Screenwriter Anjum Rajabali to discuss state of Indian film during SFU residency

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      One of India's top screenwriters will be taking residency at Simon Fraser University's Praxis Centre for Screenwriters.

      Anjum Rajabali heads screenwriting programs at both the Film and Television Institute of India and Whistling Woods International.

      Rajabali, whose writing credits include the Amitabh Bachchan film Aarakshan, the biopic The Legend of Bhagat Singh, and the horror film Naina, will be conducting a five-day workshop (from February 14 to 21) on Indian cinema. He'll also be presenting his 2010 political thriller Raajneeti, starring Ajay Devgan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Katrina Kaif, on February 21 at 7 p.m. (at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 West Hastings).

      He'll be talking about the state of Indian cinema on February 17 in a discussion entitled "Breaking Bollywood: Current Trends in Indian Cinema".

      Rajabali expressed his criticism of the Bollywood industry in article entitled "The Unimportance of Scriptwriting" published in 2003. He noted that the demand for formulaic films in Hindi cinema by audiences (reflecting a shift from affluent patrons to the general public) has resulted in the devaluation of the screenwriter.

      Since that time, however, India's numerous film industries have considerably grown and developed. Many of them (Bollywood, in particular), bolstered by international diasporic audiences, have sought to crossover into or collaborate with foreign markets.

      Rajabali will be joined by film studies professor Aysha Viswamohan from the India Institute of Technology Madras.

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