NFDC’s Screenwriters’ Lab announces guest mentors


Mumbai: Sooni Taraporevala and Udayan Prasad have confirmed attendance as mentors for the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) of India and Binger Filmlab screenwriter’s workshop in Goa later this year.

The team of professionals will mentor eight Indian writers over a five day period. At the end of the workshop participants will have four months to submit revised versions of these scripts. The scripts will be co-owned by NFDC and will receive production support towards their realisation of becoming feature films. Entries are being accepted till 15 September.

The Screenwriters’ Lab is part of NFDC’s line-up of activities that are being held in Goa at the end of November. It runs alongside Film Bazaar, which is the Coproduction Market for feature films and documentaries. As was the case in 2007, at Film Bazaar industry members from India and other parts of the world will travel to Goa to consider partnering with Indian stories that are geared for a global marketplace. While the feature film market and the writing workshop were held last year the documentary section is a new initiative.

Some of the other mentors are as follows:

Binger Filmlab director Ido Abram:  Abram was formerly attached to the International Film Festival Rotterdam as CineMart Director and Head of Public Relations and Industry Affairs. CineMart is the annual co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Abram in August 2005 joined Binger as its new director. In addition, he is a consultant to the European Film Market of the Berlin Film Festival, a consultant to the Producers Network of the Cannes Film Festival, a consultant to the Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum and an advisor to the Dutch Film Fund.

Binger Filmlab artistic director Marten Rabarts: With a background in producing film and documentaries, Rabarts has been head of the Binger Programmes since 2001. In January 2006 he was named Artistic Director of the newly branded BINGER FILMLAB. He was responsible for the Binger Partnership in the production/training incentive Project 10 – real stories from a free South Africa. He continues to work as a producer, screenwriter and Script Editor and has recently served as Jury member of the Berlin Film Festival International Short Film Jury (2005) Sundance NHK prize (2003) and The Netherlands Film Festival KODAK development award (2004, 2005).

Guest Mentors

Sooni Taraporevala an award winning screenwriter, photographer and now director, has been writing screenplays for the past 21 years. Most recently she has written the screenplay of the film The Namesake, based on the book by Jhumpa Lahiri,directed by Mira Nair with whom she has earlier collaborated with on Salaam Bombay! and Mississipi Masala. In 2007 she directed her first film Little Zizou which is the closing night film at the MIAAC festival in New York City and is slated for a March 2009 release. She is currently writing the adaptation of Mark Shand’s book TravelsOn My Elephant.

Udayan Prasad is an award winning UK based director whose work includes the critically acclaimed Brothers In Trouble (1995), My Son The Fanatic (Official Selection Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997,) and his fifth feature is The Yellow Handkerchief, starring William Hurt, Maria Bello, Kristen Stewart and Eddie Redmayne. Produced by Arthur Cohn and shot in Louisiana, the film was his US debut, and had its premier in January 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival.

Franz Rodenkirchenis an International Script Editor and Tutor. He currently heads the consulting department at Berlin-based script development company Script House. He is Head of Selection for Torino Film Lab. As script advisor he regularly works for the Binger Filmlab, Amsterdam; European workshop Script & Pitch; CineLink, the co-production market of the Sarajevo Film Festival, and the Deutsche Film-und Fernseh Akademie, Berlin. Rodenkirchenis has been working on well over 100 mostly international film projects, predominantly with writer/directors. He is also a regular at co-production markets all over Europe and besides doing project development has helped writers/directors to prepare public pitches.

Philippa Campbellis, one of New Zealand’s most accomplished producers, known for her development process and is former chair of the NZ Writers Guild. Her recently produced credits include Rain by Christine Jeffs, No2 by Toa Fraser (2006 Audience Award winner at Sundance), and Black Sheep by Jonathon King.