“QALAMBAAZ” Invites Six-Months Writing Fellowship Applications For New Session Screenplay

A fellowship dedicated to impart six-month specialized script writing training for feature films under the guidance of renowned names in film-making here and abroad, has invited applications for its upcoming six-month training course. Qalambaaz has just completed its third year, taking a select few Pakistani screenwriters from concept to a full film script in just six months. These can be writers from early to advanced careers. The program is particular that this is not for students but for professionals who have been working in the media industry for at least a few years.

The mentors for the month-to-month scriptwriting meetings are international working filmmakers. This year’s mentors were returning mentors Ivana Massetti and Sumit Roy with new mentors Arshad Syed and Arun Vir. In Pakistan, the resident mentor is Framji Minwalla who said of the lab, “Qalambaaz is a superb initiative.  Almost all film directors I meet consistently ask me the same question: do I know any good writers who understand how to tell stories visually.  Pakistan sorely needs good training programs that will help young screenwriters develop their narrative and imaginative skills. Iram Parveen Bilal and Faisal Kapadia have developed an innovative structure to address this challenge.  Teaching these students how to watch films has been a supremely rewarding experience.  This is a program others should emulate.”

Qalambaaz, a brainchild of filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal, is run under her banner Parveen Shah Productions, in conjunction with Faisal Kapadia’s Mind Map Communications & Movie Magic Screenwriting Software.  In kind support and sponsors include Mandviwalla Entertainment and now Eveready Pictures. At the end of the fellowship, writers are introduced to industry veterans for a pitching event.  This year, Satish Anand of Eveready Pictures has come on board in a partnership with the programme and intends to jointly offer with Qalambaaz, “Rs 50, 000 cash prize to the most compelling script.”

The LINK FOR new call for submissions of applications has been attached here:


Quote from some of this year’s fellows,
Ibrahim Khaan: “Qalambaaz is a godsend for screenwriters. It has really helped me get a grip on my craft and iron out the kinks in my process. If I could, I would come back every year.”

Zakir Haider: Qalambaaz is a six-month long roller-coaster ride full of focused learning, inventiveness, and fostering at the hands of some of the most versatile mentors. The one-on-one Skype sessions with the mentor were a masterclass in their own right; the feedback and the critique mould the raw idea into a feature film short of production. Qalambaaz is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which grants an insight and a skill set that makes the writer’s journey much more thrilling and full of opportunities.

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