Twinkle Agarwal

Twinkle is a first-year filmmaker in the BFA in Production program at the College of Motion Picture Arts. She just completed her freshman year in liberal studies and is now pursuing film courses full-time. She shares with us what it was like to transition from her freshman year in the greater university to her sophomore year as a first-year filmmaker.


What surprised you the most when entering the BFA in Production program?

What really surprised me was the amount of practical, hands-on experience we get, and the small class size. Moreover, the faculty and staff are so friendly. They help you with anything and everything. It doesn't feel like school: it feels more like a family. You have the opportunity to know every single person in the College and everybody knows you.


What advice do you have for those completing an application for the program?

My advice is to be yourself. If you are someone else on paper, it clearly shows and it is very artificial. The best thing to do is to be very honest and let it come from your heart. If you are passionate and your message is from your heart, it will shine through.


How has your typical day changed since you started film coursework?

I would say my typical day has drastically changed since I started film courses. The schedule is very unpredictable and demanding, but fun at the same time. I am in classes all day and when I'm not, I am occupied with other things related to the College, like writing short screenplays, making short movies, or helping others make their movies. I don't have too much free time but enough to still maintain a social life outside the College. However, the program is truly is a 24/7 commitment.


Tell us what past experiences led to your motivation to be a filmmaker.

I don't really have too much past experience in filmmaking. What motivated me to be a filmmaker, however, was my passion for it. Every time I would walk out of a theatre, I'd be awestruck and would always wonder how they managed to create a separate world that was so extraordinarily beautiful.

The idea that I could address social issues through narrative film and help bring about a change in society through my movies motivated me to be a filmmaker. Movies are the biggest and the best medium to address social issues in various ways and make people give those issues attention. In my country, India, the second largest country in terms of population, movies are the most popular medium of entertainment used to address social issues. As a filmmaker, I get to create an entirely different world! How many other careers offer that?


What is the single most valuable insight you have gained since starting the program?

You cannot make a movie alone and you cannot have an ego or any other such issues when you are in a program like this. Everyone on set is important. Each job on the set is valuable and each person on set is valuable. It is important to be humble and down to earth and just enjoy. Unless you absolutely love filmmaking and are passionate about making movies, you won't enjoy it. Only someone who is truly passionate about filmmaking can and will put in all the hard work that goes into making a film, whether it is a short or a feature.