Faculty, Industry Advisors and Visitors

Faculty at MMFSA



Principal and Secretary

[Teaches Film History, Film Appreciation and Screenplay Writing]

Dr. T. Chinnaraj Joseph Jaikumar is a Sociologist by profession and a senior educationist. He is a documentary film maker. He also specializes in Film History and Screenplay Writing. He has more than three decades of teaching and curriculum making experience at local, national and international levels.


Director, MMFSA Centre for Music

[Teaches Musical Traditions of India, Tamil Film Music and Sound Engineering]

Mr. Mammuthu is basically a musicologist whose contribution to Isai Tamil is well known. He has so far written ten books and published more than hundred articles in leading Tamil periodicals and journals on music. He has profound knowledge of Carnatic, Hindustani and Sufi music. His study and exposition of film music in relation to different musical traditions including that of the western tradition, is of particular interest.


Head of the Department, Western Music

[Teaches Western music, Musical Theories and Musical Scoring for Films]

Prof. Christopher Sherwood is a well known pianist and singer. His knowledge of Western Music Theory and History is very deep. He has decades of experience of teaching piano and singing. For long, he has been coaching students for grade examinations of Trinity College, London and Royal School of Music, London. His area of specialization is study and exposition of the influence of the western music on Tamil film music.



Instructor in Direction

Basheer is also a product of the Department of Visual Communication, American College. He has directed several short films and ad-films. One of his short films won national level contest and he received the applaud from the legendary film director late K. Balachander. This aspiring Director is also interested in Photography, Travel documentation, Event Management and Compeering.


Instructor in Cinematography & Photography]

After a two year stint as a photo journalist in the popular Tamil weekly Ananthavikatan, Ponkundram started conducting his own photography workshops for young aspirants. His artistry in still photography was made public in two of his exhibitions held at Madurai. He gained his cinematographic experience through making Short films and Music Videos.


Instructor in Editing

Balaji is a product of the MGR Govt Film and Television Institute (Adyar Film Institute, Chennai). He has executed several editing projects including a Web series, Feature Film, Music Album, Shortfilms, and Commercial Ad in Chennai. He is very much specialised in AVID, Which is currently used in Film industry.

Industry Advisors and Visitors

Industry Advisors–Visitors are experienced artists drawn from different branches of filmmaking who appreciate academy training as a preparatory ground for entering the film industry. They not only advise us on curriculum and training but also visit MMFSA to conduct seminars and workshops for students.

B. Lenin is a very senior and well respected film editor of Tamil cinema. He also, writes and directs. He made his debut through J.Mahendran’s Uthirippookal and went to make a big mark as an Editor. Apart from Tamil films, Lenin has worked in Malayalam, Kanada, Telugu and Hindi films. Lenin has won five National Awards including the awards for Best Direction and Editing. He was the Chairman of the Film Federation of India in 2011. Lenin has held important positions such as the jury member of 57th National Film Awards (2010) and the Chairman of Oscar selection committee of (FFI) in 2011. He is the son of the veteran director A. Bhimsingh.


Chimbu Devan started his film career as an assistant to Director Cheran. He rose to fame with his debut film Imsai Arasan 23rd Pulikesi which turned out to be a blockbuster. His distinctiveness as a director comes from his preference for ‘fantasy comedy.’ After a long time, Chimbudevan revived the cowboy adaptation by directing Irumbukkottai Murattu Singam. He also directed Vijay starrer Puli. Chimbudevan graduated from Thiagarajar college, Madurai. Chimbu Devan is also a talented artist who worked as an illustrator-cartoonist in the leading Tamil weekly Anandavikatan. He is one of those from the film industry, who has been supportive of the MMFSA initiative from the beginning.


Shanmugaraja made his debut in cinema through Virumandi (2004). Beginning with that, he created a niche for himself in the anti-hero roles. Apart from a busy acting career, Shanmugaraja is committed to teaching and training artists. Besides his M.A., M.Phil., degree in Tamil literature, he acquired the prestigious three year post graduate diploma from National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi. He has specialized in Design and Direction. He is committed to promoting Indian theatre and in 2004, he founded Nigazh Theatre Centre at Madurai. From the inception of MMFSA, Shanmugaraja has been of great support.


Ajayan Bala is a Tamil writer. He has written books of wide ranging interests. His books, Ulaga Cinema Varalaaru, Charly Chaplain, Marlin Brando and Bicycle Thief are of interest to film studies students. He is a well known screenplay writer of Tamil Cinema. Chiththiram Pesuthadi, Vaalmeeki, Madrasa Pattanam, Manithan, Thenmaerku Paruvakaatru and Krishnaveni Paanchalai are some of the films based on his screenplay. Bala is also an actor and director.


Paul Livingston is an upcoming cinematographer in the Tamil film industry. He graduated from Madras University with a Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) degree. Subsequently he also studied at Pentamedia Graphics, Chennai. He entered the industry by assisting cinematographers Abdul Rehaman and R. B. Gurudev. Paul’s filmography includes Kadhal Pisase (2012), Nanbargal Kavanathirku(2013), Eli (2015), Uriyadi (2016). Besides cinematography, Paul is also good at Visual FX.


Udayakumar is well known sound designer in Tamil Cinema. Recently he did the sound designing for Vedalam and Oscar nominated Visaranai. Uday formally studied at a film school before joining the film industry. He started his career as an assistant to the legendary Audiographer, Deepan Chatterji. He has worked in more than 200 films and about ten of them independently. Apart from Tamil films, he has worked in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films.


Kalimuthu is an upcoming Art Director of Tamil film industry. He is the Art Director for the recently released Sundara Pandiyan. Kalimuthu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from College of Fine Arts, Chennai. He strted his career as an Art Assistant to the well respected Art Director, Thota Tharani. Kalimuthu has also worked under other senior Art Directors like Nagu, Ragavan and Muthuraj. He is also good at oil and water colour painting.