Screenwriters Association announces nominees for Web Series category of SWA Awards 2020

Thirteen original series were nominated from 43 entries received by SWA awards committee

MUMBAI: Screenwriters Association (SWA), the Indian guild of screenwriters and lyricists has announced the 13 nominees for the original series category of SWA Awards 2020. These series were nominated over three sub-categories: best original series - original comedy, best original series - original drama and best original series - adaptation.

Nominees for Best Series - Original Drama are:

1.            Richie Mehta and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh for Delhi Crime

2.            Suman Kumar, Sumit Arora, Raj and DK for The Family Man

3.            Abhishek Yadav, Saurabh Khanna and Sandeep Jain for Kota Factory

4.            Abhishek Sengupta, Biswa Kalyan Rath and Hussain Haidry for Lakhon Mein Ek Season 2

5.            Alankrita Shrivastav, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti for Made in Heaven

Nominees for Best Series - Original Comedy are:

1.            Maitreyee Upadhyay, Nayana Shyam and Preksha Khanna for Adulting Season 2

2.            Devika Bhagat and Ishita Moitra for Four More Shots Please!

3.            Ashish Manchanda, Chirag Ratna Singh and Shreyasi Sharma for Girls’ Hostel

4.            Akarsh Khurana and Sumeet Vyas for Tripling Season 2

5.            Ajaydeep Singh and Manish Kumar for Virgin Bhasskar

Nominees for Series – Adaptation are:

1.            Asad Hussain (Dialogue), Deepa Mehta, Patrick Graham, Suhani Kanwar and Urmi Juvekar for Leila

2.            Dhruv Narang, Nihit Bhave, Pooja Tolani, Varun Grover for Sacred Games Season 2

3.            Marston Bloom, Sumit Arora, Tanuja Chaturvedi (Hindi dialogue) for Selection Day

 SWA general secretary Sunil Salgia said, “It’s a new world, a combination of TV and Film. It gives scope for the writer to explore the world around the characters a bit more, to explore the minds of the characters, to weave a web of new ideas, and this is where a writer can be innovative and experimental. The writers have shown promise in this genre and I foresee a tough competition amongst them on this platform.”

The 13 nominees were selected from 43 entries received by the SWA Awards committee from Hindi language web series released in 2019. Three jury panels, each comprising three eminent screenwriters, assessed entries in their respective sub-category. The final winners will be announced in an online awards ceremony on 27 September 2020.

Please read more coverage on SWA  

SWA Web Awards spokesperson and screenwriter  Manisha Korde said, “Writing for web-series is complicated owing to its unique structure; which is like man-animal hybrids of Greek mythology. Web series need intensity of the cinemas, expanse of the TV shows and brisk span attention to ads. This youngest medium, barely a few years old, poses greater challenges than its seniors. It's a tough field out there. All the nominations are equally good and it will be interesting to see who wins the first SWA screenwriting award for web!”

SWA is holding the first ever SWA Awards on the occasion of its diamond jubilee year in 2020. Since they are judged by knowledgeable screenwriters and lyricists, these awards promise to become the most coveted validation for writers in India, much like the awards of other prestigious international writers’ guilds and literary organisations.

The nominees spoke to SWA, reacting to the announcement:

Nominees for Best Series – Original Drama

Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh: This is my first every nomination and I can’t imagine it being more befitting than this. To be valued by the members of SWA is a prize in itself. I thank each one of you for finding my work worthy of being shortlisted in this category.

Raj & DK: So excited to be nominated for the SWA awards! It's a great initiative by the association to introduce the awards this year. This is a shot in the arm for original content creators and lends authenticity to the writing awards. Really looking forward!

Suman Kumar: Thank you SWA for nominating The Family Man in the first ever SWA Awards. It feels great that my writer colleagues recognise our work. Big thanks to all the fans of the Family Man.

Sumit Arora: I am extremely happy to know that I have been nominated for the first ever SWA awards. There has been some excellent work in the web space off late and it’s a privilege to be nominated amongst all these brilliant minds who have created that work.

Abhishek Yadav: Really glad that SWA has taken the initiative to organise awards entirely focused on the craft of screenwriting. It’s also special because Kota Factory has been shortlisted as one of the five nominees. Really thankful to the jury, SWA, team Kota Factory and the audience. Cheers!

Sandeep Jain: When I received the email regarding nomination for SWA Awards 2020, I was working on something and suddenly for a moment everything stopped and I felt extremely grateful. I still remember the day when I got my SWA card to register my first short film script. And now I’m very happy to receive a nomination from the same body. I feel this is a great initiative because this is the most respected body for us writers and acknowledgement from them means a lot to us.

Abhishek Sengupta: To be nominated by a jury comprised of stalwarts who have mastered the craft of writing, is an honour that can be rarely matched. I would like to thank SWA for this honour and commend them on the first screenwriting awards to recognise the importance of the art of writing.

Biswa Kalyan Rath: Very excited about finally having an SWA awards. It has been long overdue and writers deserve much more. Hoping that this will have a great impact on the community as a whole.

Hussain Haidry: I am glad to know that SWA has initiated these awards, and it is quite assuring that it will have as objective as possible an approach in appreciating people working for Indian cinema. I am honoured to know that I am nominated in the first ever SWA awards, that too as a screenwriter.

Alankrita Shrivastav: I am honoured and incredibly thrilled that we have been nominated for the first ever SWA Awards for writing Made in Heaven. It is a very special show and working on it has been the most collaborative and fulfilling experience. And to now be recognised by one’s fellow writers feels wonderful. I hope that in the years to come, this culture of encouraging and appreciating our contemporaries continues.

Nominees for Best Series – Original Comedy

Maitreyee Upadhyay: Entering the Screenwriters Association is like Aladdin entering the cave of wonders. It is daunting. The walls of SWA are filled with names that make me shake in my tiny shoes. And instantly I feel like an impostor, a street-rat, like Aladdin. To think that our words have been nominated for an award by this building, well, it’s like the word goddess is asking me to keep meeting the blank page.

Nayana Shyam: I’m so grateful and honoured to have been nominated for this award. It means so much more to me because of how special this show is to me and my fellow writers.

Preksha Khanna: SWA Awards will help give due recognition to one of the most important, and often side-lined parts of the entertainment industry – the writers. I am deeply honoured to be nominated in the first edition of the SWA awards and hope that this tradition continues in the years to come.

Devika Bhagat: These awards mean so much more as they are judged by our peers - fellow screenwriters. Peer recognition is something I strive for. Writing Four More Shots Please! was an amazing and creatively fulfilling experience. Getting this nomination and sharing it with my co-writer and friend, Ishita Moitra, is the icing on the cake. I hope to continue to do good writing in the future and live up to the expectations of my peers.

Ishita Moitra: To be acknowledged for your work by your own peers is possibly the highest accolade of all. SWA has always been a beacon of hope and strength for us screenwriters. The Association stands for justice, impartiality, equality, free and fair liberal thought. So, when they choose to celebrate and honour excellence in screenwriting, it sure means something.

Ashish Manchanda: Existence is painful, the world is going downhill and the society will blow up in its own face one day. Content is a better escape from all that than drugs and alcohol. Good content helps one feel belonged and relate with and find solace in other people's problems and at times forget about their problems. And to craft good content it takes dedicated creators who painstakingly go through endless loops of creation and destruction. Kudos to team SWA for recognising and rewarding such talent in the creative team. Thank you for including team Girls' Hostel.

Chirag Ratna Singh: I am very grateful, flattered and honestly a little surprised to be nominated for the first ever SWA awards! Considering the competition, it is indeed a great honour to be recognised by people who genuinely understand and appreciate the craft of writing. Here's hoping this tradition continues. Thank you!

Akarsh Khurana: Being nominated by your own peers and the fraternity you belong to is the best feeling ever. I’m so glad that SWA has taken this initiative. Particularly now that we are valuing content more, and writers are coming back to the fore. Also, being nominated for Tripling is just the icing on the cake. I loved writing both seasons of this with my friend and co-writer, Sumeet Vyas. It gave us a chance to be personal, and funny, and most importantly, free to create.

Ajaydeep Singh: SWA Awards will not only uplift the morale of our writers but also, I am sure this award will be one of the most prestigious ones in the forthcoming years. We were in need of an honest and unbiased jury and SWA has stepped in at the right time. I am deeply honored and thankful to the jury for nominating my show Virgin Bhasskar.

Manish Kumar: It's my immense pleasure to be nominated and that too for my first show. The power of words is often felt than seen. This award just reassures me that people truly appreciate the beauty of imagination. This is my first project, my first labour of love and to see it nominated, has filled my heart to its brim and my cup runneth over. I hope in future many more are inspired by this honour and we build a tribe that is creative, impactful and authentic.

Nominees for Best  Series – Adaptation

Asad Hussain: There are days when writing is like a river in full flow. And then there are days when it feels like a burden, a rock that refuses to budge. It is discipline and rigour as well as inspiration and intuition. All these shades of emotion are familiar to writers, which is why it feels truly special to be nominated for this honour by a group of fellow writers. Thank you for considering my work for this award, and for providing recognition for the role of writers in the industry.

Patrick Graham: I've been a proud SWA member since 2011 and I'm really thrilled that such an awesome organisation has begun their own awards function. Writing is the foundation to any good series or film and it's important that writers receive the recognition, credit and fees that they deserve for their work - SWAs fight for these things tirelessly. I'm very grateful to receive this nomination and I'm excited to see how the quality of writing within our industry is getting stronger with every passing year.

Suhani Kanwar: Never before has there been such an urgent hunt for stories and content in the industry. Never before have we screenwriters had so many formats or platforms to choose from. But with all this opportunity, there’s also a pressing need for us writers to really think about what we want to say, why we are saying it, whose stories we want to tell, and how to tell them well. An awards event like the first ever SWA Awards, focused purely on celebrating good writing, is welcome, perfectly timed, and something I’ll look forward to not just this year but every year from here on.

Urmi Juvekar: I am absolutely delighted with this nomination. There is no better encouragement for a writer than being appreciated by one’s fellow writers.

Dhruv Narang: SWA Awards are a great initiative, filling a big vacuum for authentic, craft-oriented honours. It is very humbling to be nominated by an organisation so sincerely committed to advancing the cause of screenwriting.

Nihit Bhave: I’m honoured and excited about being nominated for the first ever SWA Awards. It’s just the kind of boost a writer needs, especially during lockdown when we’re all struggling to create. I would also like to applaud SWA for their initiative towards recognising writing talent and putting their members front and centre. The association has, for long, protected and nurtured us and this is another great way of putting their might behind writers.

Pooja Tolani: The SWA Awards is great news and a long time coming. It will be a great boost and encouragement for screenwriters to have their craft acknowledged by peers and seniors who know first-hand, just how much goes into writing. Also, we as an industry do need to acknowledge more (and more often), the invisible craft of screenwriting and its fundamental relevance in the filmmaking process – and the awards are a big step in that direction. I’m thrilled to be nominated for the first edition.

Varun Grover: I am thrilled to be nominated for the first ever SWA Awards in two categories. It's an award for the community by the peers and that makes it extra special. I had decided not to attend any regular film awards because of the way they treat writers and technicians - and it's a great step forward that SWA decided to start awards where writers are in the front and center.

Marston Bloom: It is always humbling to be acknowledged by one’s peers and that feeling is more pronounced when it comes from a community of writers like the SWA with such a vivid tradition of storytelling excellence. Thanks to the reach of OTT platforms the whole world can now see the incredible quality and ambition of Indian screenwriting and I’m delighted that Selection Day played a small part in this moment.

Tanuja Chaturvedi: What truly makes this honour so unique is your work is appreciated, evaluated and valued by your peers and betters. To get this nomination, the first time SWA is instituting these awards, is the cherry on my cake. My congratulations to my fellow nominees!

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