Nandita Das' Biopic Of Manto Amongst 6 Projects Selected For The Drishyam|Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2016!

By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on March 17, 2016

The Drishyam|Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2016 has announced the selection of 6 projects for its second edition. The Lab is a platform for filmmakers who are making their first or second narrative feature by providing an opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Projects like Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s The Sweet Requiem & Raj Rishi More’s Pirates were first discovered at the Drishyam Sundance lab before getting selected at film markets like the Asian Project Market and the NFDC Co-Production Market.

Here's the list of six narratives that are selected for this year's edition of the Drishyam|Sundance Screenwriters Lab:

1. Barren Land

The film is written by Neeraj Narkar, a theater artist who previously directed the award winning short film Nana Parit Pangri. The short won the first runner up award at the Indian competition in Bengaluru International Short Film Festival along with bagging an award at the International film festival of Mumbai. Nana Parit Pangri captures the life of a nine year old who is enslaved in a firecracker factory and his relationship with his grandfather.

Do watch the interview with Neeraj Narkar on Nana Parit Pangri below:

2. Manto

Nandita Das' biopic of Saadat Hassan Manto which earlier got selected for the NFDC Co-production Market has also been selected for the Drishyam|Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Saadat Hasan Manto was a man whose short stories left a huge imprint on 20th century literature of South Asia, thanks to his wry and sharp take on the social taboos that were prevalent in the society back then.

Speaking to The Hindu late last year, Das said, "Manto is more relevant now when we are grappling with issues like freedom of expression and identity. I feel a film on Manto can bring India and Pakistan closer, and counter the stereotypical perceptions.”

The film will focus on the part of his life spent living in India & his close friendship with the actor Shyam.

3. Nisar (Sacrifice)

Written by Karan Tejpal and Gaurav Solanki, Nisar is the story of two lovers from Haryana who are torn between their undying love for each other and the patriarchal tradition prevalent in their village. Nisar showcases the bygone orthodox traditions and customs that are followed in Indian villages till date.

4. Ram ji ka Ghoda

Ram ji ka Ghoda is written by Bishnu Dev Halder, who won the National Film Award for the Best Non-feature Film on Social Issues in 2007 for Bagher Bachcha. Bishnu completed his post-graduate Diploma in Direction and Screenplay Writing from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in 2007 and shot his first feature documentary, I Was Born In Delhi..., over a period of five years. The documentary was nominated in the competition section, First Appearance, of the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2011.

5. Shame, Shame Puppy Shame

Shame, Shame Puppy Shame is written by Batul Mukhtiar and Vivek Shah, the duo who previously made the children's film Kaphal-Wild Berries, that won the prestigious Swarna Kamal for Best Children’s Film at the 61st National Film Awards. Batul previously directed  a documentary feature 150 Seconds Ago and a children’s film Lilkee, both of which traveled to numerous festivals across the world.

6. Reincarnation

Reincarnation, a short by Gaurav Bakshi on the life of a regular guy who begins to believe that he is Mahatma Gandhi is the last film to be selected for the Drishyam|Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2016. The short explores the thin line between reality and hallucinations by showcasing the events that occur in a regular man's life.

The previous edition of the Lab had a diverse mix of Indian and international filmmakers as their creative advisors, including Srdan Golubovic (Circles), Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers), Habib Faisal (Do Dooni Char), Sriram Raghavan (Badlapur, Ek Haseena Thi) & Sridhar Raghavan among others.


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