Mahindra Media and Entertainment Business, part of the automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra, has tied up with the NGO Biascope, which imparts film-based knowledge, to launch an initiative that will enable budding screenwriters try their luck in Bollywood.
This initiative, in the form of a competition, is called Sankalan will invite entries of concepts for feature films. The top 24 participants would be selected for a one-to-one pitching session, said Mahindra Media COO Indranil Chakraborty, who would then be filtered down to 12 finalists. The selection panel for the above would comprise of representatives from the Mahindras, Biascope Entertainment, writers and directors.
After the pitching session, the 12 participants will be selected for a workshop. Six will be selected from among them to write the first draft of a script. Finally, the list of aspiring scriptwriters will be whittled down to three. However, the eliminated nine finalists can go back and work on their scripts on their own, for which they would also be paid a stipend.
Scriptwriters Anurag Kashyap, Anjum Rajabali and Sriram Raghavan will select and mentor the short-listed candidates to transform the fresh ideas into feature film scripts over a period of nine months, said Anupama Bose, event director of Biascope Entertainment. Additionally, they will be given stipends so that they can concentrate only on developing their scripts and their expenses can be taken care of, informed Kashyap. These include all 12 candidates short-listed after the pitching session.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Monday, Andrey Purushottam, CEO Mahindra Media and Entertainment Business said, "Sankalan is an opportunity which will help nuture ideas and concepts for films into full blown scripts that eventually be made into films…Mahindras intend to give scripts and script writers the importance they deserve in order to create really good, entertaining and meaningful cinema."
Rajabali said that Sankalan is a very highly needed relationship between producers on one hand expecting good scripts and raw talent on the other hand wanting to develop their ideas into scripts, which can be turned into films. ''All they need is a little push and mentoring. Sankalan will provide it,'' she said.
Raghavan said, "We keep saying that there is a tremendous lack of good scripts in our country. Hopefully, this initiative will help attract new ideas and writers. There must be so many people all over the country who have stories to tell but perhaps don't know how exactly to go about it."
These scripts would be then be further developed and produced by Mahindra Media and Entertainment business.
The last date of submission of concepts is 19 July 2008.
Biascope Entertainment, conceived two years ago, is an NGO that facilitates a platform where knowledge can be shared on all aspects of cinema and a way can be paved for a defined filmmaking culture and movement in the country.