Indiantelevision Dot Com's 'Qalam' back again

MUMBAI: Here's a piece of good news for all those who wish to make it big as scriptwriters. Indiantelevision Dot Com is back with Qalam, its full fledged, well-structured, four month comprehensive Television Script Writing Course, starting 14 June.

The course will be guided by a governing board comprising Nimbus Communications CEO Akash Khurana, ex-Siddhant Cinevision creative director, Vinod Ranganath, Indian Television Dot Com CEO, Anil Wanvari, film maker Aditya Seth and writer-director Vijay 'Victor' Acharya.

Starting its second batch, the course boasts of an acclaimed faculty including television luminaries like noted scriptwriters and directors BM Vyas, Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Ashwini Dhir, Vivek Agnihotri among others. The course will be co-ordinated by Aditya Seth.

Qalam's earlier batch has produced students who are currently working with serials like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, Kitty Party and Yeh Meri Life Hain amongst others while some are involved in film scripts too.

Reema Suri, a student of the first batch, says she had a very good learning experience at the course last year and it taught her a lot that is being of assistance to her now. Currently working as an assistant screenplay writer for Yeh Meri Life Hai, Suri was the script coordinator for the same show earlier. She even assisted Vinod Ranganath in some of his assignments.

Married for five years, Suri had no previous experience on script writing when she joined Qalam in August last year.

Keeping in view the different skill sets that the students are required to master, the syllabus for Qalam has been broken down into four modules.

To begin with, the first will initiate students in the rudiments of story ideas that are relevant to television, the different kind of concepts that work for the medium and the creation of the characters that go into making a complete story.

The second will deal in how to weave a story into an interesting teleplay, the graphing of the story, the differences in the teleplay for different kinds of stories and on how to create cliffhangers that retain the interest of a teleplay.

In the third module, trainers will take students into the in-depth construction of the scene and dialogues while the fourth module will see students creating a story from their own ideas/concepts, fleshing out the characters, developing the plot and the overall structure of the script. They will also write the teleplay and dialogues for an episode. Each student shall have the independence to choose his/her generic specialisation of television writing according to aptitude.

The 16-week course will have a minimum of three interactive sessions per week. The week-end sessions will be longer and the focus will be to illustrate the educational experience with the help of video sessions. Besides this, the participants will also be taking part in interactive sessions like discussions, ideation and analyses. Each module will be of three weeks and have six to nine sessions.

Suhana Bhatia, another ex-student, defines last year's course as a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Her story is a bit different. A post graduate in mass communication, Bhatia was providing English-speaking classes for grown ups before joining Qalam.

What prompted her to join Qalam was her triumph at the three-day jam session on scriptwriting held by earlier. Currently working as an associate screenplay writer for Kittie Party, Bhatia regrets not taking enough inputs from the guest faculties during the course. Other than Kitty Party, Bhatia has also concieved and co-written an yet-to-be featured telefilm called 30 Day Trail for Sahara with her Qalam batchmate Rajan Makhijani.

Makhijani, on the other hand, is involved in another Sahara telefilm and is also scripting an untitled feature film.

Priyanka Khimani, another ex-student, who is co-writing Tamanna, a daily serial for Zee Telefilms, (it will be telecast by the end of this month at prime time, 10 pm) is also establishing herself in the film industry. She has written the dialogues for Basma, an inter-country movie produced in collaboration with Muscat (Sultanate of Oman). Khimani's batch-mate, Madhuri Kamat is associated with the screenplay of Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi.

Aspirants will first have to clear an entrance exam which will test the language, perception and ideation skills of the students.

The questionnaire for the examination has already been put up on this website along with eligibility criteria, course content and other details.

The fees are set at Rs 12,000. For further information call Abhishek at 022-2673 0986/659.

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