Thursday, March 29, 2018

FTII screenwriting course to boost Indian TV content


PUNE: The Film and Television Institute of India, through its six-month screenwriting course, looks to address problems plaguing Indian television content. A lack of qualified writers for television is causing a dearth of quality and engaging content, FTII officials said.

Noted TV writer Vinod Ranganath is the course director, who will be assisted by FTII alumnus Gaurav Asri. The course was inaugurated in the presence of R N Pathak, dean (TV) and Amit Tyagi, dean (films).

 “There’s a lot of innovation worldwide. Unfortunately, many Indian channels are still dishing out yawn-inducing daily soaps or chasing TRPs. Some Indian broadcasters have introduced dedicated channels, while multinational streaming giants too have produced Indian shows.

But they all face one challenge - a lack of qualified writers. FTII plans to bridge this gap with the ongoing, intensive, six-month course. This is the second batch; the first one graduated last December,” FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola said.

The course covers the fundamentals of television screenwriting, including non-fiction. The programme will be writing-intensive, with constant hand-holding and mentorship by leading television screenwriters.

The focus on new episodic writing, but the essential fundamentals of all TV screenwriting will also be covered. “Most of today’s Indian TV content is not respected by discerning viewers. Internationally, the game changed a while ago - shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Homeland, Narcos and Breaking Bad have changed the culture of episodic writing,” Ranganath said.

He said young Indians are addicted to such shows. “Now most Indian broadcasters have created dedicated streaming channels like Hotstar, Voot, TVF, Y-films, Alt, etc for such episodic series. And multinational giants Netflix and Amazon have set up shop in India, and are already racing to commission such programmes. This generation is hungry for originality and everything that is engaging. However, the problem is that India still doesn’t have enough writers qualified to write such series,” he added.


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