Indian screenwriters lay protocol for proactive future

MUMBAI: The Film Writers Association’s second Indian Screenwriting Conference was held on 13 and 14 December in Mumbai.

The conference took up the issues like the standard and uniqueness of Indian scriptwriting, the politics of a script, screenwriters’ professional and legitimate rights, standard of remuneration, credit protection, royalties, problems confronting the writer-director and the writer-producer relationship and writing for TV amongst others.

Convenor of the conference Anjum Rajabali said, "In the last two and a half years, the number of producers have increased by 25 percent, but their ability to understand screenplay is questionable."

The Film Writers Association’s treasurer Subhash Jetly also listed various proposals that have been worked upon and implemented since last year’s Indian screenwriting conference. Some of which include a moral contract to govern writers’ rights, protect writers’ interest in public eye- especially at award functions where best writers’ award will now be given after best supporting actor at the Filmfare and Screen awards, writers’ workshops and seminars be organized in 2009, proactive and dynamic interactions between young and old writers. Additionally, the TV writers contract is underway.

During the panel discussions while some writers expressed their concern over lack of fresh and influencing movie script ideas in this time and age, others acknowledged the steady rise in the quality of Indian scripts with a large infusion of fresh talent into the field that takes screenwriting very seriously.

Writer turned director Abbas Tyrewala said, "We only talk about what should be done and not about what should not be done, take for instance copying of scripts."

The conference saw in attendance various writers and directors such as Kamal Hasan, Amol Palekar, Rajkumar Hirani, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Prakash Jha, Govind Nihalani, Kamlesh Pandey, Rohan Sippy, Sanjay Gadhvi, Sriram Raghavan, Sridhar Raghavan, Aatish Kapadia, B R Ishara, Vinay Shukla amongst many others.

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