Making sense of life through storytelling: Local filmmaker Ashray Dravidian aims to capture the complexity of the human psyche and the horrors of war.

Motion picture Institute graduate, Ashray Dravidian (class of 2014), was featured on "The Indian Scene's" website for his new project entitled 'The Scream in Silence.' The story follows a story of the Holocaust and is dedicated to the "Orphans of the war."

Read the full Article below: 

Making sense of life through storytelling: Local filmmaker Ashray Dravidian aims to capture the complexity of the human psyche and the horrors of war. - MPI News -  Motion Picture Institute in Troy MI - Main-Photo-1024x605%5B1%5D

“I can hear their screams as they waited in the dark room,” says Berek Kaufman, as he describes his memories of the Holocaust to his sister. “And their screams when the gas was released.” 

Kaufmann is the main character in “They Scream in Silence,” an award-winning short film created by Ashray Dravidian and dedicated to “Orphans of the War,” those who lost their families in the Holocaust and later settled in the US and Israel with priority status.

Through searing cinematography, Dravidian takes us on a journey with Kaufman as he contemplates the horrors of his childhood. Each feature of the film, from the somber music to the well-chosen poetry, leaves one touched by its deep, dark story. 

Selected for many festivals, including the Great Lakes Film Festival, Indigo Moon Film Festival, East Lansing Film Festival and the Central Michigan International Film Festival, the short film has already made a name for itself and for its up-and-coming, young filmmaker. It has also been awarded “Best Michigan-Made Short,” at the Royal Starr Film Festival in Royal Oak, an “Outstanding Achievement Award,” at the Cult Critic Movie awards in Kolkata and was a semi-finalist at the Los Angeles Cinefest. 

Making sense of life through storytelling: Local filmmaker Ashray Dravidian aims to capture the complexity of the human psyche and the horrors of war. - MPI News -  Motion Picture Institute in Troy MI - 1-768x1153%5B1%5D

“They Scream in Silence” is Dravidian’s third film, though he has made four in total. He is involved in every aspect of the films he makes, from writing to directing to casting. (Writing, he says, is the most challenging part.)

Originally from a small town in Karnataka, Dravidian had always dreamed of being a filmmaker. His love of reading and fascination with psychology led him directly to a creative career path. His father, an agriculture scientist, and mother, a homemaker, originally hoped he would pursue a career as an engineer, but they have been supportive of his decision.

“I have a strange love of both sides of my brain,” says Dravidian. “I’m obviously very interested in art, but I also love science.” He remembers his favorite books to read growing up being “Interpretation of Dreams” by Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and Albert Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity.”

At the age of 18, he moved to Bangalore and earned a B.A. in Art History from the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, one of India’s leading fine arts and design institutes.

“Our philosophy is that every student is a creative individual gifted with different abilities,” says the school’s director Professor Tejendra Singh Baoni. “Our teaching methodologies are based on this principle. “

During his four years of college, Dravidian wrote and directed three plays for his theater team. In his final year of enrollment, 2012, he created an art installation — “La Cristo” — for which he covered the whole building in white cloth, winning him the school’s “Best Artwork of the Year” award.

He then decided to enroll in the Motion Picture Institute in Troy in 2013 and moved to Detroit to study filmmaking on a student visa. He was drawn to the program’s affordability and hands-on approach to filmmaking.

Dravidian has always had a love for film, from Steven Spielberg to Andrei Tarkovsky. “I can’t name just one film as my favorite,” says Dravidian. “It’s way too hard, especially when I understand the work behind them. I really love the technical side of films.”

When pressed, he points to Darren Aronofsky’s magical realist epic “The Fountain” for its narrative structure and spiritual heft and Zhang Yimou’s “Hero,” which he calls “poetry in motion.”

In his time at Motion Picture Institute — he graduated in 2014 — he wrote and directed four short films. His thesis film, “Asphyxia” won six awards in local and international film festivals.

Making sense of life through storytelling: Local filmmaker Ashray Dravidian aims to capture the complexity of the human psyche and the horrors of war. - MPI News -  Motion Picture Institute in Troy MI - 3-2-e1553811042339-768x1365%5B1%5D


“Ashray’s visuals are astonishing, powerful, and beautiful,” says his screenwriting teacher Richard Rothrock. “He tackles some major issues about life and how some of us attempt to make sense of life through storytelling.”

Much of the inspiration for his work comes from dreams. “I wake up some nights and I have a complete story that I need to write down.”

A recurring theme throughout his films has been the terror of war. “There is just something about it that I’m drawn to,” says Dravidian. “Maybe because it’s so unbelievable that I just can’t turn away from all the stories.”

“They Scream in Silence” continues to screen at various film festivals and earn awards.

“Quite intriguing story. Excellent camera work,” wrote one reviewer on social media. “Keep making films like this and the world will come to know you.”


Mishra Patel S. (2019, April 16). Making sense of life through storytelling. Received from


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