NFDC India announces the six selected projects of its first Children's Screenwriter's Lab introduced this year

NFDC India announces the six selected projects of its first Children's Screenwriter's Lab introduced this year

~The six scripts of Children’s Screenwriters’ Lab 2015 are Kabuliwala by Soumitra Ranade, A Lottery Ticket by Sagarika Banik, The Adventures of Kaka and Kaki by Shreyas Govindarajan Thathachari, The Girl with the Gents Bicycle - Ravi S. Alok, The Mahout - Sharmila Sankar and The Pink Walls of My School - Girish Jotwani~
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Mumbai, August 12, 2015: National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) India is pleased to announce the six projects selected for its first ever Children’s Screenwriters’ Lab introduced this year. The projects will be mentored by Mieke de Jong, Rasmus Horskjær and Anna Tamara Bos, known internationally for their extensive work in children’s films. 

The Six Projects are:
  • A Lottery Ticket - Sagarika Banik
  • Kabuliwala - Soumitra Ranade
  • The Adventures of Kaka and Kiki - Shreyas Govindarajan Thathachari
  • The Girl with the Gents Bicycle - Ravi S. Alok
  • The Mahout - Sharmila Sankar
  • The Pink Walls of My School - Girish Jotwani
The selection consists of narratives and perspectives that would engage young audiences.

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 participants will also get a chance to pitch their scripts to producers and investors in a specially designed session during Film Bazaar 2015.

Nina Lath Gupta, the Managing Director of NFDC India who introduced Children Screenwriters' Lab this year says , "For a country where a very substantial percentage of our population are children, we have a huge paucity of sufficient content for kids in the feature film space. Given NFDC's focus on initiating development work in areas where there is a perceived vacuum, it was only natural for the institution to take up the issue of developing production worthy content for children's films."

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 Short bios of the six screenwriters:
  • 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 MamantaramGoopi 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.
  • 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 Shankar 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, Pune. He has written, directed and edited several short films. 
The bios of the three mentors of Children's Screenwriters’ Lab are enclosed.
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Children’s Screenwriters’ Lab Mentors:
  1. Mieke de Jong
Mieke de Jong (The Netherlands, 1957) writes for film and television. She 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.
At present, Mieke coaches young writers and teaches at the Dutch  Film Academy.
2.                  Rasmus Horskjær
Rasmus Horskjær is a freelance writer, director and concept developer.  Since 1998, he has worked continuously with The Danish Broadcasting Corporation. He has also served as as the Film Commissioner at the Danish Film Institute from 2010  to 2014. During his term as the Film Commissioner, he created a new agenda based on his strong ambition to integrate genre-elements in Danish movies for young audiences. 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.
As an active part of the new generation in Danish youth television, he 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.
Horskjær is also a Member of Generation Jury, Berlinale (2012) and an avid blogger for Danish film magazine Ekko.
3.                  Anna Tamara Bos
Tamara Bos, a graduate of the University of Amsterdam and mother of three, has been making a living as a writer, especially a screenwriter, since 1994. She 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. She was also writer of Minoes (2001) and Pluk and His Towtruck (2004).

Winky’s Horse (2005), based on her first original screenplay, was a national and
international success. It was selected for several film festivals around the world (Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago) and won several awards. She also won a Golden Calf for the best original
screenplay at the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht (2005). The feature Fidgety Bram (2011), based on her latest original screenplay, won the UPC Cinekid Award 2012 for Best Feature Film at the Cinekid festival in Amsterdam.

At present, Tamara Bos is busy writing several screenplays and working as a
creative producer at Bosbros. Film-TV productions.
 Displaying Shreyas.jpg
Gitanjali Rao’s Bombay Rose among six Finalists of NFDC India Screenwriters’ Lab Film Bazaar 2015

Screenwriters’ Lab is going to be held in collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival this year


Mumbai July 27, 2015: National Film Development Corporation, India announces its selection of six projects for the Screenwriters’ Lab 2015 from close to 280 applications.

Previously hosted in Toronto, Locarno and Venice film festivals, Screenwriters’ Lab is going to be held in collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival this year.

Selected projects will travel to Sarajevo in August for the first part of the lab and then to Goa in November for the second, before being presented at Film Bazaar, the annual international film market, held alongside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The selection this year includes projects spanning across varied stories, styles and genres.

Bombay Rose - Gitanjali Rao
City of Light - Shubhashish Bhutiani
Dastaan E Awaargi - Ankit Kothari
Mango’s Tale - Sidharth Gupt
The Return - Asad Hussain
The Sun Goes Round the Earth - Arijit Biswas

Gitanjali Rao is an animator and filmmaker whose latest project, True Love Story, premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week, 2014 in competition. Her other animation short, Printed Rainbow, received several awards including the Kodak Short Film Award, and the Young Critics Award at Cannes Critics’ Week, 2006.

Shubhashish Bhutiani forayed into filmmaking with his short film Kush which won the Orizzonti Prize for Best Short Film at Venice International Film Festival. He has previously worked as an assistant director in commercials and feature films.

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 in Shorts, a compilation of five short films, produced by Anurag Kashyap. As an assistant director, Gupt has worked inDasvidaniya, Gangs  of Wasseypur and Khoobsurat.

Asad Hussain’s journey as a screenplay writer led him to 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.

In the previous years, films that were part of The Screenwriters’ Lab include The Good Road,Lunchbox, Titli, Chauranga, Dum Lagake Haisha and Island City.

Juhi Chaturvedi (Piku, Vicky Donor), Sharat Kataria, (Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Titli) and Habib Faisal ( Fan , Do Dooni Chaar) will mentor the six finalists of NFDC India Romance Screenwriters’ Lab 2015
The six final scripts are Chitrangada Body, Speech and Mind by Abhyuday Khaitan, Fly Me to the Moon by VivekRaju, Matsyagandha by  Pooja Gupta, Tatevik by  Samimitra Das, The List  by  Varun Oberoi and You’ve Been Pinged  by  Smita Kapoor Das
Mumbai August 8, 2015: National Film Development Corporation, India announces its selection of six projects for its second edition of the Romance Screenwriters’ Lab 2015.
The Romance Screenwriters’ Lab is part of NFDC Labs’ ongoing initiative to develop original voices and stories from India. The selected participants work with mentors to explore their stories in one-on-one as well as group sessions and master classes. The participants will also get a chance to pitch their scripts to producers and investors in a specially designed session during Film Bazaar 2015. 
Aimed at domestic as well as international markets, these projects will be mentored by the industry’s top talent. This year’s mentors, known for their path breaking work, are Juhi Chaturvedi, Sharat Katariya and Habib Faisal.
The selection this year includes projects with interesting and varied perspectives on the themes of love and romance. 
Chitrangada: Body, Speech and Mind - Abhyuday Khaitan
Fly Me to the Moon - Vivek Raju
Matsyagandha - Pooja Gupta
Tatevik - Samimitra Das
The List - Varun Oberoi
You’ve Been Pinged - Smita Kapoor Das
Abhyuday Khaitan is a writer, director and cinematographer who has been making short films since his school days. ‘Untitled’, his second short film, was screened at Digital Talkies International Film Festival in Delhi (2001) and at Cine Nova, Brussels. ‘Endoscopy’, a one-minute film, was selected for screening at the European Media Arts Festival, Germany. ‘The Shop That Sold Everything’, co-written by him, won the Gold Award for Best Short Fiction at the Indian Documentary Producers Association Awards. As a cinematographer, Khaitan has shot two feature films: ‘The Luckiest Girl on the Lower East Side’ (USA), and ‘Guru’ (Hungary/India).
Vivek Raju is a self-taught filmmaker who dropped out of engineering school to explore his talent for cinematic storytelling. He has shot and directed a documentary for the Defence Research and Development Organization and has also worked in various capacities for feature films and documentaries. His first screenplay, ‘Big Bad Wolf’ is a Tamil film that is still in development.
Pooja Gupta is a young writer who is close to finishing her academic training as a screenwriter. She holds a Masters Degree in Communication from the University of Pune and a diploma in cinematography. As a student, Gupta has been a prolific writer. ‘Matsyagandha’ would be her debut feature as a screenwriter.
Samimitra Das learnt the ropes of screenwriting and direction at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute. He has worked as an assistant director on ‘Lootera’ and an associate director on the Bengali film, ‘Buno Haansh’., Das has also written and directed short films and documentaries such as “Between the Rains”, ‘My Armenian Neighbourhood’ and ‘Yari Road’ which have been screened at various Indian film festivals.
Varun Oberoi used to be a mechanical engineer who worked as the Service Head at Orion Motors Pvt. Ltd. He has decided to forego his primary profession in order to pursue his passion for cinema. ‘The List’ would be his debut feature as a screenwriter.
Smita Kapoor Das is a writer with 15 years of experience in the film and television industry. Apart from  assisting on TV shows, commercials and feature films, she has also written and directed a number of non-fiction television shows. She has also donned the director’s cap for four short films that have been screened at Indian film festivals.





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