Six projects have been selected by the NFDC (National Film Development Corporation, India) for the 2013 Screenwriters Lab, which is relocating to Toronto.

The Lab has previously been hosted by Locarno and Venice festivals, each having hosted two editions of the Screenwriters workshop.

The six projects, selected from more than 350 applications, will first be work-shopped in Toronto and further in Goa this November before being presented in the annual Film Bazaar Co-Pro Market.

The projects include:

  • Daily Nikhil Mahajan
  • Dark Waters Bela Negi
  • Mother Goddess Coaching Classes Varun Grover
  • My Brother the Salesman and I Shanker Raman
  • T for Taj Mahal Ashish Aryan, Sachin Ladia
  • The Spark Rajesh Jala

Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF, said: “Indian independent cinema is taking the world by storm and it all begins with its screenwriters. We’re proud to welcome this workshop to the Toronto International Film Festival, and support the NFDC’s important work.”

Nina Lath Gupta, MD of NFDC , said: “NFDC is delighted to be expanding it’s long relationship with the festival by bringing the now  renowned Film Bazaar Screenwriters Lab to Toronto for the first time, allowing our six writers’ creative process to be embedded  within TIFF,  especially as Ritesh Batra’s acclaimed The Lunchbox, developed in our 2011 edition of this same lab  is honoured with a Gala screening on September 8.”

Nikhil Mahajan first feature Pune 52 was released in 2013 and was a follow up to his feature documentary Half a Billion Dreams (2011).

Bela Negi wrote and directed the 2010 comedy Daayen Ya Baayen (Right or Left) and revisits the quirkiness of Indian rural life in this project which will be her second feature.

Varun Grover is best known for his collaboration with Anurag Kashyap as lyricist for That Girl in the Yellow Boots and Gangs of Wasseypur, and Vasan Bala’s Peddlers. Grover also has emerged through TV stand-up comedy writing.  

Shanker Raman is an award winning cinematographer and writer known for Frozen (TIFF 2007) and Harud (Autumn) (TIFF 2010).

Ashish Aryan is transitioning from a successful commercials career, taking on his first feature film with his project T for Taj Mahal, which he’ll be co-writing with Sachin Ladia, one of the writers of Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur.

Rajesh Jalla is a renowned documentary director best known for Children of the Pyre (Best Doc Montreal 2013) who turns his lyrical style towards his first fiction feature project.