Qalambaaz Turns 2!

Film Writing lab, “Qalambaaz”, completes two successful years.

In its year two, Qalambaaz has once again finished a successful journey of taking five Pakistani screenwriters from concept to a full film script in just six months.

The mentors for the month-to-month scriptwriting meetings are international working filmmakers. This year’s mentors were returning mentors Zak Shaikh, Amit Kumar and Sumit Roy with new mentors Uttam Sirur and Ivana Massetti. In Pakistan, the resident mentor is Framji Minwalla who said of the lab, “Qalambaaz is a superb initiative.  Almost all film directors I meet consistently ask me the same question: do I know any good writers who understand how to tell stories visually.  Pakistan sorely needs good training programs that will help young screenwriters develop their narrative and imaginative skills. Iram Parveen Bilal and Faisal Kapadia have developed an innovative structure to address this challenge.  Teaching these students (for the second year now) how to watch films has been a supremely rewarding experience.  This is a program others should emulate.”

Qalambaaz, a brainchild of filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal, is run under her banner Parveen Shah Productions, in conjunction with Faisal Kapadia’s Mind Map Communications & Movie Magic Screenwriting Software. In kind support and sponsors include Gloria Jeans & Coffee, T2F & Mandviwalla Entertainment.

At the end of the fellowship, writers are introduced to industry veterans for a pitching event.

The new call for submissions will be out at on September 23rd and there will be a presence of the lab at the upcoming FOCUS conference at the end of the year. Do watch out for more announcements on our facebook page

Quotes from fellows:

"I had been trying to write a feature film for about two years now, but always got stuck and gave up. There was no one to turn to when I faced problems with the plot. Qalambaaz was the best thing to happen to me this year. It not only provided the answers and guidance; but also pushed me to be a more disciplined and better writer. Film analysis sessions and the timely notes on my screenplay were extremely helpful."
-- Ali Ahmed Brohi

'Qalambaaz was a phenomenal experience for me. I learned how truly complex the process of writing a screenplay is. My mentor guided me through really tricky passages of my screenplay but in no way stopped me from following my creative intuition. In some ways that sums up the 'Qalambaaz' way, to let writers learn by experimenting whilst aiding us with knowledge and wisdom throughout the process.'
-- Shayan Mahmud

“While I've been fortunate enough to get film school training for the career we're all aspiring to in this program, Qalambaaz helped me connect with other Pakistani writers and international mentors I wouldn't have had access to on my own. The writing process, the classes with Framji, following up with Iram, have all provided a structure that we usually lose out of educational institutions. I think this program will encourage a lot of people to trust and invest in their creativity, and hopefully all of our projects - these ones or the next - will be on screen someday.”
-- Zahra Mirza

It was a wonderful experience that taught me the intricacies of screenwriting and showed me just how far I have to go and how much more I have to learn, which is pretty exciting. 
-- Sudesh Kaneria

I'm so grateful to Qalambaaz for connecting me with my mentor. To have the opportunity to speak with people who are actively working in the industry was invaluable. It was a great experience and I highly recommend the fellowship to anyone who wants to work in this field!
-- Hamza Bangash

~Thanks for visiting~