Distinguished screenwriter and academic Anjum Rajabali, who is known for his work in ‘Satyagraha’, ‘Aarakshan’ and ‘Raajneeti’ among others, has joined hands with Mumbai Mantra for their new initiative – Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme ‘100 Storytellers A Year’, which was announced of late.
With Anjum Rajabali as its Convenor, the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme is a detailed step-by-step process of nurturing, which will have 8 defined stages of creative intervention. The Programme invites applications from enthusiastic and determined Indian screenwriters from any part of the world. The programme is also open to non-resident Indians and even those with mixed Indian parentage. For which the submission date is August 20th.
Said Anjum Rajabali, “Indian screenwriting is in an exciting phase right now, and poised to take a leap to another level. Young aspirants are coming up with very promising work. By giving a much-needed boost to their efforts, this programme will help create an eco-system where all kinds of cinemas can co-exist.”a
Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra said, “Our mission at Mumbai Mantra is to provide a springboard for writers which will help them take their scripts to the screen. We want to reach across to every storyteller with a dream. These screenplays (and even those that do not get selected as finalists), shall be part of the CineRise Script Bank and may still get attention from Producers in the future. India is a land of stories and we would like to provide a platform to these stories so that they can travel and cut across barriers.”
Said Aparna Purohit, Head – Creative Initiatives, Mumbai Mantra, “To provide comprehensive support to the writers, a 2-day screenwriting workshop will be held in different cities across the country. Among the submitted applications, 100 stories will be selected for the workshop out of which the finalists will come in for intensive interactions with experienced writers and directors at the workshop. The selected participants can choose the Center closest to their homes.”
The first day of the workshop will be open to EVERY enthusiast (for a nominal fee), including applicants who did not get selected in top 100. Those selected (in the top 100) will be invited to attend and shall not be required to pay any fees. The workshop will be an intensive introduction to screenwriting where some valuable lessons about the craft will be imparted. It will help participants understand the creative tools required to be able to create a robust screenplay. Those who do NOT make it to the top 100 this year can therefore use this guidance to apply to the programme next year.
After the workshop, these 100 screenwriters shall have 2 months to submit the first draft of their screenplays basis which the final selections will be made. 12 to 15 deserving screenplays will make it to the final selection. These screenplays will be sent to the Mentors and other experts, for detailed evaluation and notes. The Mentors will be leading film Screenwriters and Directors.
After receiving notes from the Mentors, the writers will have 1 more month to send in the second drafts of their screenplays. Post this; the finalists will be invited to a 5-day workshop at a Resort destination. Here, the screenwriters will have 4-5 exhaustive one-on-ones with the Mentors, who will be renowned writers and directors from the Indian as well as the International film Industry.
Using the notes from the workshop the writers will revise their screenplays and turn in their third draft, in readiness for an S2S event (From Script to Screen). This draft will then be pitched to studio heads, independent producers, directors, financiers, distributors, film festival directors & curators at the Pitch Event to be held in Mumbai. This is one of the highlights of the programme.