Green Cinema 2012

“Green Cinema-2012”

An International Screenwriting Lab for Indian writers of films for children and families

ORGANISED BY

Eleeanora Images Pvt Ltd (EI), New Delhi and
Performing Arts Labs (PAL), London

in collaboaration with

School of Film & Media Sciences, KIIT Bhubaneswar, Odisha

from

August 10th-20th 2012

10th August 2012

(L to R) Mr. Shravan Kumar, CEO, Children's Film Society India (CFSI), Mr. Nilamadhab Panda, Noted Film Maker and Founder & Executive Director, Eleeanora Images, Dr. A. Samanta, Founder KIIT & KISS, Ms. Susan Benn, Founder & Artistic Director, PAL, London & Prof. H. Khatua, CEO KIIT School of FILM & Media Sciences at the inauguration of International Green Screen Lab for Children's Films 2012 in KIIT

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THE GREEN SCREEN LAB PROGRAMME

India has the distinction of being the nation that produces largest number of films every year globally. Traditional production of cinema consumes and waste lots of energy. The idea of the Lab is to support the industry to write quality scripts and produce cinema that decentralizes the organic waste to energy application, focusing on reliability, hygiene and aesthetic values. This Lab is designed to help producers to develop a green ecosystem and a low carbon production process which reduces the budget as well.
Indian is biggest film industry in the world. 35% of its 1.2-billion population is under-15-years old. But ironically there is hardly any home-grown quality cinema for children in India. The interactive games industry is growing fast. The growth of multiplex cinemas in new shopping malls across India’s major cities is attracting a new, largely middle class, family audience. There is, therefore, a growing need for films specifically created for them. Yet in spite of this huge potential, the production of media for the children of today’s rapidly modernizing India is largely of poor quality and low output. India’s children are growing up watching Japanese and American produced animation, films and TV, which reflect little of their own lives, experience or culture.

Eleeanora Images Pvt Ltd (EI), New Delhi and Performing Arts Labs (PAL), London, have partnered to establish an international film development programme to create a ‘new wave” in Indian children’s cinema with imagination, care and respect for the family audience. After their highly-successful pilot Screenwriters Lab in Maharashtra for eight talented writers in 2009, PAL and EI are producing an expanded second edition of this innovative laboratory in 2012 in Odisha to identify 18 talented writers to develop original scripts to be ready for pre-production.

The Lab will encourage participants to pitch their final draft scripts to independent producers in India and international markets. The new slate of high quality films for family audiences as a result, will be truly independent, original and “Green” backed by a dedicated ‘Green Cinema’ production process. Led by Eleeanora Images, these films will largely shun artificial lighting, sets, usage of diesel etc., which will significantly reduce the carbon footprint and costs of each film, and present a new model of film production to the Industry.

The writers will be selected this year from across India, through direct applications, nominations by leading publishing houses, film directors and producers in India who will be invited to nominate their best talent.  Lab participants will be writers who have had some of their previous work broadcast, performed or filmed.

At the Lab in Odisha there will be an expert team of award winning International professional screenwriters, producers and directors, together with an ensemble of actors, to provide continuing creative support for each writer/team, and further mentoring for 3 months after the residential Lab takes place, to develop their projects to pre-production stage.

1. What kinds of stories is the Green Screen Lab looking for?

The Green Screen Lab programme will look for stories and film projects which are relevant to the lives and experiences of children in India today, and which also have the potential to compete in international markets. Writers will be able to develop their ideas with advice from an international talent pool of writers, producers, directors and investors whose work is of the highest quality. Together they will aim to build a new movement of new Indian family film written by emerging and established screenwriters in India with co-producers in Europe.

2. The Lab process

The 2012 Green Screen Lab programme is based on a proven professional process designed by PAL over more than two decades. Similar to the 2009 pilot, the 2012 Lab process offers

  • Intensive group and one to one sessions with Lab mentors.
  • A resident ensemble of Indian actors and experienced director offering an important resource for the writers to develop their stories through improvisation and scripted readings.
  • Advice on international children’s film production, marketing and distribution from visiting guest industry mentors from India and Europe.
  • Screenings and discussions of international prize-winning family films and TV drama from the acclaimed Prix Jeunesse Suitcase, to be held each evening.
  • Six months further support from mentors, after the residential Lab, via e-mail and skype, including training for writers and producers to pitch projects to potential producers in India and in Europe.
  • Further development funding, awarded to selected projects, which may include support to attend international pitching events; eg. to producers in the UK hosted by Creative England and at European children’s film festivals such as Cinekid in The Netherlands

The 10 day residential Lab is a rigorous professional experimental process. Ideas are explored with the generous support of everyone in the Lab resource team who are all there to address the creative possibilities of each idea and each writer.

Through sharing each other’s progress on a day-by-day basis, a peer group dynamic develops. There is ample time every day for writing, reflection and rewriting. Writers gain confidence and critical judgement through the process. The location of the Lab, in the extraordinarily beautiful Odisha, creates a focused intense creative environment which stimulates a rapid development process and the production of strong original work.

The content of the programme, by definition, is wholly focused on issues and experiences of young people and families in India. The 18 writers and/or writer/producer teams will be selected on the basis of the quality and originality of their ideas, their interest in working in the collaborative experimental creative process of the residential Lab and their readiness and commitment to challenge the status quo in the arena of quality children’s culture in India.

Whilst application to the Lab is open to writers of any age, the professional standards of this programme would be challenging to writers who do not yet have some proven experience of their work being performed or filmed.

3. Prix Jeunesse

Prix Jeunesse (www.prixjeunesse.de), the internationally renowned competition and festival of children’s television, have agreed to loan the Lab their ‘Suitcase’ of Prix Jeunesse prizewinning programmes from around the world. Further screenings of the suitcase items for both child and professional audiences in the Northeast region will encourage audiences ( eg. schools, TV broadcasters) to develop an appreciation for quality media for  this audience.

Situating this international event in the Northeastern states will encourage filmmakers from other Indian regions, as well as international participants, to learn about the potential of the region as a filming location. It will also give local film professionals an opportunity to network with an international group of colleagues. In this way it will make a contribution to the overall cultural development of this unique region of India.

4. “HARIT KATHACHITRA” (Green Screen) – 2012 Special Focus

The 2012 Lab’s aim is to support and encourage high quality, low budget , innovative ideas, that can have a good commercial value (in terms of release and recovery) and also create an international model for ‘Green” film production (which can also travel to festivals and release worldwide). This process of making cinema, which reduces its budgets on inessential items, focuses more on story and substance than  style. We have named this “HARIT KATHACHITRA”.

Films made in this way will have stories firmly rooted in specific Indian landscapes, cultures and languages but with an appeal to global as well as Indian markets and audiences. These new Indian films will be made according to a set of defining rules with an emphasis on original stories about today’s India, rooted in site-specific places, in local languages,  and filmed on location there, with the use of authentic music and sets, and a positive rejection of high-tech special effects or post-production modifications. The Lab programme also aims to raise the standards of subtitles in India which are notoriously poor. Subtitles in Hindi and English will be created by writers who will respect the nuances of the language of each film as well as clarity of meaning for English-speaking audiences

By developing new young writing and directorial talent Harit Kathachitra aims to make films that are commercially attractive to global audiences, through the strength of their stories and the artistic integrity of scripts, performances and production values. Investors in Kathachitra will be making a contribution to an environmentally friendly process, to reducing the emission of harmful Greenhouse gases, to social change and to the artistic, cultural and commercial development of independent filmmaking talent in India.
This approach could be adopted by any producer in any site specific location through a  Green Cinema quality assured label issued by our green partner NEXTGEN. 

5. Beyond 2012

Eleeanora Images Pvt Ltd and PAL want to build this programme over 3-years to promote the growth of high quality indigenous film and media for children and youth in the Indian subcontinent, and to support its potential for international markets.

From 2012 the programme also aims to provide:

  • Further development funding secured for selected Lab projects to enable them to attract the commitment of producers and co-producers.
    EI and PAL want to construct a three-year funding mechanism for the Lab programme to support the further development of the most promising projects, thus enabling writers to experience professional collaborations with producers and/or broadcasters. Producers and others in the Indian film and media industries are being are being approached to contribute to a fund to provide this further development support. The fund will be administered by Eleeanora Images Pvt Ltd, PAL and contributing industry partners.
  • Extension of the annual programme to invite writers and producers from Sri Lanka (in 2013), Bangladesh (in 2014) and Pakistan (in 2015) to participate.
    The three-year goal is to build a wider network of professionals in the Subcontinent working together to make films and media for children and to further the possibilities for co-production, distribution and exhibition in this wider market. The focus is on developing collaborations between talents in countries whose children and families share many cultural and social similarities. Similar models of co-operation between Scandinavian countries have contributed to making these countries leaders in the field of children’s film in Europe.
  • Extension of  exhibition
    We want to work with media education networks in India, Asian countries, Europe, and North America to establish a network of film clubs for children in Indian schools across the country, showing a wide range of Indian and International films specifically made for and also made by children.