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From script to screen - Mumbai Mantra to aid 100 storytellers

Posted on Aug 15 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Aug 14 : The Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme aims to reach out to 100 storytellers a year to help them write, polish and pitch their scripts to potential producers, financiers, distributors, sales agents, film festival programmers and curators subsequently.

The programme, initiated by Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, the media and entertainment vertical of the Mahindra Group, calls out to all aspiring Indian writers from across the world to send in their scripts to participate in the opportunity.

The programme is also open to non-resident Indians and even those with mixed Indian parentage.

The mission is to provide a springboard for writers which will help them take their scripts to the screen, says Mumbai Mantra chairman Rohit Khatta.

"We want to reach across to every storyteller with a dream. These screenplays (and even those that do not get selected as finalists), shall be part of the CineRise Script Bank and may still get attention from producers in the future.

"India is a land of stories and we would like to provide a platform to these stories so that they can travel and cut across barriers," Khattar added.

With acclaimed screenwriter Anjum Rajabali as its convenor, the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme will have eight stages of creative intervention.

"Indian screenwriting is in an exciting phase right now, and poised to take a leap to another level. Young aspirants are coming up with very promising work. By giving a much-needed boost to their efforts, this programme will help create an eco-system where all kinds of cinemas can co-exist," said Rajabali.

The first day of the workshop will be open to every enthusiast for a nominal fee. The lucky 100 will be invited to attend the workshop for free.

Gradually, the 100 screenwriters will get two months to submit the first draft of their screenplays, basis which the final selections will be made. Around 12 to 15 deserving screenplays will make it to the final selection, wherein the screenplays will be sent to the mentors and other experts.

Upon feedback, the writers will have one more month to send in the second drafts of their screenplays. Then, the finalists will be invited to a five-day workshop at a resort destination.

Using the notes from the workshop, the writers will revise their screenplays and turn in their third draft, in readiness for a script to screen event. This draft will then be pitched to industry experts at a Pitch Event to be held in Mumbai.

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