KARACHI: A fellowship dedicated to impart specialized scriptwriting training for feature film production under the guidance of renowned names in film-making in Pakistan and abroad, has announced names of its three selected fellows for its upcoming six-month training course.

In its fourth year, Qalambaaz, Pakistan’s only professional (not for students) screenwriting fellowship, boasts writers from various cities of Pakistan; and matches them with celebrated, successful mentors from Pakistan, India, the US and Italy.

With six months of training ahead of them and in most cases, no formal prior training in screenwriting, these selected budding writers have the formidable task of going from a log line to creating a first draft of a screenplay.

This year’s new mentors are Emmy Award winning Pakistani filmmaker, Mo Naqvi, as well as Sundance fellow and accomplished writer-director, Terrie Samundra. They join returning Italian mentor, Ivana Massetti, whose works have been showcased at the likes of Cannes and Venice Film Festivals.

Qalambaaz is a project of filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal’s Parveen Shah Productions in collaboration with Faisal Kapadia of Mind Map Communications and acclaimed film instructor and theorist, Framji Minwalla, who serves as the local screenwriting guru during the six-month period. Movie Magic Screenwriter and Mandviwalla Entertainment are returning sponsors.

At the end of this round and as a celebration of its fifth cycle, Qalambaaz plans to hold a film market in Karachi later this year in conjunction with Eveready Pictures where a joint cash prize will be awarded to a winning screenplay as well as industry connections will be forged for its esteemed alumni from the past four years.

Following are the Qalambaaz 2018 fellows:

Shireen Khan:

Shireen currently teaches at Media Studies Department at Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) Quetta. He mainly writes speculative fiction and has written several short stories and short film scripts. Shireen is inspired to become a rule-breaking film-maker. Towards that, he has dedicated himself to learning the rules so that he might break them more fully and artistically.

Eshah Shakeel:

Eshah currently works at FilmAzia as their drama script-writer. Regarding Qalambaaz, she says, “I am scared, but it is the kind of fear you have when you are extremely excited.

Saqib Ali Rana:

Saqib is an engineering graduate from NU-FAST where he was the president of the literary society. For the past two years he has been writing on his own and is serious about a career in film. About Qalambaaz, he says, “Qalambaaz is a pat on the back of all those aspiring screenwriters looking for guidance and reach. Connecting with other screenwriters will help me understand and respect different methods of storytelling and I’ll try my best to add my own flavor to the program.”