Film producer Mayuran Tiruchelvam introduced students in Sacred Heart University’s Film and Television Master’s Program (FTMA) to a global view of the producer’s role during his year as the first artist-in-residence there.
Tiruchelvam produced the award-winning feature documentary, To Be Takei; the international feature film, Across the Sea; the Independent Spirit Award-nominated film, The Mend; and The Girl Is in Trouble, with Spike Lee as executive producer.
His producing philosophy is to engage the world with stories about the disadvantaged and underrepresented. As a professor, he teaches his students about the producer’s role as a storyteller and also as a guiding force for film production.
“Working with the FTMA students this year has been thrilling,” Tiruchelvam said. “Helping these students develop their cinematic voices and watching them mature into compelling filmmakers has been as rewarding as anything I have ever done.”
“Mayuran has really elevated our program,” said Damon Maulucci, co-program director and assistant visiting professor at FTMA. “It’s crucial to have someone with such an extensive producing background to help inspire our students to think about the global effect of their films.”
“Mayuran approaches producing in a globally communal way,” said Isabelle Eyre, one of Tiruchelvam’s students. “Before studying under him, I thought the role of the producer was to just manage the budget, but he has opened up my eyes to the real effect producers can have on not only their productions, but the world around them.”
A graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University Film School, Tiruchelvam started out as a community organizer, working for human rights in Mexico and for a prison release program in New York City. He has more than 20 producing credits to his name, and his films have won countless festival prizes. He is currently in preproduction on his next feature film, a psychological drama titled, Nancy.
“I think the addition of Mayuran marks a real change in the culture of FTMA,” said Justin Liberman, co-program director and assistant visiting professor. “With his involvement, we have elevated our producing track and are able to offer students the insight they would get at a top-tier film school. Mayuran is a real working, award-winning producer and the exact type of practical filmmaker we want our students to learn from.”
For more information about Tiruchelvam and the FTMA program, visit ftma.sacredheart.edu or call 203- 365-7619.