The country's top scriptwriters will pitch to correct Bollywood's growing disconnect with ground realities during the third Indian Screenwriters Conference, to be held in Mumbai Feb 25-27.
The industry experts will be deliberating on burning issues, such as the aam admi's (common man) struggle, rural exploitation, social injustice, caste oppression, economic polarisation and distress, at the St. Andrew's Auditorium, Bandra West, under the aegis of the Film Writers Association (FWA).
FWA is a nationally recognised body of scriptwriters in India, with over 17,000 members. The body has been instrumental in getting the Copyright Act amended for payment of royalty to screen writers. The Minimum Basic Contract, between writers and producers, which addresses these concerns, is also almost finalised.
"We have a packed schedule covering all aspects of screenwriting - from creative to commercial and legal, especially in the light of the Copyright Amendment Bill 2012. We are felicitating Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, Gulzar and late Manohar Shyam Joshi," Kamlesh Pandey, general secretary of FWA, said in a statement.
"The screenwriting community meets every two years to debate issues important to us. At this third Indian Screenwriters Conference, we all felt that some reflection on these issues, some collective soul-searching, so to say, is called for," Pandey added.
For instance, the recent gang-rape in Delhi has set off a national debate on: How does popular culture portray women? What is the gender equation in cinema and TV? What impact does this have on the audience, reads the release.
As many as 800 established and budding screenwriters and writer-directors, including luminaries such as Ashutosh Gowariker, Govind Nihalani, Anurag Basu, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, will attend the conference.
Among the special invitees are Oscar winner scriptwriter Tom Schulman and Rebecca Kessinger, executive director, Writers Guild of America. Schulman is one of Hollywood's highest paid scriptwriters and has written "Dead Poets Society". He has also scripted the "Medicine Man" and "Honey I Shrunk the Kids".
Young turks of Indian screenwriting will also be in attendance. They include Juhi Chaturvedi ("Vicky Donor"), Urmi Juvekar ("Shanghai"), Bejoy Nambiar ("David"), Akshat Verma ("Delhi Belly"), Pubali Chaudhuri ("Kai Po Che!"), Ravi Jadhav ("Natrang"), Abbas Tyrewala ("Jaane Tu...") and Habib Faisal ("Ishaqzaade").