Watching films is central to life in India but writing on cinema remains limited to a few books, most of which focus on Hindi cinema and Bollywood. A new grant aims to change that by providing support to writers who wish to pursue projects documenting great stories around films and artists who shape Indian culture through cinema.
Gurugram-based literary agents A Suitable Agency and Mumbai-based cinema and entertainment website Film Companion have announced a writing grant to support such stores. The grant, Film Ink, will support original, well-researched books in English focusing on inspiring lives, prominent moments and cultural aspects of Indian cinematic history across languages. The idea is to foster a community of writers who will chronicle the diversity of Indian cinema. Every year, two writers with compelling book ideas will receive the grant of ₹2.5 lakh each and publishing support.
The jury includes award-winning writer Balaji Vittal, author and journalist Deepanajana Pal, and Lounge film critic and journalist Uday Bhatia. Entries open on 15 June 2023 and the last date for submission is 15 August. Applicants will be expected to submit a detailed, original proposal based on Indian film culture. Six shortlisted candidates will present their proposal to the jury, and finally two writers will be selected to receive the grant. Each recipient will have 10 months to research, write and submit their final manuscript.
Hemali Sodhi, founder of A Suitable Agency said, “Indian Cinema is an integral part of our lives, and has passionate individuals who make these stories come alive. With FilmInk, we aim to support talented writers who can chronicle the lives and the craft of some of the luminaries, and showcase some of the most iconic moments of Indian cinema.” The agency not only represents writers but also works with brands on communications strategy.
Anupama Chopra, founder of Film Companion said writing her first book, Sholay: The Making of a Classic, was “a pivotal moment” in her career, adding that she hoped more young film writers would be able to write books on Indian cinema with support like this.