Want to take your writing to the big screen? Film conglomerate Everready Pictures and Qalambaaz have joined hands to not only offer a cash prize to screenwriters for a winning screenplay, but to also offer them the opportunity to work in Everready’s studios.
Having just completed its third year, Qalambaaz mentors Pakistani professional screenwriters and has taken a select few from concept to a full film script in just six months. The mentors for the month-to-month scriptwriting meetings are international working filmmakers. This year, the program mentors included returning mentors Ivana Massetti and Sumit Roy, and new mentors Arshad Syed and Arun Vir.
Resident mentor Framji Minwalla said of the initiative, “Qalambaaz is a superb initiative. Almost all film directors I meet consistently ask me the same question: do I know any good writers who understand how to tell stories visually. Pakistan sorely needs good training programs that will help young screenwriters develop their narrative and imaginative skills. Iram Parveen Bilal and Faisal Kapadia have developed an innovative structure to address this challenge. Teaching these students how to watch films has been a supremely rewarding experience. This is a program others should emulate.”
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Qalambaaz, a brainchild of filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal, is run under her banner Parveen Shah Productions, in conjunction with Faisal Kapadia’s Mind Map Communications & Movie Magic Screenwriting Software. Their sponsors include Mandviwalla Entertainment and now Eveready Pictures.
At the end of the fellowship, writers are introduced to industry veterans for a pitching event. This year, Satish Anand of Eveready Pictures has come on board in a partnership with the program and intends to jointly offer with Qalambaaz a Rs 50, 000 cash prize to the most compelling script.
Zakir Haider, this year’s fellow from Qalambaaz explained, “Qalambaaz is a six-month long roller-coaster ride full of focused learning, inventiveness, and fostering at the hands of some of the most versatile mentors. The one-on-one Skype sessions with the mentor were a masterclass in their own right; the feedback and the critique mould the raw idea into a feature film short of production. Qalambaaz is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which grants an insight and a skillset that makes the writer’s journey much more thrilling and full of opportunities.”
“Qalambaaz is a godsend for screenwriters. It has really helped me get a grip on my craft and iron out the kinks in my process. If I could, I would come back every year,” added another fellow of the program, Ibrahim Khaan.