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MA Directing to HETV Trainee: Anindini Sen’s First Year of Success

By Elise Czyzowska

23 May 2024

Since graduating from our MA Directing programme, Anindini Sen has taken every opportunity to continue developing her skillset.

From making the most of every networking opportunity that comes her way, to successfully applying for the ScreenSkills HETV AD Traineeship at the start of this year, we caught up with Anindini to find out more about her first year as a graduate, and how her time at MetFilm School Leeds shaped her creative voice…

Firstly, how would you introduce your directing style?

I’ve always been interested in portraying the ‘voices of the unheard’ in my films. I believe that representation is important both on and off screen i.e. behind the camera.

One genre I’ve always felt a calling towards is comedy – be it slapstick or a satiric dark comedy. For my final project, I wanted to explore silent comedy – that’s how I came up with Chips.

And how do you think Chips represents your creative vision?

As a black and white silent comedy, Chips helped me to understand the challenges of this genre – and at the same time, it was a great learning experience, portraying my story with no dialogue.

I feel like my inclination towards comedy is clear in the film, but I’d also like to believe that it’s a relatable story for many.

I’m thankful for my team – and of course, the lead actor, who helped me to bring my vision to the screen.

BTS of Anindini Sen’s Graduation Project… Chips

Besides your Graduation Project, can you share any standout moments from your degree?

One of the best aspects was that we got to try our hands at different approaches to filmmaking – from camera movements, to using improv to develop scripts.

I feel quite proud about working with professional kit such as dolly tracks, utilising them to add more depth to our projects.

Another great lesson was that, starting out as a director, it can be challenging to communicate with actors – especially if they have a lot of experience. But the more I worked with them, the more comfortable and confident I became.

And finally, getting the chance to collaborate with CoSE:Y was definitely another highlight of the year.

Our students collaborated with Screen Yorkshire’s CoSE:Y Trainees!

From MA Directing to your ScreenSkills AD Traineeship… what led you to apply for this programme?

MA Directing gave us the opportunity to work as 1st ADs and Script Supervisors on each other’s projects, and I found that 1st AD was a role that I really enjoyed – and that I felt quite naturally suited to.

I also realised that working as an AD is a great opportunity to observe different departments, as well as to work closely with the director. It seemed like a good way to learn the process of filmmaking in a professional setting.

ScreenSkills is known as one of the leading organisations helping professionals in different levels of their career, so when I saw the trainee programme was accepting applicants, I knew I had to apply. I’m very grateful to have been selected as one of the HETV AD Trainees.

How has the Traineeship complimented your MA Directing skills?

At MetFilm School, I learnt the value of time management, communication, multi-tasking, and organisation – and I feel that this programme will help me to nurture those skills.

Plus, MA Directing helped me to gain an in-depth knowledge of filmmaking, which will definitely help me throughout my time as a trainee!

A still from another of Anindini’s short films…

This year, Leeds was voted #5 Best Student City in the UK – what makes it such a special place?

Leeds is very inclusive – which is great for international students like myself. And it has a cultural significance, which I feel is what makes it such a special place to study.

The industry up North is developing more and more each day, and that’s quite motivational for the students. Plus, Leeds as a city has a great reputation worldwide as a place to study, and that definitely encourages students to come here.

And finally, can you share any advice for meeting and networking with potential collaborators?

When MA Directing started, I remember how it was quite nerve-wracking to talk to people at networking events. But the only way to overcome that is to put yourself out there.

Listening to people share their story can be very motivational – sometimes, listening to everyone else in a group before speaking about yourself can really help.

At the core, it’s important to realise that most people in the industry – or who are trying to get a break in the industry – are there for their love of films, just like you.

  • Anindini Sen studied MA Directing at MetFilm School Leeds. This degree is also available in London and Berlin.
  • Many of our courses have been awarded the ScreenSkills quality credentials – find out more here.