Two Assam filmmakers secure spot in NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab 2021
Prakash Deka (left) and Utpal Borpujari (right)

The National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) on Monday announced the selected projects for the 14th edition of NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab and two Assamese filmmakers have managed to secure a spot each among the eight selected scripts. An Unreal Story by Utpal Borpujari and Gos Kota Manuh (The Woodcutter) by Prakash Deka features in the list selected by the central agency.

National Award-winning film critic-turned-filmmaker, Utpal Borpujari took to Twitter to express his joy for the selection of his script. “Hugely excited that An Unreal Story, my feature script based on a true incident narrated by Manoj Kr Goswami, has been selected for the prestigious NFDC Film Bazaar Screenwriters’ Lab 2021,” he wrote.

The selection of two stories from Assam carries great hope for the cinema in the region. Prakash Deka, who had earlier directed National Award Winning Fireflies (Jonaki Porua), said, “I am delighted to make it to the list as this is my first attempt and my first script to be recognised by the NFDC”. A self-taught writer and director, Deka is based out of Mumbai and had completed the script in just four days. “This is one of the many film scripts, which I had completed in 3-4 days during the lockdown in Mumbai,” added Deka.

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The scripts selected from other parts of India include – Construction by Akshay Indikar (Marathi), Goonga Pehelwan (The Deaf Wrestler) by Vivek Chaudhary (Haryanvi, Hindi), Mandra Saptak (The Lower Octave) by Kshama Padalkar (Marathi), Notun Gur (A New Sweetness) by Deyali Mukherjee (Bengali), Oranges Smell Like Turpentine by Sasha Singh (Hindi, English) and Rekhtaby by Himadri Parmar (Gujarati)

Functioning under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, NFDC’s objective is to promote film financing, production and distribution to encourage quality cinema in India. The Screenwriters’ Lab is a part of the NFDC Labs’ which is an annual programme that aims to develop original and experimental voices and storytelling in India.

The scripts and the participants selected will work closely under the mentorship of the international script and industry experts to fine-tune their work in an intensive 5-month program. Screenwriters Angeli Macfarlane, Bikas Mishra and Sari Turgeman are the mentors for this year.

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