By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on July 28, 2015
Six projects have been selected for this year's Film Bazaar Screenwriters' Lab. This year's edition saw close to 280 applicants with original Indian stories. The Lab gives an opportunity to independent screenwriters to develop their skills under the guidance of a variety of experts from across the globe. Through one-on-one sessions with their mentors, the screenwriters are advised on tools and techniques required to improve their scripts and methods to pitch the same in internationally.
This year's screenwriting lab is going to be held in collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival. The Lab was previously hosted at Toronto, Locarno and Venice film festivals. Over the years, the lab has developed a reputation for churning out quality projects with films like The Good Road, The Lunchbox, Titli, Chauranga, Dum Lagake Haisha among the few that were mentored at the lab.
Film Bazaar, like the name suggests, was established in 2007 as a converging point for buyers and sellers of film rights and is aimed at facilitating sales of world cinema in the South Asian region and the promotion of Indian cinema in the international circuit.
The six projects that have been selected are:
Gitanjali Rao is one of the most versatile names you will see in this list. She is a self taught animator, film maker and theatre artist. She has since, independently produced, directed and animated two award winning short films, Orange and Printed Rainbow. Printed Rainbow premiered at Cannes 2006, in competition at the Critic's Week. It went on to win the award for the Best Short film. Her last project, True Love Story was also at Cannes last year and has traveled to multiple film festivals across the globe.
Shubhashish Bhutiani graduated from New York City’s School of Visual Arts with an undergraduate degree in direction and writing. His first short film Kush premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Orizzonti award for Best Short Film. Since then the film has played at the number of festivals, including the South Asian International Film Festival in New York City. His film also went on to win top awards at SVA’s 24th Annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival and also won the National Award in 2013.
Ankit Kothari is an emerging writer who graduated with a BFA in Applied Arts from MSU, Baroda. Kothari worked as an art director in the advertising industry before venturing into filmmaking.
Sidharth Gupt is a filmmaker who wrote and directed one of the segments (Epilogue) in Shorts, a compilation of five short films, produced by Anurag Kashyap. As an assistant director, Gupt has worked in Dasvidaniya, Gangs of Wasseypur and Khoobsurat.
Asad Hussain’s is a screenplay writer who has co-write Children of War, a film based on the war for Bangladesh's liberation. He has written the additional screenplay for Bajrangi Bhaijan. Apart from these, Hussain has also worked for educational content in Afghanistan.
Arijit Biswas is the co-writer of Agent Vinod and Badlapur. He has also written extensively for Hindi and Bengali television. He was a part of this insightful Q&A session with director Sriram Raghavan and editor Pooja Ladha Surti after the release of Badlapur.
Selected projects will travel to Sarajevo in August for the first part of the lab. The selected members will also attend the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) later this year.