INT. CLASSROOM, IIT – DAY
Professor Kamal Haasan walks around the class talking at length about how he wrote Thevar Magan as students try to catch up, scribbling notes on their copy of the spiral-bound script. One of them raises his hand to ask a doubt.
This scene is likely to play out at Indian Institute of Technology between May 29 and June 3, 2009. And to be a part of that classroom of select 250 at the Chennai International Screenwriting Workshop, you need to apply before May 5, 2009.
Kamal Haasan, in association with Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has convened a first-of-its-kind international workshop and seminar on screenwriting in South India. “It’s a strictly instructional event. Basic education is compulsory and candidates need to demonstrate their seriousness to get selected,” says the writer-filmmaker-actor.
The Chennai International Screenwriting Workshop to be held at the IIT-M campus between May 29 to June 3, 2009 will feature few of the best screenwriters and filmmakers from around the world.
Veteran writer Jean Claude Carriere has confirmed his participation via video conference.
Mr. Kamal Haasan himself will join the discussions and don the role of faculty during the workshop and seminar. “Students will be able to pick up copies of my scripts and get their doubts clarified,” he adds.
The screenwriting workshop will be conducted by K.Hariharan, Director of the L.V. Prasad Film and TV Academy, Anjum Rajabali, Professional screenwriter and head of departments of screenwriting at Film and TV Institute, Pune and Whistling Woods, Mumbai and Atul Tiwari, Professional screenwriter and well known playwright.
“We will be approaching screenwriting from two angles”, says Mr.Hariharan. “How to turn words into images that you see on screen and also how to do the opposite – putting in words what you see as images in your mind. Every day, we will have two sessions of guest lectures by reputed writer-filmmakers from the industry.”
For long, screenwriting has been a neglected discipline even in film schools. “While all good writing is essentially intuitive, it is essential to understand the basic principles of storytelling and the form of the screenplay to be a competent screenwriter”, says Mr. Anjum Rajabali, who founded the screenwriting department at FTII and at Whistling Woods.
“We all agree that it is impossible to make even a half decent film with a bad script and that a good script is the first and foremost requisite to make a good film. But even then we have seen that the pedagogy of the screenwriting has not taken roots in India,” adds Mr. Atul Tiwari, who has who has conducted similar workshops in New Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Manipal and Pune.
The workshop will culminate with a seminar, which will be open to industry professionals. The event is an initiative of Raajkamal Films International to bring screenwriting to the forefront.
To apply, students must send a copy of their resume, a passport-size photograph along with a 200-word synopsis on their favourite film and a list of their five favourite films to firstname.lastname@example.org before May 5, 2009.
More details are available on http://screenwritingindia.com. For further queries, email email@example.com