Women On Television

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For years we have been lamenting rhetorically about the quality of writing on Indian television. Our most painful grouse has been about the way women and gender-equations have been portrayed on the TV screen. Our TV serials and soaps have been termed regressive, espousing conservative values, of being totally out of sync with the way Indian women actually are in our society. And, the complaints have not been invalid.

However, it’s time we asked the question: Is no change possible, at all? As writers, what are our options? Is it not possible for our writing to become the torch-bearer of change, no matter how subversively or subtly executed, to make sure that our stories and storytelling is more in consonance with our social reality to reflect the real struggles of our characters (women and men), rather than reinforcing existing stereotypes? What are the obstacles and anxieties that we are likely to face in such an attempt? What is the creative space for negotiation available to us? How can we increase that? As writers, we are meant to be one of the thought-leaders of society. Then what are our own thoughts about the situation, and about changing the culture of stories and storytelling on television?

To delve deeper into all these questions, we cordially invite you to:

Woman On TV

It promises to be a stimulating and provocative discussion, but with a constructive objective. As writers, we have to continue to put our heads together for the future of our writing.

Expecting to see you there!

(Click here for the Facebook thread of the event.)

 

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Screenwriting Workshop by Anjum Rajabali witnesses tremendous participation!

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“The vigour with which the participants interacted and questioned about the craft, sends a clear signal that we are taking our writing very seriously,” said Anjum Rajabali, at the screenwriting workshop conducted at Whistling Woods International

~ The five-day workshop organised in association with Screenwriters Association India saw a huge participation and witnessed the presence of renowned screenwriters from the film industry~

Mumbai, 09 March 2017: Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s premier Film, Communication and Media Arts institute, conducted a five-day screenwriting workshop in association with Screenwriters Association India for its filmmaking students and other participants, from 1st March to 5th March 2017, at their campus in Filmcity, Goregaon East. Hosted by industry stalwart and Head of Screenwriting at WWI, Anjum Rajabali, the workshop aimed at developing and further enhancing the screenwriting skills of the participants.

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The workshop was a golden opportunity for all the aspiring writers, and also a useful workshop for professional writers to further improvise and strengthen their understanding of the craft in detail, with the changing needs of writing for the movies. Some of the biggest and most celebrated names in the Indian screenwriting space, shared their valuable experiences with the participants and made it more interactive. The objective of the workshop was to build a confident grasp of screenwriting principles in the participants, which would further help free their original creativity.

There were several know names from the Indian television & film industry who participated in the screenwriting workshop. The professionals participating mentioned that it was an invigorating experience, as many of them came back to learning after working for several years in the industry.

“I’m excited to be a student again. I passed out in 1993, post three years of my acting training. And now after 1993, in 2017 I’m attending the screenwriting workshop. It is a great experience to be a student and just listen to an expert who is a well-read person and learn from him who knows a lot about scriptwriting. For me, it is a very thrilling experience”, said Anup Soni, film & television actor about the workshop.

In the last couple of years, the Indian film industry has witnessed a renaissance of sorts, in terms of content and screenplay. With the changing scenario of screenwriting, more films are breaking the conventional mould, relying confidently on bold scripts, which are widely accepted by the audiences. On the first day, the participants were given inputs by the professionals on the basics of screenwriting followed by a specific feedback given on how to turn stories into scripts, looking into the thematic issues and the script’s potential on the second day. The remaining three days were dedicated to improvise those scripts under the guidance of experts from the industry.

The workshop also witnessed the presence of well-known names from the Hindi film industry who shared their guidance with the participants attending the workshop. The guest speakers included renowned director & screen writers like, Jaideep Sahni (Chak De! India), Shakun Batra (Kapoor & Sons), Gauri Shinde (Dear Zindagi), Shridhar Raghavan (Dum Maaro Dum), Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (Nil Battey Sannata), Juhi Chaturvedi (Piku) and Sriram Raghavan (Badlapur) to name a few.

Talking about the workshop, Anjum Rajabali, said, “The vigour with which 140 participants interacted with the screenwriting principles, and questioned about the craft, sends a clear signal that we taking our writing very seriously. At this rate, it should be only a matter of time before we see a continuous stream of wonderful scripts becoming available to the film industry, which will lead us towards great cinema! I feel extremely proud to be associated with WWI, as they always put their best foot forward in contributing to the film fraternity.”

(Click here to see the photo-album of the workshop.)
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And the Oscar goes to…

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And so the Oscar frenzy slowly fades away for another year, although the 2017 awards will perhaps best be remembered for the near scandal unwittingly caused by Warren Beatty when he announced the wrong winner for ‘Best Movie.’ The Oscar’s are undoubtedly the most prestigious global film awards, a notion carefully built up and cultivated by the Americans who have anointed themselves the superior Big Brother at large and Warren’s gaga moment in grandly proclaiming ‘La La’ proved to the world’s shocked glee that even the Great White Massa (America) is capable of colossal boo-boos!

Some of the awardees have been hotly debated and contested. I have watched six of the leading films nominated in multiple categories – Lion, La La Land, Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester By The Sea and Jackie – and I attempt below to dissect the main awards and dispel some illusions….while also hotly disputing to myself that it seems more than just an one envelope mix-up!

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Damien Chazelle

Nominees: Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea) Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Although Barry Jenkins has crafted a sensitive story, the going is slow in the beginning, making the audience shift restlessly in their seats. Moreover, only someone who is familiar with or has read stories about what goes on in black neighbourhoods will be able to identify with the emotional trauma or the very fight for survival that growing up in such ghettos entails.

Kenneth Lonergan’s best moments are when dealing with overt emotion, otherwise, Casey Affleck is fairly sullen and withdrawn most of the time, while Lucas Hedges ably holds up his end.

Undoubtedly, Damien Chazelle has done a marvellous job. ‘Chicago,’ while being a hit especially with the sizzling, pouting Catherine Zeta Jones, was still a bit much for audiences not overly fond of musicals as their movie choice. Chazelle got it just right, bunging in a few numbers but keeping the momentum of the movie going with realistic scenes, well-defined dialogues and nifty performances from his lead pair.

But what was the jury smoking?! With Mel Gibson in that list, who earlier directed ‘Passion of the Christ’ with such compelling ardour that it gives me goose bumps even now just to think of it and who has now, with ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ directed one of the most genuine, potent war movies ever, showing battle to be as ugly and grim as it is and shorn of any of the bunkum around it – with this, a song-and-dance routine walks away with the award?? Blasphemy! ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is gritty and real, with extremely credible performances all around. It could not have been easy directing a war movie of such epic proportions – the cost, the cast, the crew…it’s mindboggling even thinking it! Gibson has pulled off this script based on a true story so ably – there is not a single loose moment anywhere in the film. Blasphemy!

Best Movie: Moonlight

Moonlight

Nominees: La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival, Hell or High Water, Fences, Lion, Hidden Figures

I’m just wondering whether personal prejudices affect the minds of the jury members at the Oscar’s too – or whether they can be bought over, same as happens in India! Mel Gibson has quite a colourful personal life and may have earned himself a few enemies in Hollywood, especially during his alcoholic phase; his ‘Passion of the Christ’ too had put him in the eye of a very controversial storm. So is that the reason his movie was passed over?! If it was up to me, there wouldn’t even BE any other film nominated beside the powerful, graphic, commanding ‘Hacksaw Ridge.’

Although ‘La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ are both undoubtedly above par movies, I don’t think ‘Manchester By The Sea’ quite cuts it. If ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ was to be bypassed – as indeed it was – then, in my opinion, ‘Lion’ should have got this award.

Best Screenplay (Adapted): Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Barry Jenkins

Nominees: Eric Heisserer (Arrival) August Wilson (Fences) Luke Davies (Lion) Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) Allison (Hidden Figures)

I am surprised to see that ‘Jackie’ did not feature in this list; I suppose one could argue it is an ‘adaptation’ since it did incorporate real life events into a reel story. ‘Lion’ did not deserve to be in here at all – the screenplay is almost a direct lift-off from the book, so I fail to see how it can be called ‘adapted.’ For once, I am in agreement with the judges; if these were the nominations, then ‘Moonlight’ did indeed deservedly get the award. The screenplay is written by Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, based on a play written by the latter, titled: ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.’ Although widespread speculation would say that the movie is about a gay protagonist (which in fact, it is) that is not the focal point of the script; rather it presents three stages in the life of the main character, i.e. childhood, adolescence and adulthood. It has been sensitively handled and the only sexually explicit scene on a moonlit beach is more suggestive than graphic.

Best Screenplay (Original): Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)

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Nominees: Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water) Damien Chazelle (La La Land) Mike Mills (20th Century Women) Yorgos Lanthimos (Lobster)

‘Lobster?’ What was ‘Lobster’ even doing in the nominations?! ‘Manchester By The Sea’ is a bit of a tearjerker script, however, I think ‘La La Land’ fairly deserved the Oscar here. It is not easy to marry a musical with a script that has spoken dialogues, apart from which, almost every scene has been realistically scripted. Damien Chazelle wrote the script himself, way back in 2010, but was unable to find a studio to finance it. Romance, dance, drama – ‘La La Land’ is a well-knitted script that has it all.

Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

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Nominees: Ryan Gosling (La La Land) Denzel Washington (Fences) Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge) Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)

This one has got to be the biggest laugh and, judging by the reactions of some of Affleck’s contemporaries, I’m not the only one to think so. Except for being slightly hunched over, bad physique, morose and sullen most of the time, not particularly demonstrative or empathetic with his recently orphaned nephew, what has Casey Affleck done to merit an Oscar?

Now, Ryan Gosling brought not only softness and sensitivity and a love of jazz to the fore, he also put in some pretty nifty footwork. It was a joy to watch this tall, manly, bearded man dance so effortlessly and the look in his eyes as he sees Mia walk in with another man – priceless!

And how can one leave out Andrew Garfield and his absolutely marvellous, gut-wrenching performance, be it his unshaken belief in being a conscientious objector, to running back in battle time and time again to save wounded comrades – 75 in all – singlehandedly! ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is based on a true story and Garfield brought alive for us the young medic Desmond Doss, putting his heart and soul into this performance.

Although I am an unabashed Denzel Washington fan – that towering talent! – I haven’t watched ‘Fences’ therefore, it would be a toss between Gosling and Garfield and I think Doss would win the toss.

Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Emma Stone

Nominees: Natalie Portman (Jackie) Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) Ruth Negga (Loving) Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

Nope, nein, nyet. This award hands-down belonged to Natalie Portman. Emma Stone has turned in a very decent performance, no question, but Portman brought the real Jacqueline Kennedy to life again in a no-holds-barred portrayal, be it the touch of hauteur, the stoicness, or the raw, primal anguish on her face. She worked very hard to get Jackie’s mannerisms right. It is a crying shame that someone else quite literally waltzed (sic!) away with this award from under her nose.

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

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Nominees: Dev Patel (Lion) Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Ah, no. Mahershala Ali was good in the hood, a drug dealing gangster who has a vulnerable side to him as shown when dealing with the little boy. Hardly an outstanding performance though, lending credence to the buzz that, after the animosity and controversy last year’s Oscar’s generated with allegations of racism, the powers-that-be decided to award Ali – the first Muslim to get an Oscar. Like I suppose it’s just coincidence that ‘Moonlight’ is also the first film with an all-black cast and this factor had no impact on the jury!

In my opinion, the tall and gangly 20-year old Lucas Hedges turned in an Oscar-worthy performance, with the conflicting emotions a high-schooler goes through when his personal life is up in flames flitting effortlessly across his expressively mobile face.

But – a moment, sir. The Oscar in this category undoubtedly belonged to Vince Vaughn. Surprisingly, he didn’t even make it to the nominations, although, as Sergeant Howell in ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ he was an absolute delight to watch and had all the Army mannerisms down pat.

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences)

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Nominees: Naomie Harris (Moonlight) Nicole Kidman (Lion) Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea) Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Not having seen ‘Fences’ it would not be fair of me to dwell overly on this, except to say that Nicole Kidman did nothing outstanding to merit a mention in this list. I would have narrowed it down to Michelle Williams or Naomie Harris and, if I were the one giving out this award, it would be a no-brainer to pick Harris, who has portrayed a whore high on alcohol and drugs, sometimes sobering up to remember her responsibility to her son, never ceasing to love him but acknowledging in her old age her failure to have shown that love, from the gut.

Conclusion: This would appear to be the season of child actors. Hollywood should consider lowering the age requirement for the Oscar’s and, if so, without doubt I would be hard pressed to say whether Sunny Pawar of ‘Lion’ or of ‘Moonlight’ would be the more deserving of the win.

Sunny PawarAlex-Hibbert

Sunny beautifully essayed the role of a five-year old, slightly cocky child from the slums, albeit secure and much-loved in his little world, to overnight waking to find himself lost in a city thousands of miles from his home, fending off sexual predators and learning that the world at large does not love him so much. From a dingy, oppressed government orphanage to then find himself on an airplane to Australia, Sunny handled all the emotions with aplomb. Alex, intimidated and largely ignored by his crack-addict mother, the target of school bullies, conveys so much pathos, angst and vulnerability through his eyes and bowed body language. This is a boy beaten before he even starts on the race of Life. The vulnerability and growing confidence as he learns to trust Juan and Teresa, the only semblance of ‘family’ that he knows, is heart-wrenching.

With some careful mentoring, these Little Men are here to stay.

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– Punam Mohandas
Punam Mohandas is a journalist and author who is also a film buff, accomplished travel writer and an expert on South Asia. She also writes columns on film personalities. She has lived and worked in India, Dubai and Bangkok.

 

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Rest In Peace Shri Raajesh Johri

Raajesh Johri

Shri Raajesh Johri

Accomplished lyricist Shri Raajesh Johri passed away on Wednesday, March 1st,  2017. He was 63.

Johri had come to Mumbai as a 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh in 1950s. Today, most of us are familiar with his work from the 1990s, both in Indipop and advertising jingles. He had penned popular songs like Suneeta Rao’s ‘Pari Hoon Main’, ‘Sa Ni Dha Pa’ by Colonial Cousins and the album Tere Bina by Abhijeet.

Along with soulful songs, the gifted poet also wrote jingles for many memorable AD films. The famous Prestige pressure cooker jingle, ‘Jo Biwi Se Karein Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Karein Inkaar!’ was written by Johri in the 80s. Interestingly, Johri also gave his voice to it, like he did to a lot of other jingles that he wrote over three decades. The Nirma bathing soap song, ‘Tum Husn Pari, Tum Jaan-e-Jahan, Tum Sabse Haseen, Tum Sabse Jawan; Saundarya sabun Nirma,’ was another popular jingle written by Shri Johri in the 90s. Recently, Johri had been working on an album with the ghazal duo Bhupinder and Mitali.

We at SWA, deeply mourn the demise of Shri Raajesh Johri and pray for his soul to rest in peace. We bid him a goodbye with the following lines:

“वो फूल ना अब तक चुन पाया, जो फूल चढ़ाने है तुझ पर!”

Note: The Prayer Meeting will be held on March 4th, Saturday.

Address: Ajivasan Hall, Next To S.N.D.T Women University, Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra-400054

Time: 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm

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SWA partners with FICCI Frames to organise Frame Your Idea 2017

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So many talented writers face the frustration of not being able to meet with producers to show them the good stories/scripts that they have written. Well, here’s an opportunity where you can do so. Frame your Idea is back with its 3rd edition along with FICCI Frames 2017. And, this time SWA is its initiative partner.

If you have a developed idea or a written-out story or script (for cinema, or TV, or Digital platforms or even for a documentary) then you can take advantage of ‘Frame Your Idea’ and present it to producers. 

Do visit ficci-frames.com/fyi to learn more and register ASAP, and give your preferences for which producers you would like to meet from the list on the website. FYI will try to accommodate as many of your choices as possible. But, do hurry – it’s on a first-come-first-served basis. 

For any specific queries please mail frameuridea@ficci.com.

Note: After two years of FYI, producers have requested that the submitted stories be screened to ensure some minimum quality and coherence, by a panel of writers. SWA has agreed to take on that responsibility.

Also, to help you pitch your work in the window of time available at FYI, SWA has organised a ‘Pitching Workshop’ on March 20th 2017. Details will be sent to the selected participants.

We encourage you to apply for FYI with your wonderful stories/scripts and pitch them sharply to ensure a good chance at them being made.

Please see the following FAQs before applying:

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FRAME YOUR IDEA – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS FYI?

An initiative founded by FICCI. Here, anyone with a content idea or story or screenplay for a film/ TV/ Digital Web series/show/ Animation/ Documentary can register, turn up and pitch it within 10 minutes, to the right people in the business. If one has finished content that can be pitched too.

This year’s edition is also empowered by the Screenwriters Association, Mumbai.

DOES FYI REALLY WORK?

Anurag Kashyap’s next (unannounced) is a script written by journalist turned writer Nihit Bhave which Phantom Films found at FYI 2015.

Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s ROMP & Disney India found scripts, at FYI 2015.

Eros Trinity pictures found writers to hire for its Writers’ Room at FYI 2016.

WHAT CATEGORIES OF CONTENT AT FYI CAN ONE PITCH FOR?

  1. Film
  2. TV
  3. Digital/web series
  4. Animation
  5. Documentary
  6. Finished Content

HOW DOES FYI WORK?

FYI lists commissioners/broadcasters/producers on its webpage and calls for entries. The link for that webpage is http://ficci-frames.com/fyi/

Applicants who register, provide their producer preference list and get allotted meetings by an automated system on a first-come-first-served basis. 

On the day of the event, participants are handed a schedule sheet for their meetings based on which they meet the producers for 10 minutes each; that they have opted for during registration.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND HOW LONG IS THE MEETING WITH THE PRODUCER?

When an applicant registers he gets a minimum of 4 meetings with the producers of his preference. Each meeting is for 10 minutes.

WHAT’S NEW AT FYI 2017?

A panel nominated by FICCI & SWA (Screenwriters Association, Mumbai) to screen applications. This improves the value to both producers and participants.

A free pitching workshop for the selected participants to be conducted by SWA on 20 th March 2017. Details of the same will be emailed to the selected participants.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO REGISTER AND PITCH?

Cost of registration is Rs. 5000 + service tax (for a pack of min 4 meetings).

One can buy up to 6 packs (24 meetings). However, if the SWA & FICCI screening panel rejects the application, a full refund will be provided to applicant by 7th April 2017.

WHAT IS THE LIMIT OF THE NUMBER OF CONCEPTS ONE CAN PITCH?

There is no limit to the number of concepts one can pitch as long as it is within 10 minutes.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR FYI?

Last date for entries is March 15th 2017. But since it’s on a first-come-first-served basis, the earlier one registers the better chance of getting meetings with one’s preferred producers.

WHEN DO WE KNOW ABOUT OUR MEETINGS AT FYI POST REGISTRATION? 

Participants will receive their meeting details via email by 18th March 2017. 

DATES & CATEGORIES:

  • ‪March 21st  – Film + Animation ‬
  • March 22nd  – Film + Digital/Web + Finished content
  • March 23rd  – Film + TV + Documentary

VENUE & TIMINGS: Renaissance, Powai, Mumbai, 10 am – ‪6 pm‬.

WHAT IS FYI 2017 GOING TO BE LIKE?

The following panelists in the following categories:

FILM

  1. Balaji
  2. Cinestaan
  3. Dharma
  4. Drishyam
  5. Emmay
  6. Encyclomedia (Marathi)
  7. Film Karavan
  8. Fox Star Studios
  9. JA Entertainment
  10. Kabir Khan Films
  11. Macguffin
  12. Parin Multimedia
  13. Rajshri Productions
  14. Romp
  15. RK films (Sidharth Roy Kapur)
  16. RSVP (Ronnie Screwvala)
  17. Shashi Sumeet
  18. Sikhya
  19. Shemaroo
  20. Tips
  21. Eros Trinity
  22. Vishesh Films
  23. Viacom
  24. Vijayanthi (Telegu)
  25. Wiz Films (Wizcraft)
  26. Y Films (Yashraj Films)

DIGITAL

  1. Beyond Dreams
  2. Bodhi Tree Multimedia
  3. Cinestaan
  4. Dharma
  5. Emmay
  6. Eros Now
  7. Film Karavan
  8. Kabir Khan Films
  9. Rajshri
  10. Shashi Sumeet
  11. Star Network Pictures
  12. Sony Liv
  13. Tips
  14. Vishesh
  15. Wiz films (Wizcraft)

TV

  1. Beyond Dreams
  2. Bodhi Tree Multimedia
  3. Emmay Entertainment
  4. Mumtaz Saba Productions
  5. Parin Multimedia
  6. Rajshri Productions
  7. Shashi Sumeet
  8. Swastik
  9. Shemaroo
  10. Star Network
  11. Shakuntalam Telefilms
  12. Vishesh
  13. Wiz TV (Wizcraft)

FINISHED CONTENT

  1. Eros Now
  2. Macguffin
  3. Sony Liv
  4. Sikhya
  5. Shemaroo
  6. Viacom18
  7. Vishesh Films

ANIMATION

  1. Animax Sony
  2. Beyond Dreams
  3. Bioscopewala
  4. Greengold Animation
  5. One Life Studios
  6. Shemaroo
  7. Screenyug
  8. Trinity Eros

DOCUMENTARY

  1. Cinestaan
  2. Eros Now
  3. Film Karavan
  4. History
  5. Nat Geo (to be confirmed)
  6. Sony Liv
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स्क्रीनराइटर्स असोसिएशन के सेमिनार में लिखी गई भोजपुरी फिल्मों के बदलाव की कहानी!

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“भोजपुरी बेहद मीठी भाषा है. देश के बड़े बड़े साहित्यकारों और क्रांतिकारियों की भाषा है, लेकिन ऐसी महान भाषा का सिनेमा इतनी बुरी हालत में है ये सोचकर भी शर्म आती है.”

यह कहना था हिन्दी फिल्मों के प्रख्यात लेखक कमलेश पांडे का. वह स्क्रीनराइटर्स एसोसिएशन द्वारा आयोजित कार्यक्रम ‘भोजपुरी सिनेमा : कल, आज और कल’ में बतौर अतिथि बोल रहे थे. कमलेश पांडे खुद भी भोजपुरी भाषी हैं.

अंधेरी पश्चिम के भक्तिवेदांत स्कूल ऑडिटोरियम में आयोजित प्रोग्राम में भोजपुरी सिनेमा के मौजूदा हालात और भविष्य की संभावनाओं को लेकर स्क्रीनराइटर्स एसोसिएशन ने चर्चा आयोजित की थी. चर्चा दो सत्रों में हुई. पहले सत्र में भोजपुरी फिल्मों की स्क्रिप्ट को लेकर बात हुई, जबकि दूसरे सत्र में भोजपुरी फिल्मों के गीतों पर बहस हुई.

पहले सत्र में लेखक जीतेन्द्र सुमन, निर्माता–वितरक अभय सिन्हा, अभिनेता कुणाल सिंह, अभिनेत्री स्वीटी छाबड़ा और लेखक-निर्देशक मंजुल ठाकुर पैनलिस्ट थें. जबकि मॉडरेटर थे भोजपुरी फिल्मों के लेखक धनंजय कुमार. इस सत्र में भोजपुरी फिल्मों की स्क्रिप्ट की कमजोरी पर बात हुई. निर्देशक मंजुल ठाकुर ने जहाँ अच्छे स्क्रिप्ट राइटर के न होने की बात उठाई, वहीं राइटर जीतेन्द्र सुमन का कहना था कि अच्छे स्क्रिप्ट राइटर्स तक लोग पहुँचते ही नहीं, क्योंकि उन्हें कम पैसे में राइटर चाहिए. जबकि निर्माता अभय सिन्हा का कहना था कि राइटर्स को हमने पाँच पाँच लाख तक पेमेंट किया है, लेकिन अच्छी भोजपुरी फिल्में चल नहीं पातीं. तो अभिनेता कुणाल सिंह और हीरोइन स्वीटी छाबड़ा का कहना था कि राइटर के यहाँ से चली स्क्रिप्ट सेट पर आर्टिस्ट तक आते आते काफी बदल जाती है.

कई भोजपुरी फिल्मों में हीरोइन रहीं स्वीटी छाबड़ा ने यह भी स्वीकार किया कि भोजपुरी फिल्मों की हीरोइन के तौर पर खुद का परिचय देते वक्त परिवारों में कई बार झेंप सी होती है. वहीं अभय सिन्हा ने कहा कि जो रेगुलर प्रोड्यूसर फिल्में बना रहे हैं, उनकी फिल्मों में फूहड़ता नहीं होती. लेकिन ढेर सारे नये प्रोड्यूसर भी फिल्में बनाने आते हैं, उनकी फिल्मों की वजह से हम सब भी बदनाम हो जाते हैं. इस सत्र की पूरी चर्चा में यह बात उभर कर आई प्रोड्यूसर्स चूँकि स्क्रिप्ट राइटर पर अपने बजट से नहीं के बराबर राशि खर्च करना चाहते हैं, इसलिए अच्छे स्किल्ड स्क्रिप्ट राइटर भोजपुरी फिल्मों के लिए स्क्रिप्ट नहीं लिखते, इसलिए स्तरीय और अच्छी फिल्में नहीं बन पातीं.

दूसरे सत्र में गीतों को लेकर चर्चा हुई. इस सत्र में पैनलिस्ट के तौर पर गीतकार समीर, लोकगीत गायिका शैलेश श्रीवास्तव, निर्देशक सुनील प्रसाद, राजकुमार पांडे, वर्ल्ड वाइड रिकॉर्ड्स के मालिक रत्नाकर और उत्तरप्रदेश फिल्म विकास परिषद के वाइस प्रेसिडेंट गौरव द्विवेदी शामिल हुए. मॉडरेटर थे धनंजय कुमार.

इस सत्र में राजकुमार पांडे और म्यूजिक कम्पनी मालिक को जहाँ डबल मीनिंग गानों के लिए कटघरे में खड़ा किया गया, वहीं समीर ने कहा कि अब यह दौर भी अपने आखिरी चरण में हैं. जितनी नंगई भोजपुरी फिल्मों में है, उसके आगे अब कोई शब्द नहीं बचे. अगर यह ट्रेंड नहीं बदला तो भोजपुरी फिल्में एक बार फिर बंद होने की स्थिति में पहुँच जायेंगी. सुनील प्रसाद और शैलेश श्रीवास्तव ने भोजपुरी लोकगीतों की मिठास और पुरानी फिल्मों के गानों की कर्णप्रियता को याद किया तो, रत्नाकर का कहना था बुरे गानों का दौर खात्मे की ओर है और वह अपनी कम्पनी से ऎसे गाने रिलीज नहीं करते. अभिनेत्री स्वीटी छाबड़ा का कहना था कि उन्होंने कभी वल्गर गानों पर काम करना स्वीकार नहीं किया. इस स्थिति से उबरने में उत्तरप्रदेश फिल्म विकास किस तरह अपनी सकारात्मक भूमिका निभा सकता है, इस पर अपनी बात रखते हुए वाइस प्रेसिडेंट ने कहा कि अच्छी फिल्म बने इसके लिए उत्तर प्रदेश फिल्म विकास परिषद वचनबद्ध है और हम हर सम्भव मदद को तैयार हैं.

प्रोग्राम की शुरुआत स्क्रीनराइटर्स एसोसिएशन द्वारा भोजपुरी फिल्मों के अब तक के सफर पर बनाई गई डॉक्यूमेंटरी फिल्म के प्रदर्शन से हुई. डॉक्यूमेंटरी फिल्म की संकल्पना और स्क्रिप्ट धनंजय कुमार की थी, जबकि निर्देशन किया था सुनील प्रसाद ने.

उसके बाद एसोसिएशन के महासचिव ज़मा हबीब ने राइटर्स एसोसिएशन के द्वारा इस तरह के प्रोग्राम के पीछे के मकसद को सामने रखा और भोजपुरी फिल्मों के गानों से जुड़ी अपनी पसंद–नापसंद की चर्चा की. महासचिव के वक्तव्य के बाद एसोसिएशन के वाइस प्रेसिडेंट और इवेंट सब-कमिटी के चेयरमैन दानिश जावेद ने आज के कार्यक्रम के बारे में संक्षिप्त परिचय दिया. प्रोग्राम के उद्घोषक थे सुधाकर स्नेह. इस अवसर पर हिन्दी के प्रख्यात लेखक अंजुम रजाबली, विनय शुक्ला, जलीस शरवानी, टेलीविजन सीरियल लेखक राजेश दुबे, सुनील साल्गिया, शांति भूषण, मनोज हंसराज, के मनोज सिंह और अमित झा सहित ढाई सौ से अधिक भोजपुरी सिनेमा से जुड़े लेखक, निर्देशक और भोजपुरी भाषा प्रेमी उपस्थित थे.

समारोह का फ़ोटो एल्बम देखने के लिए क्लिक करें: https://www.facebook.com/pg/filmwritersassociation/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1258212917566809

देखें, समारोह में दिखायी गयी डॉक्यूमेंट्री ‘भोजपुरी सिनेमा: कल आज और कल’ – 

 

 

 

 

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SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP BY ANJUM RAJABALI

Whistling Woods International & Screenwriters Association

Present

SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP

By Anjum Rajabali  

With – Jaideep Sahni (Chak De India)  Shakun Batra (Kapoor & Sons)

Nitesh Tiwari (Dangal) (TBC)   Gauri Shinde (Dear Zindagi)

Juhi Chaturvedi (Piku)  Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (Nil Battey Sannata)

Sriram Raghavan (Badlapur) Shridhar Raghavan (Dum Maro Dum)

Nikhil Mehrotra (Dangal) Shreyas Jain (Dangal)

March 1-5, 2017   |   At Whistling Woods International, Mumbai.

2016 can be called the year of the Indian screenwriter! With a slew of films powered by some scintillating scripts blazing new trails, the scramble for good scripts gets a shot in the arm. Writers’ visions seem to be driving storytelling in the Hindi film industry.

Those who were part of this trail-blazing year are happy to share their knowledge, experience and guidance, via interactive masterclasses in the workshop!

With the aid of new examples, references and illustrations, the Workshop Instructor will cover all the useful principles of screenwriting, the navrasa theory, Indian mythology, copyright law, writers’ contracts, and offer professional guidance.

WORKSHOP INSTRUCTOR

Anjum Rajabali

Anjum Rajabali

Anjum Rajabali (Drohkaal, Ghulam, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Raajneeti): Head of Screenwriting at Whistling Woods, erstwhile honorary head of Screenplay Writing at FTII, and an activist of SWA. Conducts workshops, script labs, seminars and fellowships for screenwriters in India and abroad.

FEE: For SWA members: Rs. 8500/- (Inclusive of taxes, tea/coffee and lunch on all days) For non-SWA members: Rs. 11000/- (Inclusive of taxes, tea/coffee and lunch on all days)

*If you wish to become an SWA member, please visit www.fwa.co.in

Facebook Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/695328800627552/  

For more information and to register for the workshop, please call 30916003 or email: kanchi.parikh@whistlingwoods.net

poster

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SWA stands in solidarity with Writers Guilds of America (West and East)

The Screenwriters Association (SWA) of India expresses its shock and outrage at the recent policy announcement by the new President of America, imposing barriers on the entry of people from other countries, which is clearly a thinly disguised ‘Anti-Muslim’ ban. Discriminating against people on the basis of the country, religion or region that they were born into amounts to a violation of their natural freedom of movement and hence of their human rights.

Such xenophobic policies create and reinforce suspicion and hate among peoples, thereby legitimating prejudice and even inciting violence by demonizing certain communities and nationalities.

SWA stands in solidarity with their brother unions – the Writers Guilds of America (West and East) and their screenwriting members – which have issued the following statement protesting and opposing the ban policies:

 

 

Writers Guilds America (East & WesT)

Writers Guilds Statement on Muslim Ban;     

Solidarity with Iranian Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi

New York and Los Angeles (January 29, 2017)

The following is a joint statement from Michael Winship, President, Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), and Howard A. Rodman, President, Writers Guild of America West (WGAW):

“It is both unconstitutional and deeply wrong to say that you cannot enter our country because of where you were born or what religion you were born into.  The Writers Guilds of America, East and West condemn Donald Trump’s profoundly un-American “Muslim ban,” and applaud the Federal Court’s decision to grant a stay that will keep those being held at American airports from being forcibly returned to their countries.  Human rights – including the freedoms of speech and religion – are essential to all Americans and to all who come here to build better lives.

“We are especially troubled by reports that Asghar Farhadi, director of THE SALESMAN, which won Best Screenplay at Cannes and is now nominated for an Oscar, may together with his cast and crew be prevented from entering our country.  From its early days, the entertainment industry has been built by the imagination of immigrants.  Our guilds are unions of storytellers who have always welcomed those from other nations, and of varying beliefs, who wish to share their creativity with America.  We are grateful to them, we stand with them, we will fight for them.”

(For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org.     For more information on the Writers Guild of America, West, visit www.wga.org.)

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भोजपुरी सिनेमा : कल, आज और कल

स्क्रीनराइटर्स एसोसिएशन द्वारा आयोजित

भोजपुरी सिनेमा : कल, आज और कल

भोजपुरी सिनेमा के हालात और संभावना पर एक विहंगम विमर्श !

ganga maiya tohe piyari chadhaibo BidesiyaConference

12 फ़रवरी 2017, 3.00 बजे से 7.00 बजे तक

स्थल: भक्तिवेदांत स्कूल ऑडिटोरियम (सिटी मॉल के पीछे वाली सड़क पर), ऑफ लिंक रोड, अंधेरी (पश्चिम), मुम्बई.

आप भी पधारिये!

भोजपुरी फिल्मों के बारे में चाहे जो भी बोलिए, उसे कितना ही वल्गर और फूहड़ बतलाइये, समाज और संस्कृति का बंटाधार करने का आरोप लगाइये, लेकिन यह सच है कि भोजपुरी फिल्में अपना बाजार गढ़ चुकी हैं. बिहार और पूर्वी उत्तरप्रदेश की बात छोड़िये, मुम्बई महानगर में दस से अधिक ऎसे सिनेमाघर हैं, जो सिर्फ भोजपुरी फिल्में ही रिलीज करते हैं. हर साल 60 से 70 फिल्में बन रही हैं. ढेर सारे कलाकारों, तकनीशियनों और सिनेमा से जुड़े लोगों को रोजगार दे रही हैं. और जो सबसे महत्वपूर्ण है, वह यह कि अगर भोजपुरी फिल्में नहीं होतीं, तो बिहार के लगभग सिनेमाघर बंद हो चुके होते. याद कीजिए, 1995 से 2005 तक का वक्त, जब बिहार में हिंदी फिल्मों का बाजार लगभग मृतप्राय हो गया था. राज्य में अपराधियों का बोलवाला हुआ करता था और शाम पाँच बजे के बाद सड़क पर निकलना लोग पसंद नहीं करते थे. सिनेमाघर के शाम 6 बजे और रात 9 बजे के शो तो लगभग खाली रहा करते ही थे, नून शो और मैटिनी शो में भी परिवार आना पसंद नहीं करता था. कभी हिंदी फिल्मों को सबसे ऊँचे भाव देने वाली टेरेटरी बिहार में हिंदी फिल्मों का धंधा लगभग नहीं के बराबर हो गया था. कई डिस्ट्रीब्यूटर्स बर्बाद हो गये और उन्होंने अपना बिजनेस समेट लिया था. कई सिनेमाहॉल कोल्डस्टोर में बदल गये. ऎसे में भोजपुरी फिल्मों ने संजीवनी का काम किया. हमें यह भी याद रखना होगा.

लेकिन हम भोजपुरी लेखकों, फिल्मकारों, कलाकारों और तकनीशियनों को अब यह भी सोचना होगा कि हम जहाँ आ खड़े हुए हैं, वहाँ से रास्ता कहीं आगे बढ़ता है या हम वही गोल गोल घूम कर एक बार फिर खत्म हो जाने को अभिशप्त हैं. क्योंकि 2005 के बाद साल दर साल बिहार का माहौल बदला है. आम आदमी नाइट शो देखने में हिचक नहीं रहा है. यही वजह है कि हिंदी फिल्मों का बाजार एक बार फिर बिहार में जमने लगा है. लेकिन भोजपुरी फिल्मों का बाजार सिमटने लगा है. जो सिनेमाहॉल पहले भोजपुरी फिल्में रिलीज करने की आपाधापी में रहते थे, अब भोजपुरी फिल्में रिलीज करने से बचना चाहते हैं. उनका कहना है कि भोजपुरी फिल्मों की वजह से फैमिली सिनेमाघर आना पसंद नहीं करती. समोसा और कोल्ड ड्रिंक्स बेचनेवाला भी नहीं चाहता कि भोजपुरी फिल्में रिलीज हो, क्योंकि उनके बिजनेस पर भारी अंतर पड़ जाता है. और इसकी वजह है भोजपुरी फिल्मों का लो क्वालिटी का होना, डबल मीनिंग संवादों और गीतों से लवरेज होना. ऎसे में भोजपुरी से जुड़े लेखकों, फिल्मकारों और तकनीशियनों को सोचना होगा कि हमारी फिल्में अपनी लो क्वालिटी या कहें फूहड़ता से कैसे उबरें. और इसके लिए हमें सोचने की जरूरत है कि हम वैसी फिल्में कैसे बनायें, ताकि लोअरक्लास के साथ साथ मिड्लक्लास भी हमारी फिल्में देखने आये. शहर के सबसे खराब सिनेमाहॉल में रिलीज होने की जगह राजधानी और शहर के गौरव सिनेमाघर में कैसे रिलीज हो सके. इससे हमारी फिल्मों की कमाई भी बढ़ेगी और हमारा स्तर भी सुधरेगा.

इन्हीं सब परिस्थितियों और मसलों पर बात विमर्श करने के लिए आगामी 12 फरवरी को अंधेरी लोखंडवाला [सिटी मॉल के पीछे वाली सड़क पर] के भक्ति वेदांत स्कूल के ऑडिटोरियम में स्क्रीनराइटर्स एसोसिएशन ‘भोजपुरी सिनेमा : कल आज और कल’ नाम से एक प्रोग्राम करने जा रहा है. प्रोग्राम में भोजपुरी फिल्मों से जुड़े लेखक, गीतकार, कलाकार, निर्माता, निर्देशक, डिस्ट्रीब्यूटर, म्यूजिक कंपनी के मालिक और दर्शक एक छत के नीचे जमा होंगे. आप भी आइये. समय है 3 बजे से 7 बजे तक.

(नोट: कार्यक्रम में सभी एसडब्ल्यूए मेंबर्स और नॉन-मेंबर्स आमंत्रित हैं! बैठने की व्यवस्था ‘पहले आओ-पहले पाओ’ के आधार पर रहेगी।)

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/293624487707098/

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Rest In Peace, NAQSH LYALLPURI Saab!

Naqsh Lyallpuri _ Chautha

NaqshLyallpuri

Naqsh Lyallpuri  (Feb 24, 1928 – Jan 22, 2017)

One of SWA’s founder members, Ex-Treasurer and senior-most lyricists, Shri Naqsh Lyallpuri passed away on Sunday, January 22nd, 2017. Naqsh saab, whose real name was Jaswant Rai Sharma, had been ailing for some time and breathed his last around 11 a.m. at his Andheri house. He was 89.

Lyallpuri had come to Mumbai in late 1940’s from a district named Lyallpur (today known as Faisalabad, Pakistan). He later adopted the pen name ‘Naqsh’ and added ‘Lyallpuri’ to it, as per the tradition of Urdu poets adopting their hometown’s name. He got his first break in 1952 as a lyricist and by 1970’s, was collaborating with top film directors, music directors and singers, penning melodies which went on to become evergreen songs. Some of his most popular songs include: Dhani Chunri Mori Haay Re, Main Toh Har Mod Par Tujhko Doonga Sada, Ulfat Mein Zamaane Ki Har Rasm Ko Thukrao and Chandni Raat Mein Ek Baar Tujhe Dekha Hai.

Lyallpuri had retired from the industry in the late 1990s before he made a brief comeback in 2005-06 penning songs for the films Taj Mahal (music: Naushad) and Yatra (music: Khayyam). He will be remembered not only as a genius Urdu poet but also a cultured, soft-spoken gentleman whose words, penned or otherwise, always struck the right chord.

Screenwriters Association deeply mourns the sudden and sad demise of Naqsh saab and prays for his soul to rest in peace.

Watch/read Naqsh Lyallpuri’s last ever interview in our ‘Old is Gold’ archives, here: http://fwa.co.in/ogtemplate.php?get=FWAoig5

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