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First Annual Screenwriter's Conference

Courtesy: IndiaFM
Friday, August 18, 2006
The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) will be holding the First All-India Screenwriter's Conference on 19th and 20th of August. The basic idea of the conference will be to draw attention to the subject of screenwriting and make it a part of public discourse. Some of the speakers for the occasion will be Anurag Kashyap, Vinay Shukla, Abbas Tyrewala, Vishal Bhardwaj and Sriram Raghavan. The conference will be attended by some of the top names of the Indian films industry including Ashutosh Gowarikar, Javed Akhtar, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, Subhash Ghai, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, etc.

Over a period of 2 days, the conference will talk about various issues regarding screenwriting.

We spoke to Anjum Rajabali, the course advisor at FTII and writer of movies such as Drohkaal, the Legend of Bhagat Singh, Pukar, etc. who initiated this conference.

The First All-India Screenwriter's Conference is your brainchild. How did this idea come about? I had a discussion with the director of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Tripurari Sharan. India is the largest film-producing country in the world and there was no course for screen-writing at all. We had initiated the subject of screenwriting in FTII about 2 years back. So while discussing this we felt there was a need to hold a conference for screenwriters across the country. This will have a gathering of about 150-200 writers.

Why the FTII as a location?
FTII is the pioneer in starting the screenwriting subject in India and that is why we felt it would be the ideal place.

What will be the basic agenda of the conference?
It will be to get screenwriters together under one roof and discuss various issues. We will speak on why this field is lagging behind and what are the different obstacles- creative, professional and industrial.

Will there be any technicalities of writing involved?
No, this is not a training workshop. Apart from the various problems we will be speaking about the history of screen-writing in India. In India, a script is written in the narrative tradition and is based on myths, fables and legends. In Hollywood, it is invented. Then we will speak about the current scenario of screen-writing in India and the topic of writing on a global scenario.

Are there any commercial aspirations behind this conference?
No, it is basically about addressing neglected issues.

Will it be of any help for struggling writers to get a break?
Maybe not to get a break but a lot of relationships can be established as there will be open sessions between the speakers and participants.

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