Writers join forces to form Pakistan Screenwriters Association

KARACHI: Earlier this year, industry veteran Nayla Jaffri stressed that actors should receive royalties for their work. After a wave of support from actors, the case has been acknowledged by Senator Faisal Javed Khan and a bill has yet to be proposed to the Senate. However, amid the good news, there was another discovery that made some much-needed changes. It has been brought to light that writers have no association to safeguard their rights such as their copyright law. Actors are protected by the organization known as ACT while producers are covered by UPA, but there is no such association for writers, who are arguably the most important member. important to the media industry.

Thus, writers from the industry have joined together to form an association through which they can make their voice heard and also claim their rights (copyright, etc.). The initiative was taken by acclaimed writer / producer / host Asma Nabeel, known for her writing prowess in dramas such as Khaani, Surkh Chandni and Dil Kiya Karey, among others. Within a month, several screenwriters got together and a committee was elected.

The executive committee includes Vasay Chaudhry as chairman and Umera Ahmed as vice chairman. Saji Gul will assume the role of General Secretary while Asma Nabeel will assume the role of Co-Secretary. Finances will be neglected by Inaam Hassan while Rida Bilal will be the spokesperson for the executive committee. To add to the incredible roster of screenwriters, Zafar Meraj, Amna Mufti, Syed Mohammad Ahmed and Bee Gul are also on board at an advisory level.

The Pakistan Screenwriters Association made it clear that the formation of the organization should not be seen as a movement against any channel, production or organization, but as a movement to protect the rights of writers in the industry. and to provide a safe space where writers can come together to discuss and solve the problems they face in their professional careers. But beyond that, what else does the Association hope to achieve? According to the Association, they hope to defend the rights of screenwriters as professionals in their field, which will include getting them the respect and credit they deserve for their creative work. They plan to make sure that writers not only get paid on time, but also get royalties if their dramas or movies are rebroadcast on local or foreign TV channels or streaming sites. The Association also wishes to protect the intellectual copyrights of writers and will also endeavor to ensure that there is mutual respect among writers for their intellectual property.

The Screenwriters Association also hopes to ensure that screenwriters are not exploited by production houses or chains. They will work on verifying contracts and even negotiating on behalf of writers if they feel the need to. They are also planning to ensure that writers are not left behind by production houses, so they are working on developing guidelines for when writers are allowed to republish their already commissioned work.

All in all, the Association intends to develop a relationship of trust and respect with the channels and the media so that writers are satisfied with the protection of their rights. After all, happy writers will result in good quality content.