FESTIVALS: CRAFTING COMPELLING NARRATIVESby Editorial Desk February 11 2024, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 17 secs
The annual workshop featured guest speakers including Subhash Ghai, Ishita Moitra, Raj Nidimoru, Shridhar Raghavan, Abbas Tyrewala, Durgesh Singh and Palash Vaswani, reports The Daily Eye #Newsdesk
Whistling Woods International (WWI), in collaboration with the Screenwriters Association (SWA), successfully concluded the annual 5-Day Screenwriting Workshop, helmed by acclaimed screenwriter and HOD – Screenwriting, WWI, Anjum Rajabali. Held from January 31 to February 4, 2024, the workshop, conducted in a hybrid mode to encourage pan-India participation, provided participants with invaluable insights and tools to embark on their storytelling journeys.
The workshop kickstarted with Anjum Rajabali delving into the art of screenwriting while stressing the importance of enjoying the process and adapting to evolving platforms like OTT. He also emphasised the Indian narrative heritage and the unique craft of storytelling ingrained in the culture.
Underscoring the power of storytelling to transcend boundaries and enrich lives, Anjum Rajabali said, “Every time you put pen to paper to write a film, you are making a pact of trust with your audience. Come watch this film; you will not be disappointed. It is an interesting experience I will give you, which will move you, while touching you in a way that life itself cannot.”
Anjum Rajabali’s teachings extended beyond the realm of screenwriting to delve into psychological aspects, touching upon behaviours, conditioning, humanistic schools of thought, and defence mechanisms. His approach emphasised not only on the technical aspects of storytelling but also on the profound impact it has on both creators and audiences alike. The workshop also delved into the transforming power of mythology and its enduring influence on storytelling. His insights into the hero and heroin’s Journey, reflected on the challenges and triumphs inherent in the narrative arc.
Over the course of five days, participants immersed themselves in a dynamic exploration of various elements of screenwriting from narrative construction, character development, to the nuances of dialogue. Featuring distinguished guest speakers, the workshop illuminated the intricacies of storytelling, fostering a deeper understanding of the screenwriting process. Ishita Moitra and Raj Nidimoru graced the third day. Both of them in their respective sessions emphasised the collaborative nature of filmmaking and the need for writers to embrace feedback, hone their craft, and persist in their pursuit of compelling storytelling.
Day 4 of the workshop witnessed Shridhar Raghavan and Abbas Tyrewala. While Shridhar Raghavan discussed the joy of storytelling, viewing it as a playful process of exploration and discovery, Abbas Tyrewala reflected on the transformative power of storytelling, emphasising the exploration of diverse lives and experiences through narratives.
In addition to artistic exploration, the last day of the workshop equipped the participants with practical insights and legal and contractual aspects of filmmaking. Rohit Vedprakash emphasised the significance of clarity and intentionality in screenplay design, urging writers to provide a taste of their characters and conflicts early on, to engage studio executives. Durgesh Singh and Palash Vaswani focussed on the essence of relatability and human connection in writing, encouraging writers to draw from personal experiences and infuse their stories with authenticity and emotion. Diwakar Abhishek and Sudeep Nigam stressed on the need for clarity and protection in agreements, particularly regarding intellectual property rights and credit clauses.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman of WWI, underscored the workshop's commitment to nurturing creativity and collaboration and stated, “Crafting compelling stories require a deep understanding of human psychology and a relentless pursuit of authenticity.”
As the workshop concluded, participants emerged inspired and equipped with the knowledge and confidence needed to embark on their storytelling journey. The annual 5-Day Screenwriting Workshop stood as a testament to the enduring spirit of creativity and collaboration, nurturing the next generation of storytellers.
Reflecting on the enriching experience, Anjum Rajabali remarked, “The workshop served as a platform for aspiring writers to delve into the art and craft of screenwriting, igniting their passion for storytelling.