Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Shekhar Kapoor, Michelle Satter, Kasi Lemmons, Alesia Weston


Mumbai, India — Mumbai Mantra, the media and entertainment division of the Mahindra Group, is collaborating with Sundance Institute for the inaugural Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab 2012. Eight feature film projects have been selected through a rigorous evaluation process of submissions from Indian screenwriters from around the world .

These Screenwriting Fellows will have the opportunity to work intensely on their feature film scripts with the support of Creative Advisors (established Screenwriters and Directors) in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with the Creative Advisors, the Screenwriting Fellows will engage in an artistically demanding process that offers indispensable lessons in craft, a fresh perspective on their work and a platform to fully realize their material.

This year’s Screenwriting Fellows who will go through an immersive five day workshop (March 11-16) at a Club Mahindra Resort are:
· Charudutt Acharya (Sonali Cable Centre)
· Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar (Margarita, With a Straw)
· Vikas Chandra (Toothache)
· Rajnesh Domalpalli (Avani)
· Prashant Nair (Umrica)
· Anusha Rizvi & Mahmood Farooqui (Opium)
· Ajitpal Singh (Manjhi)
· Kartik Singh (Public School).

The distinguished group of Creative Advisors, include Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), Marcos Bernstein (Central Station, Foreign Land), Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Contact), Asif Kapadia (The Warrior, Senna), Shekhar Kapur (Bandit Queen, Elizabeth), Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me, Eve’s Bayou), Anjum Rajabali (Rajneeti, Aaraakshan), José Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries, On the Road), Howard A. Rodman (Savage Grace, Joe Gould’s Secret), Malia Scotch-Marmo (Hook, Once Around), and Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun, Guinevere).

Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Mumbai Mantra, said, “We are at an exciting storytelling stage in the history of Independent Cinema in India. With the help of our exceptional partners, Sundance Institute, we are keen to recognize, nurture and hone talent in India and across the world. We welcome to the lab the 11 remarkably talented ‘Creative Advisors.’ We congratulate the 10 Screenwriting Fellows selected for the first Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and look forward to their next films with great anticipation.”

In a joint statement, Founding Director, Feature Film Program, Michelle Satter and Associate Director Feature Film Program Int’l Alesia Weston said: “The Sundance Institute is excited to be working with Mumbai Mantra on the launch of our first collaborative Screenwriters Lab in India. This program reflects the Institute’s ongoing commitment to supporting a world community of independent artists through Labs, Festival programming, and year-round resources. We are extremely grateful to the accomplished screenwriters who are bringing their expertise and generosity to the Lab as Creative Advisors and the very talented group of Indian screenwriters who have been selected for the Lab.”

Mumbai Mantra received over 500 applications. For the selection of the 8 projects for the Lab, the Selection Advisory Committee was comprised of eminent Indian screenwriters, directors, film critics and film academics who considered over 90 screenplays. After an intense selection process in consultation with the Sundance Institute, the final 8 projects were chosen. 

Javed Akhtar & Anil Kapoor

Shabana Aazmi & Zoya Akhtar
The committee included Zoya Akhtar, Ira Bhaskar, Pubali Chaudhuri, Anupama Chopra, Aniruddha Roy Choudhary, Tigmanshu Dhulia, K. Hariharan, Feroz Khan, Ram Madhvani, Ranjani Mazumdar, Anuradha Parikh, Anjum Rajabali, Konkona Sen Sharma, Meenakshi Shedde, Vinay Shukla, Rohan Sippy, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao and Anna M. M. Vetticad.

The Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab is the first step in a 3 year creative and strategic partnership that includes a robust plan to help Indian filmmakers connect to ever-increasing global audiences. In addition to the annual Screenwriters Lab, the group has also established the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award (GFA). The 2012 award winners were Etienne Kallos / Vrystaat (FREE STATE) (South Africa), Ariel Kleiman / Partisan (Australia), Dominga Sotomayor / Tarde Para Morir Joven (Late To Die Young) (Chile), and Shonali Bose / Margarita. With a Straw. (India). Each of the four winning filmmakers received a cash award of $10,000, attended the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, and will receive year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support.

Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab Creative Advisors


A proven talent as an actress, director and writer, Kasi Lemmons continues to creatively tantalize with each and every project she takes on.

Lemmons' work as an actress includes roles in Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs opposite Jodie Foster; John Woo's first American film, Hard Target; Rusty Cundieff's parody of the rap music industry, Fear of a Black Hat; Candyman with Virginia Madsen; the Spike Lee produced Drop Squad opposite Eriq La Salle; and Vampire’s Kiss with Nicolas Cage.

Lemmons' first feature-length film, Eve’s Bayou, became the highest grossing independent film of 1997. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for "Best First Feature" and received seven NAACP "Image Award" nominations, including "Best Picture." The Caveman’s Valentine, her follow-up feature opened 2002's Sundance Film Festival to audience and critical acclaim. For the 2002 Oscar telecast, Kasi directed a touching tribute to Sidney Poitier.

Kasi Lemmon’s most recent feature Talk to Me, starring Don Cheadle, was released nationwide in July 2007 by Focus Features to widespread critical acclaim. She received the 2008 NAACP Image Award for outstanding directing. Currently Ms. Lemmons is developing a film adaptation of the gospel musical, “Black Nativity” for Fox Searchlight. She was also awarded a fellowship by the WGA and the Franco-American Film Fund to develop her script, Strangers in Paris in France as part of the Autumn Stories project.

Lemmons has worked extensively as a mentor and educator. For the past eight years she has been an executive board member of Film Independent, home of The Los Angeles Film Festival and The Independent Spirit Awards, and has contributed to the Film Independent Filmmaker Labs as a speaker and moderator. She also continues to serve as an advisor for the Sundance Screenwriter Labs in Utah and has participated in Screenwriting Labs in Spain, South Africa and Jordan as well as The Native American Lab in New Mexico. Guest teaching and speaking credits include Yale University, Columbia Film School, MIT, UCLA, The Los Angeles Film School and The University of Pristina Film School in Kosovo.

In the 2011-2012 academic year Lemmons taught ‘Directing the Actor’ at Tisch Undergraduate Film School and is currently teaching the Intermediate Narrative Production Workshop. As well as attending New York University School of the Arts, UCLA and The New School of Social Research Film Program, Lemmons was awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Salem State College in 1998.

Ms Lemmons resides in New York City with her husband and three children.


 Guillermo Arriaga is considered one of the most influential writers in Contemporary Literature. He has written three novels: The Guillotine Squad”, “A Sweet Scent of Death” and “The Night Buffalo” along with one book of short stories: “201 Return”. His work as a screenwriter is one of the most revolutionary and interesting in world cinema.
He is also author of the film screenplays: Amores Perros, 21 Grams, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Babel, and The Burning Plain which he directed.  In 2010 he wrote and directed The Well, a short film about Mexican Revolution.  


 Marcos Bernstein has written screenplays for such films as Central Station (Fernanda Montenegro), Foreign Land (Tchéky Karyo, Fernanda Torres); Oriundi (Anthony Quinn); A Samba for Sherlock (Joaquim de Almeida, Maria de Medeiros); Zuzu Angel; and the documentary Pierre Verger, The Go-Between. Most noted awards for these films are: Berlin’s Golden Bear, Golden Globe, two Oscar nominations, and Sundance/NHK for Central Station, whose screenplay won an award at Cartagena; Emmy Award finalist for Pierre Verger and best Brazilian screenplay of 1995 by São Paulo’s Critics, APCA, for Foreign Land. In 2007, he adapted Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes for the studio New Line, and has films in development in Brazil, Chile, Spain, and Germany (for director Marco Kreuzpaintner – One Way Ticket). 

Recently, his script for Chico Xavier, the second best opening ever for a Brazilian film and one of the country’s top BO of 2010, received the Brazilian Film Academy award for best adapted screenplay of the year; he also wrote the TV series “The Cure,” for Rede Globo, which received Brazil’s most prestigious critics award, APCA, for best TV series of 2010. In 2012, two films based on his scripts will be released in Brazil, We Are So Young, and Caboclo Western. 

Marcos debuted as a director in 2004 with The Other Side of the Street (O Outro Lado da Rua), starring Fernanda Montenegro and Raul Cortez. The film received almost 20 international awards, including Berlin (Panorama Special, CICAE Award / 3rd Audience), Tribeca (Best Actress), San Sebastian (Horizontes Latinos, Best Actress), Mar del Plata (Best Iberoamerican Film), Toulouse (Audience Award), Santa Barbara (Nueva Vision-best Latin film), Brazilian Foreign Press (Film, Screenplay and Actress). Its script also took part in the 5th Sundance Screenwriting Lab in Brazil in 2001. In 2011, his documentary Age of Champions premiered at the official Competition of Brazil’s most important festival, the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.
Marcos’s second feature film is now in post-production to be released in 2012: My Sweet Orange Tree (Meu Pé de Laranja Lima) is based on the homonymous international best seller, and has already been sold to Spain, Germany, Turkey, Korea, among other countries. His second documentary, A Sunday at the Beach, is also at the last stages of post-production.


 Michael Goldenberg wrote the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth in the Harry Potter film series.  Prior to that, he co-wrote P.J. Hogan’s live-action feature Peter Pan, based on J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s tale.  He had earlier scripted Robert Zemeckis’ science fiction drama Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan and starring Jodie Foster, for which he earned a Humanitas Prize nomination.  Goldenberg made his feature filmmaking debut writing and directing the romantic drama Bed of Roses, starring Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson.  Most recently his work was seen in the film adaptation of the classic comic book Green Lantern.


 BAFTA award winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia is known for his visually striking films exploring the lives of ‘outsiders’ living in timeless, extreme or unforgiving landscapes. Born in Hackney, Kapadia studied filmmaking at the Royal College of Art, his graduate short The Sheep Thief, shot on location in Rajasthan and Gujarat won Second Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival (Cinefoundation).

Kapadia’s first feature The Warrior won two BAFTA awards for Best British Film of the Year & Special Achievement by a Director, Screenwriter or Producer in their first feature film, as well as being nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language. The Warrior, starring Irrfan Khan, also won The Sutherland Trophy for the Most Original and Imaginative First Feature at the London Film Festival & was nominated for four BIFAs, winning two, including the Best Debut Film Award.
Kapadia’s fourth feature Senna, the thrilling story of the Brazilian motor-racing legend Ayrton Senna won two BAFTA Awards for Best Documentary and Best Editing. Senna is the highest grossing British documentary of all time and has broken sales records on DVD & Bluray in the UK. The film has won many awards around the world including the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary at the London Critics Circle Awards 2011, the BIFA award for Best Documentary, the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival. 

Shekhar Kapur is a visionary filmmaker and storyteller who works at the intersection of art, myth and activism.

He started his film career with the Hindi film Masoom which went on to win 5 Filmfare awards, the biggest award ceremony in India, followed by MR. INDIA, which is considered one of the most iconic films of the 80’s in Indian cinema. He then directed the critically acclaimed Bandit Queen which became an international success. 

Kapur got international recognition for directing Elizabeth, which was nominated for 7 Oscars and won the Oscar for best make-up. He followed that by directing Heath Ledger in The Four Feathers. Kapur then executive produced The Guru starring Heather Graham.

Kapur returned to direct Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age in the sequel to the original Elizabeth. Golden Age was nominated for 2 Oscars including Cate Blanchett for best actress, and won the Oscar for best costume design.  He directed a segment of the film New York, I Love You made by 12 internationally acclaimed directors, which was similar in concept to the successful film Paris, Je T’aime. 

He directed a short film Passage set in Buenos Aires which was commissioned by Swarovski and was then invited to do an installation based on the film at Swarovski’s Kristallwelten museum in Austria.

Shekhar recently produced the documentary Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told that was invited to the official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was the festival’s most successful Saturday night premiere.
Shekhar is regularly invited to speak at the World Economic Forum and is a part of the National Innovation Council for India which is part of the Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. He is currently an environmental activist with water conservation related issues. He is also on the board of the International Global Water Challenge, the world’s premier body for water related issues.

Shekhar is presently working on his passion project, Paani about the impending water wars in the world.


Anjum Rajabali (53) wrote his first film – Drokhaal in 1992, in collaboration with director Govind Nihalani. Subsequently, nine more films written by him have been released, including Ghulam, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, and Rajneeti. His latest release was Aarakshan in August 2011, which was co-scripted with Prakash Jha.

Along the way, he was also the Commissioning Editor of a TV channel, set up and headed the script department of iDream Production for two years, was creative consultant to some production houses, and has been a script doctor and consultant to several films, including Gangaajal and Apaharan. In 2004, he designed and set up India’s first full-fledged screenwriting department of which he has been the honorary head since, at the Film and Television Institute of India Pune (FTII). Since 2006, he has also been the head of Screenwriting at Whistling Woods International Mumbai.

He regularly conducts screenwriting workshops in India and has also held workshops in the US, Germany, Canada and East Africa. Several national seminars on screenwriting have been convened by him, and he has been a mentor in many script labs including eQuinoxe Paris, NFDC India, and MAISHA in East Africa, which is an annual commitment. Current assignments as a screenwriter include Chakravyuh for Prakash Jha, Gaadha for Shaji N. Karun, and an untitled film with Abhishek Chaubey. He is also currently a script consultant for a film being made by Mahesh Mathai. Anjum is also a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) India as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Film Writers Association.


 José Rivera is the two-time Obie Award winning author of “Marisol,” “Cloud Tectonics,” “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot,” “Sonnets for an Old Century,” “Boleros for the Disenchanted,” and other plays.  Rivera was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a BAFTA, and a WGA award for his first produced film, The Motorcycle Diaries.  His screenplay from the much anticipated film of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road will premiere worldwide in 2012.  Celestina, based on “Cloud Tectonics,” will mark his debut as a feature film director.  Rivera is a playwright-in-residence at the Lark Theatre and has lead writing workshops in Los Angeles and New York for 15 years.  Upcoming are the NY premiere of Massacre (Sing to Your Children) at Rattlestick Theatre, a film about the 2010 rescue of the Chilean miners, a one-hour pilot for HBO, and a musical based on a beauty pageant at the Buen Pastor Prison, Colombia, for The Civilians Theatre Company.  Rivera lives in New York with his wife, actress and producer Sona Tatoyan.


Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist, and educator.  His feature adaptation of the book Savage Grace, for Killer Films and director Tom Kalin, starring Julianne Moore, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, had its U.S. debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, was distributed by IFC, and was nominated for a Spirit Award for Best Screenplay.  His original screenplay August, starring Josh Hartnett, Naomie Harris, Rip Torn, and David Bowie, also had its U.S. premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and was subsequently released by First Look. 

Rodman is professor and former chair of the writing division of the USC Cinema School; is the Vice President of the Writers Guild of America, West; and is frequent advisor to and artistic director of the Sundance Institute Labs in Utah and Brazil, and of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan’s Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab, developed in consultation with Sundance Institute.  His other screenplays include Joe Gould’s Secret, which opened the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently released by October/USA Films.  Rodman's television credits include several episodes of the Showtime anthologies Fallen Angels and The Hunger for directors Tony Scott, Steven Soderbergh, and Tom Cruise; the latter two pieces garnered him Cable ACE nominations. In addition to multiple outings for Soderbergh, Rodman has written for Errol Morris, Clive Barker, David Lynch, Chantal Akerman, Maurice Sendak, and John McTiernan (on the needless remake of Rollerball).  Rodman's own directorial debut, No Radio, was seen on Showtime.  His original screenplay F. was selected by Premiere Magazine as one of Hollywood's Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays. 

Rodman founded and currently chairs the Writer's Guild's independent film committee; previously, he had served ten years on the board of directors of the Independent Feature Project/West (now Film Independent).  Rodman also wrote a television pilot for HBO called 213, produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, and Grant Heslov, and to be directed by writer/director (and former Lab Fellow) Rodrigo Garcia.  He is currently at work on the American adaptation of the droll Danish noir Frygtelig Iykkelig, aka Terribly Happy, 2009's Danish selection for the foreign language Oscar, and on a larger heist movie for Red Hour and Fox.   Rodman is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves on the exec committee of the AMPAS Writers Branch.


 Malia Scotch Marmo wrote Steven Spielberg’s fantasy, Hook, and also served as associate producer on the film.  Her first produced film was Once Around, directed by Lasse Hallstrom.  Marmo also received story credit for Madeline.  Her uncredited work includes Jurassic Park, Other Sister, Only You, Enchanted, and Polar Express. She has collaborated with many established directors on produced and unproduced material, including Norman Jewison, Alfonso Cuaron, Alfonso Arau, Luis Mandoki, Sabiha Sumar, Garry Marshall, and Rob Reiner.  Scotch Marmo graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in film. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia Graduate Film School, and taught at la FEMIS in Paris. Recently she co-wrote a script with Sundance Institute Lab alumna Sabiha Sumar.  The film, Rafina, was shot on location in Karachi in 2011 and was completed in October. Scotch Marmo also wrote her first play, Unbroken Chain over the past year, a number of short stories and is beginning a new film script entitled, The Murderous Bruno Enzo, based loosely on her grandfather.


 Audrey Wells is a screenwriter and film director from San Francisco, California. She is the writer and director of Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane.  She also wrote and directed Guinevere, starring Sarah Polley and Stephen Rea, for which she won the Waldo Salt screenwriting award at the Sundance Film Festival and the jury prize at the Deauville Film Festival.  Audrey wrote the original screenplays for The Truth About Cats & Dogs, starring Janeane Garofalo, and The Kid, starring Bruce Willis.  Other writing credits include the movies Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, George of the Jungle with Brendan Fraser, and The Game Plan with Dwayne Johnson. Audrey serves as an advisor at the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab, and as a visiting professor in the graduate school of film and television at UCLA. She is currently working on a musical animation project at Dreamworks with composer Alan Menken, and writing an original screenplay for the Walt Disney Company. 

2012 Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab Fellows and Projects:

Charudutt Acharya (writer/director) / Sonali Cable (India): Set in the cable internet turf war of Mumbai, SONALI CABLE is the story of a ghetto girl SONALI and her ‘internet boys’, who take on a greedy conglomerate that’s out to decimate their spirit of enterprise. Charudutt Acharya is an award-winning writer of Indian TV drama shows like Haqeeqat, Kagaar, Jassi Jaise koi Nahin, Siddhanth, Rajuben &Crime Patrol. He has also co-written Hindi feature films Dum Maro Dum &Vaastushastra. He has directed short fiction films and is working towards making ‘Sonali Cable’ his first feature as writer-director. Charudutt is a graduate of FTII, Pune and Royal Holloway, London.

Shonali Bose (co-writer/director) and Nilesh Maniyar (co-writer), Margarita. With a Straw. (India/U.S.A.): A brilliant and funny mind trapped in a disobedient body, Laila falls repeatedly in love, yearns to have sex and wants to be a Bollywood songwriter.
Shonali Bose did an MA in Political Science at Columbia University followed by an MFA in Directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Her first film, Amu, was based on the 1984 genocide against Sikhs and won two National Awards (Best Film, Best Director) and the FIPRESCI Critics Award as well as ten international awards. Bose co-wrote Chittagong, slated to release this year, with her NASA scientist turned filmmaker husband Bedabrata Pain. She is the first Indian to receive the Sundance-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, for her script Margarita. With a Straw.

Nilesh Maniyar received his engineering from MIT, Pune (India). Thereafter he worked on Feature Projects with Studios like UTV, STUDIO 18, WALT DISNEY, WARNER BROS, in different capacities such as Assistant Director and Associate Casting Director. He has worked on projects including Shaurya, Havai Dada, Kaminey, Saat Khoon Maaf and Chittagong. His most recent work was as the 1st AD on an Anurag Kashyap Productions and Studio 18 collaboration feature project titled Aiyya.

Vikas Chandra (writer/director) / Toothache (India): Toothache is a bitter-sweet tale of a North Korean expat wife named Kim who lives in Delhi during the Emergency of 1976 with her husband - the couple yearns to be back in North Korea, but struggles to find a new and different idea of home in Delhi. Toothache celebrates of the tenacity of the human spirit, and re-affirms that the dawn approaches only after you have lived the darkest hour.
Vikas Chandra is the brain behind the recent international collaborative short film PROJECT 11. The 11 odd minutes long film was shot in 11 cities with 11 directors co-directing one story. He regularly writes for Indian films and television. He is obsessive about not losing the one trait that brought him into this career – the joy of watching movies.

Ajitpal Singh Dhaliwal (writer/director) / Manjhi (India): A troubled soul’s battle to find dignity and love.

Ajitpal Singh Dhaliwal has made several short films, including Empty in Me, which was selected for Talent Campus 2007, New Delhi. It is one of the most popular experimental short films on the online film festival website, Culture Unplugged. He was selected by the Goethe Institute to explore co-production possibilities with Germany at the Munich Film Festival. In 2010 he was part of DW Academy’s Film Festival Management Program.

Rajnesh Domalpalli (writer/director) / Avani (India): Told as a rural fable, and set during a time when the monsoons have failed, Avani relates the story of eight year old Mangi, who learns a new respect for life on earth while bringing her family together.
Rajnesh Domalpalli comes from Hyderabad and is a graduate of IIT Bombay, SUNY-SB and Columbia University. His first feature, VANAJA, garnered 32 International Awards including the Best First Feature at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. Roger Ebert, America’s Pulitzer Prize winning Film Critic, placed the film in the Top 5 Foreign Films of 2007. Written as an environmental fable set in rural South India, AVANI is his second feature.

Prashant Nair (writer/director) / Umrica (India): When Udai bhai abandons his native Jitvapur for a bigger and better life in the United States of Umrica, young Ramkant must follow in his footsteps to find out what truly happened to his brother. 

Prashant Nair is an Indian/French writer and director, residing between Berlin, Mumbai and Prague. A former social media entrepreneur, his writing and directing credits include the short films “Max & Helena” and “Yes” as well as the feature film “Delhi In A Day”.

Anusha Rizvi (co-writer/director) and Mahmood Farooqui (co-writer) / Opium (India/Mauritius): Opium is an adventure thriller set against the backdrop of the Opium trade and the migration of the Coolies to the islands of the Indian Ocean. It is a love story, a revenge saga, an adventure romance and an action drama set at sea.

Anusha Rizvi is a Delhi based writer and filmmaker. As an independent documentary filmmaker she has worked on a number of commissioned and independent films. Over the last five years she has helped revive Dastangoi, the lost art of storytelling in Urdu and produced its New York shows in June, ’09. PEEPLI LIVE (2010) was her first essay as a feature writer and director.
Mahmood Farooqui is a Delhi based performer and writer. His first book, Besieged: Voices from Delhi, 1857 (Penguin, 2010) achieved great critical and popular acclaim and is due out as a paperback this year. He was the co-Director and casting director of PEEPLI LIVE. Over the last ten years he has effected a major revival of Dastangoi, the lost art of Urdu storytelling. (

Kartik Singh (writer/director) / Public School (France): Things will never be the same for Ravi Malhotra, a high school student in Paris, when he is told that he must remove his Sikh turban if he wishes to continue attending Public School. Paris-based Kartik Singh loves telling stories about outsiders and underdogs.  His best known film, Saving Mom and Dad, is based on his experiences growing up Sikh in Middle America.  In a similar vein, Public School examines the ways people of different backgrounds overcome the many obstacles to getting along.

Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd
Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, the Media & Entertainment vertical of the Mahindra Group, is actively evaluating opportunities in content and infrastructure in the domestic as well as international media and entertainment space. Mumbai Mantra's ‘Antaheen’, won 4 National Awards including Best Feature Film in 2009. It has also co-produced the film adaptation of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' directed by Julie Taymor. Several other films are in development.

Mumbai Mantra has also made a commitment towards providing a platform for independent voices in Indian cinema to champion an emerging generation of exciting film makers. The first step in this direction is the forging of a partnership with the renowned Sundance Institute founded by Robert Redford, for the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab which is planned to be an annual event in India, and the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award to be awarded to 4 international film makers annually.

About Mahindra & Mahindra
Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $14.4 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,44,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade logistics and, recently, the entertainment industry.

The Mahindra Group has a long standing commitment to the arts and humanities. The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) were created to encourage both emerging and established theatre and celebrated its Sixth Anniversary in 2011. The Group's encouragement and support to world music will be at its fore at the second annual Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai in February 2012 – the largest festival of its kind in Asia, showcasing the best international Blues artists and providing a common platform for emerging Indian Blues bands.
To encourage and support the 'young and the unknown' and to give back to the communities it operates in, has been the core of the Mahindra Group's involvement in art and culture.

Sundance Institute Feature Film Program
Since 1981, the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program (FFP) has supported more than 600 independent filmmakers whose distinctive, singular work has engaged audiences worldwide. The program’s approach to the discovery and development of independent artists has become a model for creative development programs internationally. Program staff fully embrace the unique vision of each filmmaker, encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply personal storytelling. Each year, up to 30 emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world participate in a year-round continuum of support which can include the Screenwriters and Directors Labs, Composers Lab, Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab, Creative Producing Summit, a Work-in-Progress Screening Initiative, a Screenplay Reading Series, the Feature Film Program Fund, offering direct financial support through named grants, awards, and artist fellowships, the Artist Services program, a new initiative providing strategic resources for crowd funding and digital distribution, and ongoing creative and strategic advice. In 2011, the FFP created the New Frontier Story Lab, supporting innovative artists developing projects across multiple platforms, emphasizing the convergence of storytelling and technology.

Over its 30 year history, the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has supported an extensive list of award-winning and groundbreaking independent films. Notable films supported over the program’s history include Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre, Josh Marston’s Maria Full of Grace, Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, Walter Salles’ Central Station, and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, amongst others.

Sundance Institute
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival.