Dr Pooja Misal: “Inspired by the creativity and innovation within the community, I created a platform that celebrates the untapped talent of the students…”

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She is indeed a woman of substance. Filled with integrity, determination and passion, this young woman has winged her way to success in the competitive educational industry of India. Meet Dr Pooja Misal, the Founder and Director of SMEF’s Brick Group of Institutes and one of the youngest educationalists in the country. In an exclusive interview with Sumita Chakraborty, Editor-in-chief, TheGlitz, Dr Pooja Misal talks about the Brick Film Festival, milestones and challenges and much more. Read on…

Dr Pooja Misal

She earned her MBA from Cardiff in the U.K and has also completed a course in Financial Management for non-profit from the coveted Harvard University and done a short course in Book Writing from City University, UK. Her quest for learning kept her invested in new avenues for knowledge always. That’s why she took on the great task of setting up an institute designed for progressive India at the age of 24.

Today, Dr Pooja Misal credits her success to her inspirational parents, the role of education in her life and her desire to transform the learning industry in India. And she still continues to strive for excellence at the institute by constantly evolving the curricula to match global standards, creating an encouraging hands-on learning atmosphere and building great designers of tomorrow. This is evident in her students’ accomplishments on local, national and international platforms.

To reach global students, she has now launched a hybrid Ed-tech platform (BrickETC) to help students in their journey from interest to a progressive career. Brick ETC offers over 30 courses and will have over 50 in the first year. Pooja’s passion, determination, and commitment to SMEF’s Brick Group also got her the opportunity to speak at a Tedx Event in Pune.

As the Founder and CEO of BrickETC, Pooja believes that her platform will benefit a large number of students to design their lives with a strong foundation. Pooja is also the founder and Managing Director of a start-up ‘Uniform Infra Maintenance and Services’ which provides skilled staff to organizations and public spaces on a contract basis for housekeeping and maintenance services. Her future plans include setting up many more state-of-the-art institutes and eventually a private University in India. She’s constantly inspiring students to leap toward their passions to build a sustainable future. Read on…

Could you tell us more about your Brick Film Festival journey? How did the journey start? What made you think of this concept?

The journey of Brick Film Festival started as a vision to create a vibrant platform for aspiring and budding filmmakers. Inspired by the creativity and innovation within the community, I saw an opportunity to create a platform that celebrates the untapped talent of the students which needs to be encouraged and acknowledged. The concept was driven by a desire to provide a space for enthusiasts to showcase their talent, share their stories, and connect with like-minded individuals.

How did you pinpoint the name Brick Film Festival?

The name “Brick Film Festival” was chosen to emphasize the central focus on cinema and the celebration of the art of filmmaking. Hosted by SMEF’s Brick Group of Institutes, it is a straightforward and inclusive name that reflects the diversity of content we aimed to showcase, encompassing various genres and styles of art and creativity at our very own campus which is a celebration of art in itself.

The festival looks very exciting, what are you offering to emerging talent in terms of filmmakers and content creators? What is your goal in conceptualizing such a festival?

Brick Film Festival is designed to offer emerging talent a platform to exhibit their work, gain exposure, and connect with industry professionals. The aim is to provide a space for filmmakers and content creators to express themselves, share their unique perspectives, and receive constructive feedback. Workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities are incorporated to facilitate learning and collaboration. The goal is to inspire creativity, foster skill development, and build a supportive community through this platform.

Have you faced any challenges in conceptualizing and then realizing the Film Festival? If yes, how did you tackle them?

Conceptualizing and realizing the Brick Film Festival posed its own set of challenges. One significant challenge was creating awareness and building a community around a niche concept. Overcoming this involved forming a dedicated organizing committee, strategic marketing, outreach efforts, and partnerships with established filmmaking communities. Additionally, coordinating logistics for submissions, judging, and the actual event required meticulous planning and collaboration. By staying adaptable and addressing challenges as they arose, we are able to bring the festival to a desired execution as planned.

What are the three milestones you have achieved?

Establishing a Strong Community: Building a dedicated and engaged community of filmmakers and enthusiasts who actively participate in the festival and share their work through this platform.
Successful Inaugural Edition: Hosting a well-received inaugural Film Festival with a diverse range of student submissions, engaging discussions, and positive feedback from both participants and attendees.
Industry Engagement: Attracting participation and support from industry professionals, including filmmakers and experts, who contributed to the festival through workshops, talks, and mentorship sessions.

What are your future endeavours?

Future endeavors include expanding the Film Festival’s reach and impact, both within our college and beyond. The aim is to strengthen partnerships with industry players and potentially open it to a wider audience. The overarching goal is to make the Film Festival a cornerstone of creative expression within our college, fostering a culture of filmmaking and storytelling that continues to thrive and evolve.

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