Filmmakers, distributors launch ‘Qalambaaz’ to help screenplay writers

Published 07 Sep, 2015 01:17pm

Umer Bin Ajmal

Qalambaaz is aimed at aspiring filmmakers, in order to help produce great screenplay writing for the film industry.

Picture courtesy Qalambaaz's Facebook page
Picture courtesy Qalambaaz's Facebook page

KARACHI: The seed that is properly sown gives the best fruit later on. The message of life given in this common phrase is implemented by Parveen Shah Productions as they launched a screenplay writing activity, Qalambaaz, amongst film graduates to produce great screenplay writers for the movie industry.

Qalambaaz is a six month screenplay writing development program which would feature five mentors from the Pakistani, Indian and American film industries and pair them up with five applicants from Pakistan to develop their ideas into a complete screenplay.

A gathering at The Second Floor (T2F) was held on Wednesday, where filmmakers, film critics and distributors shared their experiences and adventures with enthusiastic film students, graduates and others aspiring to become filmmakers.

The panel comprised of Iram Parveen Bilal, director of film Josh, Afia Nathaniel, director of film Dukhtar, Nadeem Mandviwalla, owner of Mandviwalla Entertainment, and Dr Framji Minwalla, chairperson of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at IBA.

They advised a packed hall at T2F on how screenplays can be improved and made good-to-go for production. With so much to learn from these filmmakers, aspiring filmmakers and screenplay writers hoped for their questions to be answered in detail.

Mandviwalla, sharing his experience, told the audience that “three aspects must be taken into account to produce a good screenplay: learning, understanding and exploring”.

He urged the participants not to follow the trail and “create something new”.

According to Mandviwalla, the downfall of the film industry came as a blessing in this age, because there was no precedent set for new filmmakers.

“Instead of evolving, we are forming and setting up new standards for filmmaking in our country,” he said adding, “This gives filmmakers an advantage and freedom to explore themselves.”

Mandviwalla cited a comparison from the Indian film industry where a precedent of Masala filmmaking has been set for a long time, saying that in such a scenario, it becomes challenging for a filmmaker to break the trend or give something new to the audience that they are not accustomed to.

Afia, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of a screenplay and said: “A good screenplay in the hands of a bad director would still make a good film, but a bad screenplay even in the hands of an exceptional director would not be able to save the film.”

Meanwhile, for Dr Framji, a creative way to tell the story was something the filmmakers and screenplay writers should be focusing on.

He said: "Every story has been told, it is up to the filmmakers now for what narrative they adapt to engage their audiences.”

In these critical times and political crises, Qalambaaz is surely an endeavour in the right direction.

With the Pakistani film industry moving forward smoothly, Qalambaaz’s aim to develop a sense of narrative among upcoming filmmakers would benefit the industry and the country at large.