Krishna Shah to conduct seminar in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Noted Asian American writer-director-producer Krishna Shah will conduct a Story Telling Seminar in Mumbai on 10 and 11 July.

To tackle both, the art and science of storytelling, the seminar will dwell on the various elements that go into storytelling for feature films and television shows, study classical films through the years, as well as learn the art of a one minute pitch for their stories.

Research, dialogues, subtexts will all be dealt with in a systematic manner. The seminar will also discuss whether crossover movies are here to stay, and whether Made In India films will rule the world in the same way Indian literature has, and how the epistemology of the 'intermission' and the 'inevitable songs' shades Bollywood differently from Hollywood.

The hands - on, immediate feedback seminar will incorporate guided visualisations, mini-mediatations and group exercises to help the participants to confront and nurture the storyteller within them. The high point of the seminar, says Shah, is creation of their own story - a complete story for a screenplay through a one hour guided visualisation. Participants will also be taught how to use the Internet to research their stories and learn which writing and formatting computer programmes are worth investing in, how to copyright, pitch and network in order to sell their product. "The business aspect of storytelling is 50 per cent of the game," avers Shah.

The seminar, he says, will also support and promote storyteller groups who will form their own group and continue the work in creating and nurturing their stories with peers and friends. Shah has, over the years, written and directed several Broadway and Hollywood productions, including a South African play Sponono, Kalidas' Shakuntala and Tagore's The King of the Dark Chamber. In Hollywood, Shah's feature length screenplays include Island in Harlem for MGM, April Morning for Samuel Goldwyn Jr and wrote and directed Shalimar, the taut rollercoaster ride into the world of conmen and thieves.

Shah, who has organised similar workshops in London and South Africa, says he spent over four months customising the programme for Indian participants. He is now planning to take the seminar to other citieis in India. A bankruptcy of original ideas, a plethora of existing channels, the easy availability of dubbed movies has all made it imperative for originality in scripting and filmmaking, he avers.

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