Centre of Schools of Cinema and Television).  CILECT is an organization of the world’s leading schools of film and television. The written test for FTII entrance examination is held every year.

Courses offered in the acting school:

FTII offers only 12 seats in the below-mentioned programmes

  • One-Year Post Graduate Certificate Course in Feature Film Screenplay Writing (Film)
  • Three-year postgraduate diploma courses in film direction, editing, cinematography, and audiography
  • One-Year Post Graduate Certificate Course in Direction (TV)
  • Two-year PG diploma in art direction
  • One-Year Post Graduate Certificate Course in Electronic Cinematography (TV)
  • Two-year PG diploma in acting
  • One-Year Post Graduate Certificate Course in Video Editing (TV)
  • One-Year Post Graduate Certificate Course in Sound Recording and TV Engineering (TV)
  • One-and-a-half-year course in computer graphics and animation

Famous Alumni who attended the acting school of FTII:

  • Naseeruddin Shah
  • Danny Denzongpa
  • Mithun Chakraborty
  • Mukesh Khanna
  • Om Puri
  • Prakash Jha
  • Resul Pookutty
  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali
  • Satish Kaushik
  • Shabana Azmi
  • Shatrughan Sinha
  • Smita Patil
  • Vidhu Vinod Chopra

National School of Drama, Delhi

2. National School of Drama, Delhi

The National School of Drama (NSD) is another premier acting school of India. Naseeruddin Shah and Irrfan Khan were the products of the NSD. It is a primary theatre training academic body. It is an autonomous acting school functioning under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It is a theatre training institute and is one of a kind in India. The number of seats available for admissions is limited to 20 to 30 and there is a tough eligibility criterion.

Courses offered in the acting school:

NSD offers a diploma in dramatic arts along with the below-mentioned spheres:

  • Modern Indian drama
  • Classical Indian drama
  • World drama
  • Voice & speech
  • Yoga
  • Theatre music
  • Mime and movement

Famous Alumni who attended the acting school of the NSD:

  • Naseeruddin Shah
  • Irrfan Khan
  • Om Puri
  • Anupam Kher
  • Piyush Mishra
  • Neena Gupta
  • Seema Biswas
  • Raghubir Yadav
  • Pankaj Kapoor
  • Raj Babbar
  • Ashutosh Rana

3. The Institute of Creative Excellence (ICE), Mumbai

A relatively new entrant, The Institute of Creative Excellence or ICE, was founded in the year 2010 with the intention of delivering matchless quality training to the Media and Entertainment aspirants. The institute prepares aspiring candidates for various specializations like Modeling, Acting, Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Scriptwriting, Production, VFX, and Sound. Moreover, the relevant courses of the institute are available in Mumbai and Delhi, whereas, audition offices exist in all major cities of the nation like Pune, Noida, Lucknow, Agra, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar, Gurgaon, Indore etc.

As the counsel of the institute is graced by the distinguished personalities like former cinema actor Mr. Jeetendra Kapoor and as dynamic a personality as of Ms. Ekta Kapoor, students can assure themselves that they would avail great moments of guiding interactions from the majors of the Media and Entertainment industry as they would get exposed to the spirited atmosphere of the renowned Balaji Studios. Moreover, the institute equips itself with the most modern methodologies of training like Computer Based Training (CBT), Instructor Lead Training (ILT), and Web-Based Training (WBT). Also, The Institute of Creative Excellence is an ISO 9001:2015 certified institute.

Main Features:

In short, few glimpses of the main features of The Institute of Creative Excellence are as under:

  • Competent Infrastructure
  • Live Environment
  • Power Packed Courses
  • Comprehensive Courseware
  • ICE Academic Council
  • Supplementary Projects & Assignments
  • Exhaustive Library
  • Guest lectures by Industry Experts
  • ISO 9001:2015 Certified

Courses offered in the acting school:

  • Advanced Acting
  • Advanced Direction
  • Acting
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
  • Advanced Editing
  • Editing
  • Modeling
  • Dancing
  • Sound Recording
  • Ad Making
  • Digital Photography
  • Dance Junior
  • Digital Sound
  • Personality Development
  • Script Writing
  • Makeup
  • Production
  • Visual Effects
  • Film Making
  • Celebrity Management

Some renowned personalities graduating from ICE:

  • Chahat Pandey (Lead role, Pavitra Bandhan)
  • Arif Mirza (Lead role, Saavdhan India)
  • Nilesh (Ads – Dominos, Kwid)
  • Tripti Shukla (Parallel lead role, Mahabharat)
  • Vishal Malhotra (Lead Role, Mauka Mauka Ad for ICC World Cup)
  • Rajat Mahajan (Director with Saavdhan India)
  • Prajakta Chavan (Assistant editor, Shemaroo Entertainment)
  • Amardeep Kaur (Miss Gujrat, Miss India 2017 – Finalist)

4. Asian Academy of Film and Television (AAFT), Noida (Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi)

Asian Academy of Film and Television, one of the renowned schools of acting in India, was established in 1993. It offers 3 months’ and 1-year courses in acting. An online aptitude test and an interview are conducted by the institute to select candidates for admissions.

Courses offered in the acting school:

  • BSc in Cinema + Graduate Level Diploma in Cinema
  • MSc in Multimedia + Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia
  • BSc in Mass Communication + Graduate Level Diploma in Mass Communication
  • MSc in Mass Communication + Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication
  • Diploma in Acting for Film and Television
  • MSc in Cinema + Post Graduate Diploma in Electronic Media
  • BSc in Electronic Media + Graduate Level Diploma in Electronic Media
  • MSc in Cinema + Direction
  • MSc in Cinema + Sound Recording

Famous Alumni who attended the acting school of the AAFT:

  • Arjun Kapoor, actor
  • Hasleen Kaur, actress
  • Kinshuk Mahajan, actor
  • Aradhana Jagota, actress
  • Vishal Kaushik, actor
  • Mohit Marwah, actor
  • Faraz Haider, director
  • Kaushik Ghatak, director
  • Ajay Kumar, news anchor
  • Sandeep Kochar, news anchor
  • Ria Singh, reporter

5. Barry John Acting Studio

Barry John, the Guru of Shahrukh Khan, was the founder of this acting school in India. It is located in Delhi and Mumbai.

It offers courses such as Certificate in Acting (weekend course), Diploma in Film Acting, Diploma courses in Film Arts etc. An annual series of workshops are organized in ten to twelve venues every summer.

Courses offered in the acting school:

  • Certificate in Acting (weekend course)
  • Diploma in Film Acting
  • Diploma courses in Film Arts
  • Customized Film Workshops
  • Young Actors Club (Theatre workshops for children)

Famous Alumni of the school:

  • Shahrukh Khan
  • Manoj Bajpai
  • Samir Soni
  • Shiney Ahuja
  • Freida Pinto
  • Jacqueline Fernandez
  • Richa Chadda
  • Varun Dhawan
  • Arjun Kapoor
  • Mira Nair
  • Rana Daggubati
  • Sushant Singh Rajput

6. Whistling Woods International, Mumbai

The acting school of Whistling Woods International (WWI)was established by filmmaker Subhash Ghai in 2006. This acting school of India offers short-term and long-term degree and diploma programs in Acting. The acting school ensures that the students receive training on the latest equipment and technology. WWI is a full member of the prestigious CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinema et de Television).

Courses Offered in the acting school:

  • BA in Acting
  • BA in Screenwriting
  • BSc/BA in Filmmaking with specializations
  • Diploma in Screenwriting
  • BSc/BA in Animation Filmmaking
  • Advanced Diploma in Acting
  • Advanced Diploma in Filmmaking (with specializations)

Famous Alumni of the school:

  • Akshay- Segment Editor in Australia for an award-winning TV series ‘No Limits’.
  • Adeeb- Directed 5 Ad films for Wockhardt Foundation India. Directed an Ad film – Child Rights and You, and produced an ad film – Save the Children India.
  • Aditi- Director, Creative Producer UTV. Supervising Producer – ‘No One Killed Jessica’, ‘Chillar Party’ and ‘Paan Singh Tomar.’ Supervising Producer – Walkwater Medi.
  • Ansha-Writer for Red Chillies TV Fiction Department
  • Kavan Ahalpara- Life of Pi (Digital Coordinator: Rhythm & Hues Studios), Bhoothnath Returns (Visual Effects Producer)
  • Shashank Khaitan – Director of Humpty Sharma Ki Dhulhania
  • Anil Mange- Actor, Hasee Toh Phasee, PK, Singh is Bling
  • Arundhati- Marketing Head for `Aisha`. Studio Executive at Anil Kapoor Productions handling Project Development & Marketing.

The Profession That Calls Out

Acting is a profession that calls out to an individual. It’s a profession for an artist whose spirit is never dampened by the stories of struggle and hardships. This artist cannot do anything else but feels happy only when facing the audience or the camera.

Opportunities that Lie Ahead

According to ‘The Statistics Portal,’ the film industry in India valued at a whopping INR 142.3 billion in 2016. This figure is expected to reach INR 206.6 billion in 2021. This is the harbinger of good news for all the aspirants of acting courses and schools in India.

Earning via Acting

It is a well-known fact that famed actors and others in the field earn in lakhs and crores. A cameraman can earn from Rs 3000 per day to more than a lac per day. But, it is quite a struggle for the newcomers. However, you can improve your chances if you are exceptionally talented, coupled with your hard work. In addition, on maturing as an actor, you can also opt to teach in the renowned acting schools of India. But first of all, enroll in a professional course in any of the famed acting schools of India, mentioned below.

The Luck Factor

Luck also is an important part of the career of acting, but only if one is dedicated to his art. Also, having a good physique, an attractive face and a professional course, act as bonuses for a career in the acting world.

You may also like to read Best 5 Colleges for Photography Courses in India.

Your Course, Skills, and Portfolio

Various drama and acting schools in India act as platforms to instill confidence in you and help build a portfolio. These schools offer various diploma, certificate, and other long and short-term courses for polishing your acting skills. They prepare you to be industry ready. Sometimes, these acting schools even help exceptional students bag main roles in big-budgetary movies. Ranbir Singh being one of the latest and major examples. Then, an actor’s promotion also acts as the school’s own promotion.

Your Portfolio Matters

Your Portfolio Is Your Road to Bollywood

You must have heard that there’s no guaranteed method or route for making it big in acting. But talent, persistence, maintaining very thick skin coupled with right connections usually pay off. But, before deciding finally, ensure that you complete your formal education along with a professional degree under your arm-pit. Although one should try his or her best and can only hope for the best outcome. Unfortunately, acting is a profession that has seen so many individuals becoming failures in life! But then, there are also a lot of examples who have made it big in Bollywood, to take inspiration from. To follow success, you must tread on the right route, in the right way. But how? – Some of you may be thinking!

Make a Video Profile via YouTube

Before setting out on a journey of pursuing the profession of acting, have a professional photo and video session. Make videos that can best showcase your acting, singing and dancing skills. You can also show snippets of the work you’ve already done. Make a video profile on YouTube and mention it in your acting CV/Resume. You can also, submit a DVD containing your videos along with it. If you have a link to your own professional video website, it is much better.

Do keep in mind, acting is the key! No one has seen actors like Irfan Khan’s or Naseeruddin Shah’s dancing skills yet, in case they possess any! They are the names to reckon with.

Where to Go, Whom to Meet?

After the preparations related to acting, plan to move to Mumbai or Chennai which bubble with such opportunities. Remember, sell your skills to a market that can pay you. You can directly visit the production houses in places like Andheri to submit your portfolio and start your struggle. The finest and the biggest of the actors in Bollywood have done their part of marketing in their struggling years.

It’s your turn now!

Be Prepared to deal with Casting Couch

Stay alert and avoid casting couch!

After finishing the required professional training in any of the above mentioned acting schools of India, you will have to interact and share your portfolio with the following five people:

The Casting Agent:

They always find actors who are suitable and have a good personality and looks. They ask for a portfolio. Some of them also have experience of doing petty acting roles in famous movies. Stay away from fake casting agents. Who is a fake casting agent? The man who unnecessarily wastes your time. He or she might ask you to come to different places or talk to different people. Though hardly a female is involved in this dirty business. The claimer supposedly might identify himself as some director’s or producer’s relative. He may say that he is assigned to audition for a Ghai or Chopra’s ads, television projects or movies. Mostly they talk about big names and big figures of Bollywood.

The Assistant Director:

After casting agent, you have to deal with the assistant director to try yourself in the field of acting. This assistant director would take you to the next stage and will help you meet the manager.

The Manager:

The manager will ask you for photographs and he also will refer you to the assistant producer.

The Assistant Producer:

He is closely linked to the producer or the filmmaker. But how to spot a fake one? If he tries to ask for a sexual favor? In fact, if any of the persons asks you to come and meet them in odd hours or at unusual locations, the probability will be high that something is fishy!

The Producer or the Filmmaker:

The producer invests money to make films. Many people claim to be film producers, just to fulfill their sexual needs and exploit innocent people. You should be well prepared to deal with them if you come across one.

‘’Who knows, perhaps you are the next star or a megastar!’’

Also, read Best Mass Communication Institutes in India.

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By Asad yar Khan

Asad Yar Khan is Former Chairman of AMC, an educational NGO. A passionate proponent of education development, his favour...more

Asad Yar Khan is Former Chairman of AMC, an educational NGO. A passionate proponent of education development, his favourite rendezvous for writing is less

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