By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on August 12, 2015
The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) announced the selection of 6 projects for its first ever Children's Screenwriters Lab introduced this year. With an aim to cultivate original Indian stories specifically for children and adolescents, the Children's Screenwriters Lab will provide participants the opportunity to explore their stories through one-on-one and group sessions with international mentors.
The three mentors for the Children's Screenwriters Lab are Mieke de Jong, Rasmus Horskjær and Anna Tamara Bos. Each of these writers have written extensively for films and television.
Mieke de Jong has written several feature films, television series, television plays and shorts. Mieke’s screenplay, Winter in Wartime was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2010. Her other work too has won several awards at festivals all over the world. Mieke’s stories are densely populated by strong characters in unusual situations. Her feature films for children find as much appreciation from children as grown ups.
Rasmus Horskjær has written and directed several comedy and satire shows and series. He has just finished directing the historic satire show Denmark set to premiere on national Danish television in October 2015. He has also supported and co-developed 11 feature films on behalf of the Danish Film Institute: NordVest (Tribeca 2013), Antboy (Toronto 2013), When Animals Dream (Cannes 2014) being the noted few.
Anna Tamara Bos has written almost thirty books for children and many scripts for feature films, drama series and single plays, mainly for children. Her debut, Class Dismissed won the Prix Jeunesse 1996, Dutch Academy Award 1997 and the LIRA-writers-award 1999 for the best drama script for children written in the period 1994-1999. Apart from writing her own stories, Tamara Bos has also adapted the novels of the famous Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt. Winky’s Horse (2005), based on her first original screenplay, was a national and international success.
The selection consists of narratives and perspectives that would engage young audiences.
Sagarika Banik has directed several short films and documentaries on various social and environmental concerns. She has also written for Bengali television apart from assisting on feature films like Red Alert and Ring Road Shubha.
Soumitra Ranade is the writer and director behind children’s films like Jajantaram Mamantaram, Goopi Gawaiyaa Bagha Bajaiyaa and Alibaba Aur 41 Chor. He has also written books for children and directed documentaries like Khoob Asti Afghanistan (Are You Alright Afghanistan?). Ranade has represented Indian animation at international film festivals and has been on the pre-selection committee for the International Children’s Film Festival, India. Saumitra Ranade is also making a remake of Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai? starring Nandita Das, Manav Kaul and Saurabh Shukla and the project is looking to raise 30 lakhs through a crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry.
Shreyas Govindarajan Thathachari is a young writer who has worked in feature films, television serials, short films, and commercials. Apart from developing his own scripts, he has worked as an assistant director and script supervisor in projects like the Walt Disney production, Million Dollar Arm. The Adventures of Kaka and Kiki would be his debut feature as a screenwriter.
Ravi S. Alok is a writer and director whose short films, The Ticket and Khuli Khidki have shown at film festivals in India and abroad. As a writer, Alok has collaborated with Sudhir Mishra and is writing his next feature film.
Sharmila Sankar is a writer and producer who was trained at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and Femis, Paris. She has executed Diva a Malay feature film and Kiss Kis Ko, a Hindi film shot in Bali, Indonesia. Apart from heading an independent media company, Sankar has also developed and published eight books on Indian wildlife.
Girish Jotwani holds a degree in Editing from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He has written, directed and edited several short films.
The participants will also get a chance to pitch their scripts to producers and investors in a specially designed session during Film Bazaar 2015. This completes the shortlist of scripts for all the 3 screenwriting labs at the Film Bazaar this year. Read more about the selected participants for the Romance and Screenwriter's lab.