Our Columnist scores another jubilee in film studies

Staff Reporter – 

Our Columnist Thilliar Varnakulasingham seldom fails to amuse us and members of the community with his seamless expansion of knowledge and acquisition of qualifications, citations, certificates, diplomas and degrees.

The latest accomplishment of the Septuagenarian covers the colourful world of films.

His knowledge in film studies include theoretical, historical and critical approaches.

He is an Overseas Member of the British Universities Film & Video Council, which is a representative body promoting the production, study and use of moving image, sound, and related media for learning and research.

Besides being a welcome member of the American Film Institute Online Community, Mr Varnakulasingham is subscribed to the NYU Cinema Research Institute, a community of filmmakers, scholars, and entrepreneurs committed to exploring new models or financing, producing, marketing and distributing media and entertainment.

His RTS Futures Membership with the Royal Television Society, London helps him to comprehend certain technical information easily.

Film Studies

Mr Varnakulasingham has successfully completed 25 massive open online courses on film studies, offered by highly reputed universities around the world.

He completed courses, among many others, in ‘Philosophy and Film’,’ Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen,’ ‘Scandinavian Film and Television,’ ‘The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color,’ ‘Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative,’ ‘Physical Theatre: Meyerhold and Biomechanics,’ and ‘Film Appreciation’.

He holds a Diploma in Drama in Education and is entitled to suffix his name with SAC Dip.

Film Direction

He pursued an online course on Directing from Film School created by NYU veteran production supervisor Lou LaVolpe.  He also followed an online filmmaking course from the Production-now.com film school.


Besides being a member of the International Screenwriters’ Association, Mr Varnakulasingham also completed a course on screenwriting.

He is also a member of the American Screenwriters Association’s network.

He successfully completed massive open online courses on ‘Introduction to Media Ethics,’ ‘Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media,’ ‘Cultural Studies and Modern Languages’ and “The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen.’

He joined the Stanford Online Learning and Research Community to complete courses on “Adventures in Writing” and ‘Ten Pre-modern Poems by Women.’

Art and Photography

He is registered at the ‘Cambridge in Color Forums,’ a learning community for photographers. He completed a course on ‘The Art of Photography’ and ‘The Art of Drawing and Painting.’

He completed courses on ‘The American South: Its Stories, Music and Art’ and ‘Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies for Your Classroom.’


Mr Varnakulasingham has access to GroupSpaces of the Oxford World Music Society.

He completed a course on ‘World Music’ offered by James Cook University School of Creative Arts. The course includes basic musical, cultural and ethno-musicological concepts.

He successfully completed the University of Rochester online offering of ‘The Music of the Beatles’ with distinction.

He completed many online music courses at basic level. He recentlycompleted the University of Sheffield’s offering on ‘How to Write Your First Song.’

Technical skills

Mr Varnakulasingham successfully completed massive open online courses on ‘Big Data for Better Performance,’ ‘Innovation for Powerful Outcomes,’ ‘Mobile Robotics,’ ‘User Experience for the Web,’ ‘Writing for the Web,’ ‘Introduction to Enterprise Architecture’ and ‘Online Advertising.’

He joined the International Documentary Association’s community of documentation, industry professionals, journalists, activists and connoisseurs of non-fiction film to know the technical details of producing documentary films.

Editor’s Note: The above is by no means an exhaustive account of the educational achievements of Mr Varnakulasingham. This exercise has certainly exhausted us (!) but we hope to include more of his qualifications as footnotes to his articles in our future issues. For sharing information on films and theatre, please contact him by email thilliar@xtra.co.nz

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