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If anyone were to ask my former teachers whether I would have anything to do with education when I became an adult, they would have laughed! I cheerfully skipped classes, was nonchalant about exams and tests, was talkative at best, and a bit disruptive at worst when I was in the classroom. So, it's natural that no one would associate me with being an educator. But that is precisely why I love mentoring students. I understand that there are people like me who find sitting in the classroom boring and would prefer a different way of learning. Filmmaking lends itself so well to hands-on learning. So when I receive calls to conduct workshops or teach filmmaking, I enthusiastically dive in. From what I hear, the students enjoy my classes. It's a win-win!

"I entered the world of non-fiction filmmaking as a rookie. One of my very first assignments was with Priya, doing additional camerawork for one of her documentaries in Bangalore. My journey of learning hasn't stopped since then. She has mentored and groomed me on several aspects of filmmaking - fixing, production, cinematography, how-to and how-not-to negotiate deals. She calls a spade a spade, and when I discuss ideas with her, I can know immediately whether she likes something or not. As a mentor and sounding board, she tells me what she feels about an idea - but she pushes me to think and give it my own flavour. With her, I am always on a fast track, learning and performing on the go. Oh yes, if you don't give your 100% to your role, she'll whack the hell out of you, be ready 😃 And that's what I love about her!"

Sugandhi Gadadhar

Cinematographer, National Geographic Explorer

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