Hansal Mehta, Sameer Gautam Singh & Apurva M. Asrani (Shahid)
Shahid has turned out to be more than just a comeback vehicle for Hansal Mehta; it’s now reaping him awards, including his first Screen award for Best Screenplay. The film was based on the life of a lawyer and human rights activist, Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai. A writer-director, Mehta has to his credit films like Dus Kahaniyaan, Raakh: A Poem Masked in Blood, Woodstock Villa, Chhal, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar. It was the same for Sameer Gautam Singh, who’s won his first Screen award for the Best Screenplay for Shahid. Another first is for Apurva M. Asrani, who also was one of the three in the team to bag the Screen trophy for Best Screenplay; he has edited the film. A film editor by profession, he began his career in 1998 with Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya and has a National Award to his credit for Sunhil Sippy’s 2001-film Snip. In 2006 Apurva was selected by UK’s leading arts enterprise, Showstudio, to represent India at their Editing Fashion project. Apurva’s short film was showcased alongside the works of Oscar winning director Mike Figgis & Wong Kar Wai’s editor, William Chang.
“Firstly congrats to the entire Screen team for putting together a spectacular show. In a climate where excellence is compromised for popularity, your Jury stayed true to the ethics of Indian Express and both mainstream and independent films were given due respect and recognition. I am grateful that Shahid’s writing was recognised and that our efforts at building an unconventional narrative have been awarded. Shahid is a shining example of collaborative teamwork and the artists’ belief in a higher goal, and I accept the award on behalf of all the rest of the team.” — Apurva M. Asrani
“This is most important for any film writer. The story chooses us at times and it may not appeal to the broader audience the way it captivates you. The screenplay is what decides how it will unfold on celluloid and it feels great that Shahid’’s screenplay was appreciated. To be in the company of the screenwriters nominated in the category was an honour. I thank the Jury members for giving us the nod this year.” — Sameer Gautam Singh
This award is symbolic, because all three — the director, writer, and the editor of the film —have been awarded. An award for a film like Shahid is very meaningful, especially from Screen, because it got noticed amidst other films that have broken box-office records. — Hansal Mehta
Sameer Gautam Singh (Shahid)
Sameer Gautam Singh’s first Screen award was for the Best Screenplay for Shahid. Besides this, his other work is penning the dialogue for Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid.
“I did not expect to win this award. I had tried to write the dialogues in a very life-like way, and the focus at all times was to not let it dictate the story telling. I did not want to use punchlines or create cult dialogues that people repeat after watching it. I wanted them to remember the film. So, winning the award for it came as very pleasant surprise!” — Sameer Gautam Singh