Vinit Masram (1988 – 2023)

by | Sunday, July 16, 2023

I found out about Vinit Masram’s passing a week or so go.

I did not know Vinit personally, having met him just once, at IDC’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2020. But the news of his death hit me hard.

I had been a fan of his work for a long time – having stumbled on his YouTube channel years ago. Cinema beyond Entertainment is a collection of beautifully crafted, insightful, analytic and creative, video essays about cinema. It is truly an amazing body of work. A labor of love, the depth and quality of analysis and clarity of exposition is truly amazing. I have, over the years, sought out and watched almost every video that he released. Clearly Vinit was a person who lived and breathed cinema. He had a wonderful visual style as well, effortless and smooth, wearing his expertise and talent lightly. As Sumant Rao, one of his professors at IDC, wrote:

He had the rare ability to take subjects that were difficult to understand and make them easy… I had the pleasure of seeing the start of this journey while guiding his project as an animation student during his MDes. He had chosen perhaps one of the most difficult topics for a short animation film, explaining Einstein’s Theory of Simple Relativity… You can see how even at that time, [so early in his career] he had the maturity of creating an engaging experience without compromising on the communication. (The video is embedded at the end of this post).

I met him just once, at the IDC Jubilee, back in 2020. In fact, back then, despite having followed his work for a while, I didn’t know that we were both alumni of the same institute. This is not entirely surprising since I had graduated years before him. Someone, in passing, mentioned that the YouTube channel Cinema beyond Entertainment was the creation of a fellow IDCian, and that he was there for the Jubilee. I insisted on being introduced to him. When we met, I went all fan-boy, and maybe embarrassed him a bit. We talked for a minute or two where i just told him (more than once) just him how much I loved his work. He was polite but we really didn’t get a chance to connect.

Vinit had a unique, authentic voice and sensibility, and in some profound sense, you felt you knew him, as person, through watching his videos. He was that passionate friend, who just wanted to share his love for something–in this case cinema—with you, and through that, push you to see the world through their eyes. Vinit, even in the short time he had on this planet, managed to touch people at a deeply personal level, through this knowledge and expertise, the clarity of his voice, and his ability to communicate complex ideas in simple yet powerful ways. And first and foremost his genuine love of cinema. He was a great educator and he will be missed.


Note: I was asked to create a short video for a condolence meeting being organized at IDC. Below is what I had shared. It is essentially the same prose above – just me speaking it, kept here for the record.


I have been compulsively going back and watching his videos over the past week or so. I will include a few below but you should check out the channel for yourself.


Here are a few of his videos:

The official trailer to the channel (watch it for how beautifully it is edited – just over 2 minutes)

A lovely visual essay, an ode to why we love this medium

One of his first films: Understanding Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

A few randomly selected blog posts…

e. e. cummings on the battle for identity

Patrick Dickson just quoted e. e. cummings (one of my favorite poets) and I just had to look it up. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can...

The Allegory of the Cave

Plato's Allegory of the Cave (see Wikipedia entry) illustrates "our nature in its education and want of education." It is maybe one of the most famous allegories in literature and philosophy, a precursor to the kinds of mind-games (think brain in a vat) that...

Design\Ethics\AI

Design\Ethics\AI

Technologies like remote proctoring software and advanced language models are no longer futuristic concepts. They're here, and they're reshaping how we learn and how we teach. But with these advancements come critical ethical considerations. The deployment of these...

Shreya’s blog, new Sci-Po’s

Shreya, my daughter has a blog, Uniquely Mine. An RSS feed from her blog can be found right here (just scroll down and see the right column). Anyway, over the past few weeks she has been doing something for extra credit for the science class. Her fifth-grade teacher...

What is the value of a theoretical framework?

One question that all doctoral students dread (and rightfully so) is "What is your theoretical framework?" Why, they wonder (silently), why do we need a framework? This question popped up recently in, of all places, Facebook. Pilar Quezzaire, a graduate of our MAET...

Creativity, risk-taking, education

Creativity, risk-taking, education

EduSummIT is a global community of policy-makers, researchers, and educators working together to move education into the digital age. The last EduSummit (2019) was held in Quebec, Canada and I was a member of Thematic Working Group 3 (TWG3) on Creativity for Teachers...

SITE presentations: 21st Century learning, TPACK and more…

I had a bunch of presentations at the recently concluded SITE2011 conference at Nashville TN. There is a lot to post about the conference, particularly the presentations I made at the beginning of the day... but that will have to wait until later. This posting is...

3 super-short stories

3 super-short stories

Students in my EDT180 class spent some time yesterday writing short stories. Super short stories, trying to tell a complete story in just 55 words! As it turns this (55 Fiction) is actually a thing – as a simple google search will reveal. Seeing my students engage in...

We feel fine

We Feel Fine is a web-installation, "a self-organizing particle system," art project that is powerful and touching - building as it does on people's emotions, harvested from blog postings from around the world. As the designers say, "We hope it makes the world seem a...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *