Posts Tagged ‘Mahindra’

Mumbai Mantra, the film and entertainment wing of Mahindras, has launched a new mentorship programme for screenwriters. But this is not the first time that they are trying something like this. They started with Sankalan – a script lab where the idea was to select, develop 6 final scripts after three rounds of filtering and produce the films. They did select the scripts but never bothered to produce a single film out of those selected scripts. Instead they produced some really crappy expensive bollywood films which made no money and they were forced to shut down the production wing. what was the point of the lab?

Later on, they tied up with Sundance Institute to launch the Mahindra-Sundance Scriptlab. They again ran it for three years and the honeymoon seems to be over now. Again scripts selected and mentored. Mumbai Mantra has now launched a new mentorship programme. But it all seems useless unless the scripts developed at the lab gets translated into film. And Mahindra can do it. Not sure what’s lacking.

We do need better scripts and screenwriting programmes. But we need to translate them into films too.

Here’s more details on Cinerise

– Applications to the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme will only be accepted in hard copies, not electronically, and must reach by August 20th, 2014 with the following details:


APPLICATION DOCUMENTS:

  • STORY: The complete story on which your script will be based. Should have 6-8 pages with a beginning, middle and an end.
  • WRITER’S STATEMENT:  2-page note outlining what your project is about. Do explain what motivated you to tell this story, and why you believe you are best placed to write it. If you have a view on how the project should be treated (sensibilities, style, etc.), do share in this note.
  • WRITER’S BIO WITH CONTACT DETAILS: Attach your bio-data. You can send the bio-data of other key team members (producer, director, DoP, etc.) if they are already attached to the project.
  • PLEASE REMEMBER: All the above documents MUST be in the English language, even if the film is going to be in any other Indian language. All documents must be print-outs (and not hand-written) and your story must be registered in your name for copyright purposes with a recognized authority, like a writers’ association or the Copyright Office or WGA, etc.
  • DO NOT SEND DVDs of short films or excerpts from other work at this stage. No recommendation letters or references required either and shall be the immediate cause for disqualification.

– Please just put a single staple through all pages. No fancy binders, no paperclips, and no folders please. The whole packet should be around a total of 10-12 pages;one staple should do the trick.


MAILING ADDRESS FOR APPLICATIONS:
 
Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme
Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd.,
Mahindra Towers, 5th Floor, Worli,
Mumbai – 400018

– To ensure that your application has been received before the deadline, please use a courier service, which will give you a delivery receipt. You can also submit your application in person at our office reception but you shall NOT be able to meet any staff or have queries answered.

 WORKSHOPS:

– Selection team will shortlist a total of 100 stories from among the applications.

– The shortlisted writers will be called for a 2-day screenwriting workshop, which will be held in several different cities across the country.

– Shortlisted applicants can select a Center closest to their homes. They will go through intensive interactions with experienced writers and directors.

– Even if you are not in the final 100, you can still attend the first day of the workshop. This will be open to all aspiring screenwriters for a fee of Rs.2000)

QUERIES

– For more details on rules and regulations, click here.

 

Mumbai Mantra Sundance Institute Screewriters LabMumbai Mantra, the media and entertainment division of the Mahindra Group, in collaboration with Sundance Institute, has selected eight Indian Screenwriters and their feature film projects for the third annual Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, to be held from March 16-21 at the Club Mahindra Resort in Tungi.

– This year’s Screenwriting Fellows, selected from submissions from India and the Indian diaspora around the world, are: Navneet Behal (Experiments with Truth); Ashvin Kumar (Noor); Bornila Chatterjee (Nuclear Hearts); Gaurav Madan (Shaktipur Crude); Deepanjali B Sarkar (Svadharma); Dylan Mohan Gray (The Last Day of Winter); Sanjay Talreja (The River Murder); and Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover (Ud Jayega / Fly Away Solo).

– Creative Advisors include: Naomi Foner (Running on Empty, The Bee Season), Michael Handelman (The Ex, Night At The Museum), Dante Harper (The Delicate Art of the Rifle), James V Hart (Contact, August Rush, Dracula, Tuck Everlasting), Malia Scotch Marmo (Hook, Madeline), Anjum Rajabali (The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Raajneeti), Elena Soarez (City of Men, House of Sand), Rose Troche (Go Fish, The Safety of Objects) and Sooni Taraporevala (Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake).

– Mumbai Mantra received over 500 applications for the Lab from Indian screenwriters across the globe. After a rigorous deliberation and consultation with Sundance Institute, the final eight projects were chosen.

– The Selection Advisory Committee included Advaita Kala, Anjum Rajabali, Deven Khote, K. Hariharan, Kanika Luthra, Mahesh Samat, Meenakshi Shedde, Neeru Nanda, Prakash Kovelamudi, Ram Madhvani, Ravina Kohli, Uma Da Cunha and Vikramaditya Motwane.

PROJECTS AND SCREENWRITERS SELECTED

EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH

LOGLINE: Following three children over the course of eighteen years, Experiments With Truth explores a recent history of state-sponsored violence.

Writer/director: Navneet Behal

While pursuing his Masters in Film at the New York Institute of Technology, Navneet Behal started work in New York as a camera operator. Upon his return to India, Navneet worked as Associate Director on a Hindi feature film, produced by Wild Elephant Motion Pictures. He is currently directing his first feature film, produced by M.A.S Universal Fin & Intra, due for release in 2015.

NOOR

LOGLINE: A six year-old girl sets out to find her missing father and stumbles upon mass graves, implicating the Indian army and putting herself in danger.

Writer/director: Ashvin Kumar

Ashvin Kumar is the youngest Indian filmmaker to be nominated for an Academy Award, for Little Terrorist, which played at 130 film festivals, winning 25 awards, including Honourable Mention at BAFTA/LA and a nomination by the European Film Academy. In 2012, his documentary Inshallah Football was awarded the National Award, India’s highest honor for cinema. Its sequel Inshallah, Kashmir won the National Award for best investigative film in 2013. His other work includes Dazed in Doon and The Forest.

NUCLEAR HEARTS

LOGLINE: A Bengali lounge singer who becomes involved with two French expats living in Calcutta, India.

Writer/director: Bornila Chatterjee

Bornila Chatterjee graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and TV in 2008. Her debut feature film, Let’s Be Out, The Sun Is Shining, premiered at the 2012 New York Indian Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and received a Best Actress nomination for lead Lipica Shah. Bornila was previously Managing Director of Stone Street Studios, a screen acting school and advanced conservatory in the Department of Drama at Tisch. Bornila is a curator and essayist for Vyer Films, a Brooklyn-based film streaming service, and a writer for Overdose Art Pvt. Ltd, a progressive art platform and production company in Calcutta, India.

SHAKTIPUR CRUDE

LOGLINE: When oil is discovered, a small village at Indo-China border suddenly becomes the most important place in the country and changes the lives of its people forever.

Writer/director: Gaurav Madan

Gaurav Madan grew up in a small town in Haryana. He received his Masters in Communications from University of Pune. He has won several awards for his commercial work, and owns an advertising production company based in Mumbai. His first screenplay was 3 nights 4 days, which was completed in 2009.

SVADHARMA

LOGLINE: The true story of an army officer who is betrayed by his government and sentenced to eight years of solitary confinement.

Writer/director: Deepanjali B Sarkar

Deepanjali B Sarkar is a digital media content specialist with experience ranging from internet and telecom content to corporate communications. She has worked with ITC, Indiatimes.com and Mobifusion. An alumnus of Presidency College Kolkata and Jadavpur University, she blogs regularly at http://filmandbookclub.blogspot.com/.

THE LAST DAY OF WINTER

LOGLINE: Condemned by a thuggish political regime as the son of a traitor, a 15-year-old boy faces a torturous set of choices as he reluctantly leaves childhood behind.

Writer/director: Dylan Mohan Gray

Dylan Mohan Gray is an award-winning producer, writer and director. His documentary Fire in the Blood was presented at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and set a record for the longest theatrical run by a non-fiction feature film in Indian history. Fire in the Blood has won major awards in Washington, Hamburg and Vancouver and also received the award for Best Debut Film at the 2014 Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF). Trained as a historian, Dylan founded the production company Sparkwater India in 2005 and has worked in various capacities on feature films, including collaborations with directors Fatih Akin, Peter Greenaway, Paul Greengrass, Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair.

THE RIVER MURDER

LOGLINE: A small town cop investigates whether a body found floating on the river is one of four missing local men.

Writer/director: Sanjay Talreja

Sanjay Talreja is an award-winning writer, director and editor of narrative features and documentaries, whose work has appeared on television and at film festivals. He most recently wrote and directed the feature film Surkhaab, which won Best Director, Foreign Language Feature at the 2013 London International Film Festival. Sanjay also teaches at various colleges and universities in Canada, the US and India. He has a MFA in Film.

UD JAYEGA (FLY AWAY SOLO)

LOGLINE: Four lives intersect along the Ganges river, each yearning to escape the constrictions of a small town.

Writers-director: Neeraj Ghaywan / Varun Grover (co-writer)

Neeraj Ghaywan worked with Anurag Kashyap on the veteran director’s two-part opus Gangs of Wasseypur and as second unit director on Ugly. His short films as writer-director include Shor and The Epiphany. Shor won the grand jury prize at three International film festivals.

Varun Grover grew up in Dehradun and Lucknow. He has written stand-up comedy for various TV shows and currently performs stand-up comedy at the biggest venues in India, writes fiction and graphic series for children in Chakmak (published from Bhopal, by Eklavya), and has written lyrics for Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Vasan Bala’s Peddlers (2012), Rajat Kapoor’s Aankhon Dekhi (2013), and Fahad Mustafa/Deepti Kakkar’s Katiyabaaz (2013).

If you are regular reader of the blog, you probably know his name. Neeraj Ghaywan is part of the editorial team and is a regular contributor to the blog. So it’s a great news for all of us. Yay! Yay! Yay!

Sundance Institute and Mahindra today announced the winners of the 2014 Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The winning directors and projects are Hong Khaou, MONSOON from Vietnam/UK; Tobias Lindholm, A WAR from Denmark; Ashlee Page, ARCHIVE from Australia; and Neeraj Ghaywan, FLY AWAY SOLO from India.

– Each of the four winning filmmakers will receive a cash award of $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, eligibility to participate in a Sundance Institute Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support from Sundance Institute’s renowned Feature Film Program.

More details about the winners and their films –

Hong Khaou / MONSOON (Vietnam/UK): Two young men visit present day Vietnam, and are confronted with the war’s ramifications nearly forty years after its end.

Hong Khaou’s debut feature film Lilting premiered in World Cinema Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The film stars Ben Whishaw and Cheng Pei Pei. He is also the director of three short films, including Spring, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and Summer, which premiered at the 2006 Berlinale. This year, Hong was named one of the Stars of Tomorrow by Screen International.

Tobias Lindholm / A WAR (Denmark):  The major of a Danish unit in Afghanistan faces the consequences of his actions in the aftermath of his most dangerous mission..

Tobias Lindholm graduated as a screenwriter from the National Film School of Denmark in 2007, and has collaborated with Thomas Vinterberg as co-writer on Submarino and Oscar nominee The Hunt. In 2010 he wrote and directed his first feature film in collaboration with Michael Noer, and in 2012 he wrote and directed the critical acclaimed A hijacking.

Ashlee Page / ARCHIVE (Australia): With the help of a supercomputer, an isolated 16-year-old girl grows plant life on Saturn’s moon Titan in the hope of one day restoring Earth’s ecosystems. But when an unexpected accident leads her to the moon’s surface, she discovers evidence that her mission is a lie and that her life is in danger.

Ashlee Page is an Australian writer and director. Her multi-award winning short The Kiss screened at Busan, Clermont-Ferrand, Palm Springs and Tribeca film festivals. Her most recent work is on the film compendium The Turning, adapted from the novel by Tim Winton. Archive is her first feature film.

Neeraj Ghaywan / FLY AWAY SOLO (India): Four lives intersect along the Ganges river: a lower-caste boy in a hopeless love, a daughter torn with guilt, a father sinking in greed, and a spirited kid craving a family, all yearning to escape the constrictions of a small-town.

Neeraj Ghaywan worked with Anurag Kashyap on the veteran director’s two-part opus Gangs of Wasseypur and as the second unit director on Ugly.  His short films as writer-director include Shor and The Epiphany. Shor won the grand jury prize at three International film festivals.

– The script of Fly Away Solo is been written by Varun Grover.

– You can watch Neeraj’s short films Shor and Epiphany here and here. And click here to read a post by him on the making of Shor.

– Also, Love.Love.Love, a short documentary directed by FTII student Sandhya Daisy Sundaram, won the Short Film Special Jury award for non-fiction at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival. More details here.

screenwriting-215x300Mumbai Mantra, the media and entertainment division of the Mahindra Group, in collaboration with Sundance Institute, has selected eight Indian Screenwriters and their feature film projects for the second annual Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab scheduled from March 10-15.

– This year’s Screenwriting Fellows are: Sarthak Dasgupta (The Music Teacher); Pratim D. Gupta (Ink); Nitin Kakkar (Black Freedom); Abhijit Mazumdar (Delirium); Terrie Samundra (Betamax); Renuka Shahane (Tribhanga); Kavanjit Singh (Television); and Neha Sinha (Forgiven).

– Creative Advisors include: Bill Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Hoax), Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace), Asif Kapadia (The Warrior, Senna), Habib Faisal (Do Dooni Chaar, Ishaqzaade – Born to Hate… Destined to Love), Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding), Anjum Rajabali (Rajneeti, Aaraakshan), Marti Noxon (Mad Men, Glee), Carlos Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Rudo Y Cursi), and Malia Scotch-Marmo (Hook, Once Around).

– Mumbai Mantra received over 500 applications for the Lab from Indian screenwriters across the globe. After intense debate and deliberation and consultation with the Sundance Institute, the final 8 projects were decided.

– The Selection Advisory Committee included Dev Benegal, Ira Bhaskar, Pubali Chaudhuri, Uma Da Cunha, Rashmi Doraiswamy, Habib Faisal, K. Hariharan, Deven Khote, Prakash Kovelamudi, Ram Madhvani, Neeru Nanda, Sriram Raghavan, Anjum Rajabali, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Mahesh Samat, Meenakshi Shedde, and Anahita Uberoi.

PROJECTS AND SCREENWRITERS SELECTED

The Music Teacher / India

LOGLINE
The life of a small town music teacher takes a sharp turn when one of his ex-students, now estranged, a big celebrity in the far-away city today, is slated to visit the town after many years. The teacher, now lovelorn, prepares to meet her not knowing if she still bears the same feelings about him as she did those many years back.

Writer/director: Sarthak Dasgupta
With a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, a Master’s degree in Business Management, and five years in the corporate world of Mumbai, Sarthak Dasgupta realized life needed a different definition than the one he was living. Sarthak left his cushy job and set out to become a filmmaker. His debut feature The Great Indian Butterfly has screened at various international film festivals.

Ink / India
LOGLINE
A struggling journalist chances upon a scandalous story which has the potential to rock the world of showbiz.

Writer/director: Pratim D. Gupta
Pratim D. Gupta has been the resident film critic for The Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata, the largest selling English daily in east India, for eight years. His screenplay The Deaths of Ray was selected from India for the Binger Script Lab at the 2009 Locarno International Film Festival. Paanch Adhyay (Afterglow) was Pratim’s first feature film as writer-director.The 2012 romantic drama was selected as the Centrepiece Premiere at the South Asian International Film Festival in New York and was picked as the New Voice in Indian Cinema at the Mumbai International Film Festival. It also won the Best Film Award at Kalakar Awards, one of the oldest and most prestigious award ceremonies in India.

Black Freedom / India
LOGLINE
Black Freedom is a collection of five short stories woven in one film. It is dedicated to the memory of Saadat Hasan Manto. It’s about his dream of a sub-continent where people will still live as people, irrespective of religion, caste or color, where hatred shall stand abolished, where religion shall only ennoble those who follow it, not divide them into warring tribes. Sixty-five years after independence, Manto’s dream remains a dream…
The 5 short stories of Manto  that the film is  inspired from are Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do, Tetwaal Ka Kutta, Sharifan and The  Last Salute.

Writer-director: Nitin Kakkar
After gaining experience as an assistant director for various Hindi movies, Nitin Kakkar made his directorial debut with the award-winning short film, Black Freedom (2004). Since then, he has worked on a number of television projects including Prayaschit, Jersey No 10, and CID. Nitin’s debut feature film Filmistaan received a Special Jury Mention during its World Premiere at the Busan International Film Festival. Thefilm also won Nitin the Best Debut Director at the International Film Festival of Kerala and Jaipur film Festival

Delirium / India
LOGLINE
A story about six people and their manic missions…six specs of dust crisscross paths, ready to raise a storm in the endless city of Mumbai.

Writer/director: Abhijit Mazumdar
Abhijit Mazumdar is a Direction graduate from Film & Television Institute of India, Pune. He has made a number of short films, documentaries and commercials. His films have received both national and international awards. His latest medium-length film Vanishing Point is an official selection in Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013, Glasgow Short Film Festival (Competition Section “Adrift”) 2013, International Film Festival of India (Indian Panorama) 2012, International Documentary & Short Film Festival, Kerala (Focus Section) 2012.

Betamax / India-US
LOGLINE
With the release of the first home video camcorder, a teenage Sikh boy and a squatter Punk girl become unlikely friends and filmmaking collaborators as London sits on the brink of race riots and a youth uprising in the summer of 1976.

Writer/director: Terrie Samundra
Terrie Samundra grew up between a rural village in India, a small farming town in Missouri, and the California coast. She is the director of the award-winning short films Kunjo and A Short Tale of Xuanand is co-writer of Pooja’s Honor, the first screenplay in The Ballad of Pooja trilogy. She is a Princess Grace Award recipient, a National Geographic All Roads Seed Grant recipient, and is currently the Head Programmer at the 2013 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Tribhanga / India
LOGLINE
The film Tribhanga is a story of three women, from the same family, of three different generations. The lives of these three women overlap each other’s like concentric circles… each determining the shape of the other… each contributing to the other’s life in a very deep manner… each becoming the other’s strength in key times in their life. Their lives are like ‘Tribhanga’, the Odissi dance pose that is so disjointed, yet so beautiful, magical and mesmerising.

Writer/director: Renuka Shahane
Renuka Shahane has been an actress in Indian theatre, television and film for the past 25 years. Her work in television includes Lifeline, Surabhi, Circus, Imtihaan, Sailaab, Close-up Antakshari, Kora Kaagaz and the celebrity dance competition Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. In her film work, she is best known for the Bollywood blockbuster Hum Aapke Hain Kaun? Her first feature as director was the critically acclaimed Rita for which she won Best director for a Marathi film at the 16th Nokia Star-Screen Awards 2010. She also received the Best Screenplay Award in Marathi Films competitive section of the 8th Pune International Film Festival.

Television / India

LOGLINE
Television is a story about three men – Vijay, who is about to get married and start a new life; Ravi, who wants best for his 3-year old son and must decide between his principals and the ways of world; and Malik, who is now retired and wants to live a peaceful life.
Unforeseen circumstances have put these three men at crossroads. They must decide what path to choose.

Writer/director: Kavanjit Singh
Kavanjit Singh is a screenwriter and director from Pune, India. Kavan started his film career at Whistling Woods, graduating in Film Direction. A former Infosys Project Manager with an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, Kavan is pursuing his passion for cinema.
His short film Jagjeet has won nine Best Short Film Awards across the world.

Forgiven / India

LOGLINE
Amidst the socio political unrest of 1987 in Kerala, a rebellious daughter from an upper caste family and her impressionable young niece set into motion a series of events that lead to betrayal and a dramatic death. 16 years on, with the patriarch on his deathbed, the disintegrated family is forced to come together, re-visit their past and find forgiveness.

Writer-director: Neha Sinha
After studying Philosophy at Lady Shri Ram College and film at the National Institute of Design, Neha Sinha has worked as a documentary filmmaker and as art director at the advertising firm JWT. She has also been a creative assistant to adman Ram Madhvani on various commercials, including the Cannes Lions 2007-winning ‘Palace’ for Happydent White, and assisted Abhinay Deo on Aamir Khan Production’s acclaimed film Delhi Belly. Currently, she works with Siddharth Basu in Big Synergy where she develops content and fiction based TV shows. Forgiven is her first original screenplay.

 (via official press release)

Mumbai Mantra, the film division of Mahindra Group, seems to be in a defunct state currently.  But it seems there is a genuine attempt to reinvent the division now and so they have tied up with the Sundance Film Institue.

It all sounds good but am bit skeptical about it. Earlier Mahindra tried to do the same here,  started a screenwriters lab and selected 12 scripts for mentoring.  Anjum rajabali, Sriram Raghavan and Anurag Kashyap were mentoring the scripts and one of us was part of the lab. They spent money on script development but didn’t venture out to shoot a single feature from the 12 final scripts. Well, the good thing is , they have returned the scripts to the writers now, and without any conditions attached or exercising any buy-back option. Hopefully this time it will work out in a better way. Read on for more deatils…

WHAT : The collaboration will see the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra|Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab which shall become an annual event in India, and the Sundance Institute|Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award will be awarded annually at the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance Screenwriters Lab has been mentoring scripts since last few years and many landmark films have come out of the lab.

HOW : Four filmmakers from around the world will receive a grant, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for industry meetings, mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and year-round support. This initiative will extend over a three-year period, benefiting 12 awardees. Beginning in 2012, one out of the four directors will be an Indian.

WHEN : Recipients of the 2011 Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Film Making Award will be announced January 25.

And there is more. From 2012, the inaugural Mumbai Mantra|Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab will provide an opportunity for six-to-eight filmmakers from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished Creative Advisors.

DATE : Hard copies of application materials must be post marked by June 1, 2011.

CRITERIA : 1. All Indian nationals as well as Indians, living overseas people of Indian origin and mixed Indian parentage are eligible to apply.

2. Only those who are working on their first or second feature film project shall be eligible. However, they may have worked on documentaries, shorts, advertising films in the past.

LANGUAGE : The screenplay can be for a film in any Indian language including English. However, the synopsis and the first 5 pages that you should send by June 1, 2011 must be translated in English.

Application Form: Click here for the official website of Mahindra’s Mumbai Mantra and you can download the application form from there.

he inaugural Mumbai Mantra|Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab will provide an opportunity for six-to-eight filmmakers from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished Creative Advisors in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level.