Mumbai, India — Mumbai Mantra, the media and entertainment division of the Mahindra Group, is collaborating with Sundance Institute for the inaugural Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab 2012. Eight feature film projects have been selected through a rigorous evaluation process of submissions from Indian screenwriters from around the world .
These Screenwriting Fellows will have the opportunity to work intensely on their feature film scripts with the support of Creative Advisors (established Screenwriters and Directors) in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with the Creative Advisors, the Screenwriting Fellows will engage in an artistically demanding process that offers indispensable lessons in craft, a fresh perspective on their work and a platform to fully realize their material.
This year’s Screenwriting Fellows who will go through an immersive five day workshop (March 11-16) at a Club Mahindra Resort are:
· Charudutt Acharya (Sonali Cable Centre)
· Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar (Margarita, With a Straw)
· Vikas Chandra (Toothache)
· Rajnesh Domalpalli (Avani)
· Prashant Nair (Umrica)
· Anusha Rizvi & Mahmood Farooqui (Opium)
· Ajitpal Singh (Manjhi)
· Kartik Singh (Public School).
The distinguished group of Creative Advisors, include Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), Marcos Bernstein (Central Station, Foreign Land), Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Contact), Asif Kapadia (The Warrior, Senna), Shekhar Kapur (Bandit Queen, Elizabeth), Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me, Eve’s Bayou), Anjum Rajabali (Rajneeti, Aaraakshan), José Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries, On the Road), Howard A. Rodman (Savage Grace, Joe Gould’s Secret), Malia Scotch-Marmo (Hook, Once Around), and Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun, Guinevere).
Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, said, “We are at an exciting storytelling stage in the history of Independent Cinema in India. With the help of our exceptional partners, Sundance Institute, we are keen to recognize, nurture and hone talent in India and across the world. We welcome to the lab the 11 remarkably talented ‘Creative Advisors.’ We congratulate the 10 Screenwriting Fellows selected for the first Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and look forward to their next films with great anticipation.”
In a joint statement, Founding Director, Feature Film Program, Michelle Satter and Associate Director Feature Film Program Int’l Alesia Weston said: “The Sundance Institute is excited to be working with Mumbai Mantra on the launch of our first collaborative Screenwriters Lab in India. This program reflects the Institute’s ongoing commitment to supporting a world community of independent artists through Labs, Festival programming, and year-round resources. We are extremely grateful to the accomplished screenwriters who are bringing their expertise and generosity to the Lab as Creative Advisors and the very talented group of Indian screenwriters who have been selected for the Lab.”
Mumbai Mantra received over 500 applications. For the selection of the 8 projects for the Lab, the Selection Advisory Committee was comprised of eminent Indian screenwriters, directors, film critics and film academics who considered over 90 screenplays. After an intense selection process in consultation with the Sundance Institute, the final 8 projects were chosen.
The committee included Zoya Akhtar, Ira Bhaskar, Pubali Chaudhuri, Anupama Chopra, Aniruddha Roy Choudhary, Tigmanshu Dhulia, K. Hariharan, Feroz Khan, Ram Madhvani, Ranjani Mazumdar, Anuradha Parikh, Anjum Rajabali, Konkona Sen Sharma, Meenakshi Shedde, Vinay Shukla, Rohan Sippy, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao and Anna M. M. Vetticad.
The Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab is the first step in a 3 year creative and strategic partnership that includes a robust plan to help Indian filmmakers connect to ever-increasing global audiences. In addition to the annual Screenwriters Lab, the group has also established the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award (GFA). The 2012 award winners were Etienne Kallos / Vrystaat (FREE STATE) (South Africa), Ariel Kleiman / Partisan (Australia), Dominga Sotomayor / Tarde Para Morir Joven (Late To Die Young) (Chile), and Shonali Bose / Margarita. With a Straw. (India). Each of the four winning filmmakers received a cash award of $10,000, attended the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, and will receive year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support.
Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd
Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, the Media & Entertainment vertical of the Mahindra Group, is actively evaluating opportunities in content and infrastructure in the domestic as well as international media and entertainment space. Mumbai Mantra’s ‘Antaheen’, won 4 National Awards including Best Feature Film in 2009. It has also co-produced the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ directed by Julie Taymor. Several other films are in development.
Mumbai Mantra has also made a commitment towards providing a platform for independent voices in Indian cinema to champion an emerging generation of exciting film makers. The first step in this direction is the forging of a partnership with the renowned Sundance Institute founded by Robert Redford, for the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab which is planned to be an annual event in India, and the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award to be awarded to 4 international film makers annually. www.mumbaimantra.com
About Mahindra & Mahindra
Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $14.4 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,44,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade logistics and, recently, the entertainment industry.
The Mahindra Group has a long standing commitment to the arts and humanities. The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) were created to encourage both emerging and established theatre and celebrated its Sixth Anniversary in 2011. The Group’s encouragement and support to world music will be at its fore at the second annual Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai in February 2012 – the largest festival of its kind in Asia, showcasing the best international Blues artists and providing a common platform for emerging Indian Blues bands.
To encourage and support the ‘young and the unknown’ and to give back to the communities it operates in, has been the core of the Mahindra Group’s involvement in art and culture. www.mahindra.com
Sundance Institute Feature Film Program
Since 1981, the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program (FFP) has supported more than 600 independent filmmakers whose distinctive, singular work has engaged audiences worldwide. The program’s approach to the discovery and development of independent artists has become a model for creative development programs internationally. Program staff fully embrace the unique vision of each filmmaker, encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply personal storytelling. Each year, up to 30 emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world participate in a year-round continuum of support which can include the Screenwriters and Directors Labs, Composers Lab, Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab, Creative Producing Summit, a Work-in-Progress Screening Initiative, a Screenplay Reading Series, the Feature Film Program Fund, offering direct financial support through named grants, awards, and artist fellowships, the Artist Services program, a new initiative providing strategic resources for crowd funding and digital distribution, and ongoing creative and strategic advice. In 2011, the FFP created the New Frontier Story Lab, supporting innovative artists developing projects across multiple platforms, emphasizing the convergence of storytelling and technology.
Over its 30 year history, the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has supported an extensive list of award-winning and groundbreaking independent films. Notable films supported over the program’s history include Cary Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre, Josh Marston’s Maria Full of Grace, Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, Walter Salles’ Central Station, and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, amongst others.
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival.