The 2022 Rewriting Screenwriters Residency Program uncovers and supports the talents of Indian screenwriters

The Rewrite Screenwriters’ Residency 2022 Program announces its official talent and projects that were selected and mentored in its second Rewrite 1.2 phase, held August 24-30, 2022.

In this edition, 11 stories set in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Delhi have been selected to participate in the residency.

The screenwriters were mentored by writer-director Ajitpal Singh (Fire In The Mountains and Tabbar), writer Sherni Aastha Tiku and renowned filmmaker and screenplay mentor Bikas Mishra (Chauranga).

Rewrite is a semi-annual youth residential program for emerging screenwriters. A guided experience in the heritage city of Jaipur. A dozen emerging writers come together to creatively develop their ideas. From a logline to a ready-made script, this residency helps screenwriters improve, refine and detail their stories for the screen.

The residency offered the opportunity to pay what you could to all selected applicants to ensure that participation in the residency moved out of the sphere of economic pressures for writers and organizers. Not only did this help reach more writers with powerful stories, but it also fetched an amount closer to the cost of holding the residency, more than what the regular 30,000 capped fee structure yielded.

The organizers wanted the residency to be open to a diverse set of people with authentic and compelling stories. Studio Ainak provided partial scholarship to needy writers with excellent scripts and supported the incremental cost.

The writer and projects selected and mentored for the Rewrite 1.2 phase were –

Sujata never killed the yellow parakeet II

By Abishek Pandey

mourning II hindi

By Aditya Verma

Vilakhanpur II Punjabi

By Amit Jindal

Zakia II hindi

By Arastu Zakia

Ahichhatrapur II Marwari

By Arvind Charan

Udaas Pahad Aur Ghum Pakshi II Kumauni

By Nidhi Saxena

The Late Autumn Dream II Bengali, Khasi and English

By Pramati Anand

Jay Prakash Ka Dukh II Maithili & Hindi

By Rahul Mandal

Black Miracle II Marathi, Hindi and English

By Rohan Apte

Jholachhap II Hindi

By Swapnil Jain

Owned II Hindi and Punjabi

By Udit Khurana

There were four observers who attended the mentoring sessions remotely – Pavithra Sreekumar, assistant writer and director at Platoon One Films, Santa Nibedita, development practitioner and filmmaker, Vikesh Patel

Practitioner of finance and commodity trading interested in storytelling, Vivek Kunwar, scriptwriter/director in the field of documentary and advertising film. Founder of Motif Global, a production company based in Delhi.

Suruchi, Founder of Rewrite, said, “Rewrite is a place for collective growth – a place where young writers share their personal stories within the community to find creative ways to express themselves through their script. Very happy to have taken the opportunity to open access to writers with the Pay What You Can model, we have seen a diverse group of writers through this approach.”

Ajitpal Singh, writer-director and mentor at rewrite said, “These young girls are doing something unique at Rewrite. We are often hesitant to take initiative when thinking about various challenges. I learned after coming here that more than money, resources or a network, courage to dream of something like this.”

Bikas Mishra, writer-director and mentor at rewrite, said: “The future of Hindi cinema is being created here at rewrite. It connects us to our roots and shows us up close the diversity of stories in India. Rewrite provides fertile ground for authentic Indian stories.”

Profile of mentors:

Aastha Tiku is the author of Vidya Balan star, SHERNI (2021). A film about tiger conservation and human-animal conflict, the film has received rave reviews for its sensitive portrayal of the subject in a unique genre of ecological fiction. Aastha holds an MA in Economics and an MA in Philosophy from Kings College London. She has worked in London, Delhi and Mumbai in a policy think tank, social impact organization and qualitative research firm. Currently based in Mumbai, Aastha is the co-founder of Critical Mass Films where she develops feature film projects.

Ajitpal Singh is a self-taught filmmaker living in Mumbai. His feature debut, Fire in the Mountains, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival as part of the World Cinema Drama Competition. Since then, the film has traveled to more than thirty festivals and won 13 awards. The film also got a theatrical release in North America and Canada to excellent reviews. Its first web series Tabbar premiered on Sony Liv in 2021, Tabbar topped most of India’s list of best series of 2021, and it was number five in Variety magazine’s list of best international series of 2021. Ajitpal was also part of Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab India in 2012.

Bikas Mishra is an award-winning screenwriter-director best known for his debut feature film Chauranga which won the Grand Jury Prize at Indian Film Festival Los Angeles and was declared Best Indian Feature Film at Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI) in 2014 His short film “Naach Ganesh” (Dance of Ganesha) traveled extensively to prestigious festivals, including Clermont Ferrand, Rotterdam, Busan and IFFLA. Bikas, currently a Global Media Makers (GMM) member of Film Independent, Los Angeles, is a recipient of the prestigious Hubert Bals Fund for his next project. He is also an alumnus of the Berlinale ScriptStation and the NFDC Screenwriters Lab. Bikas sat on the visionary jury for Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week in 2012. Bikas is also a screenplay mentor at the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab.