“My grandma never attended a script writing course. But she was an engaging story teller,” Kamlesh Pandey said enthusiastically. The 5th day at Green Screen Lab in Bhubaneshwar has a new chirpy guest who has written some of the most gripping scripts of the Indian cinema like Tezaab and Rang De Basanti. We were all thrilled and enlightened with his anecdotes and views on script writing and Bollywood screenplays. His insights provoked us to look at our scripts with a new lens. The hurdles in crossing an ocean of imagination to reach the shore with a superior screenplay, never seems to end.
Children cinema is very rare and the few good films I have seen are Iranian. The only Indian children film I have watched in the last decade was a short film called Girni by Umesh Kulkarni and a feature film I am Kalam directed by Nila Madhab Panda who is also the founder/director of the Lab. Nila has been very supportive in giving each one of us individual pep talk and frequently pushing us to make sure our scripts develop wings to fly to the production land.
I can’t understand why I am doing a children film. One fine morning I had a faint idea of the adventures of two kids with money in a corrupted city named Imphal. This idea has brought me here. My mentor Onir, the new age filmmaker from Mumbai has been peppering us every morning to improve our pitching technique with mock sessions. Are my team members getting any better? We discover a new flaw everyday. And we are going through the fire to get purified; purify our story and cleanse our presentation skills.
Today morning I had a one to one session with one of the other mentors Arend Agthe, the award winning writer/director from Germany. He interrogated me like a detective grilling his new suspect. I came away more purified and a little confused. My fellow participants advised me “take it easy”. But my mind has been set in the German torture chamber and I am reviewing my script with another perspective.
I am still waiting for my one to one session with Sanjay Chouhan, acclaimed screenwriter from Mumbai. I have a fond admiration of the films he has written and hope his comprehensive views will cleanse my script.
Tannistha Chatterjee has also camped here in the Lab bringing her European film acting experience. The scripts are being played out by the actors, cleansing the scenes and the dialogues in the process. A colleague writer/director told me he got an entirely new perspective to some of his characters and sequences. I have set an appointment with Tannistha and her troop.
19 writer/directors from across India and an alien called Basanti from Germany. Green Screen Lab is weaving children cinema.
Oinam Doren is a national award winning filmmaker participating in Green Screen Lab with his project “Lupa” (Money).