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Anjum Rajabali excited for second edition of Storytellers Script Contest — submissions open- Cinema express

Anjum Rajabali excited for second edition of Storytellers Script Contest — submissions open

The deadline of submissions has been extended to February 12. The winners of the contest will be awarded a total cash prize of Rs. 50 lakh

Published: 19th January 2019

The Screenwriters Association of India (SWA) is back with the second edition of Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Script Contest. The nationwide contest invites screenwriters and Bollywood aspirants to submit their story ideas and compete for a total cash prize of Rs. 50 lakh — with Rs. 25 lakh to be awarded to the Best Script. The deadline of submission of synopsis has been extended to February 12; the selected participants will be asked to submit a full script for Round 2.

The jury of the second edition of Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Script Contest comprises: Aamir Khan, Rajkumar Hirani, Juhi Chaturvedi and Anjum Rajabali, who is also the chairperson of the contest.

Speaking about his experience of spearheading the first edition of CISSC, Anjum Rajabali shared, “When we started out with the idea of the contest, we had anticipated a maximum submission of 1200-1500 ideas. However, as it turned out, we received an overwhelming amount of 3642 submissions. Following a lengthy process, these were whittled down to around 150 ideas which we thought had potential. Eventually, once the final submissions arrived, we culled it down to 25 scripts. Thereon, I and two senior writers picked out eight scripts which were read by the main jury, including myself — and we finally arrived at the top five scripts that were awarded at the main ceremony.”

The first prize (Rs. 25 lakh) of the first edition of the contest was won by Christo Tomy from Kochi, Kerala for his story ‘The Funeral’. The second prize (Rs. 10 lakh) was awarded to Biplab Goswami for his story ‘Two Brides’. The five winners were awarded by Aamir Khan on November 26, 2018 in Mumbai.

Laying out the driving philosophy behind the Storytellers Script Contest, Rajabali said, “We want to create a platform through which we can inspire amateur and speculative writing in the country via prized incentives. Our journey of curation does not end with the competition itself. At the main ceremony, we invite various production houses and industry experts to interact with the contestants. Since these screenplays have already gone through a rigorous process of scrutiny, everybody is aware of their potential. Recently, a winner of the first edition told me that around eight production houses have expressed interest in his script.”

Anjum Rajabali has written the screenplays of classic Hindi films likes Drohkaal, Ghulam, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Rajneeti and Satyagraha. His upcoming films include Saare Jahaan Se Accha, a biopic on Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma, and Toofan, a boxing-based sports film starring Farhan Akhtar and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. 

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