Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani on Monday said that until screenwriters are empowered financially, Indian cinema will suffer.
Hirani, credited with films like Munna Bhai series, 3 Idiots and PK, today held a writing masterclass for aspiring screenwriters during the Cinestaan India’s Storyteller’s script contest. He is one of the jury members of the contest which is in its second edition.
“I think writers need to be respected a little more, financially. They are the foundation of every film. Unless you pay the writers, probably the maximum amount of money in your film, you won’t find good writers. It’s a big struggle for writers,” Hirani said.
“People here write four scripts at the same time because they aren’t sure which one will start and which one will work. You cannot write four scripts at the same time. An initiative like this is extremely encouraging,” the filmmaker added.
Hirani, who hails from Nagpur, Maharashtra, also mentioned that small cities and towns give birth to richer stories than the metros.
“We all need stories. We can’t always write stories. We need many more scriptwriters. I admire this initiative where someone has reached out to people across the country. I strongly believe stories are in small towns. People have more exposure to life there.
“In big cities, especially like Mumbai, times goes in travelling. I grew up in a small town and we could just walk into a neighbour’s house. Here we don’t have time to even meet friends. There are stories out there, just that it has to be found and the talent needs to taught that the stories can become proper screenplays,” he said.
Also present at the contest were its two other jury members – screenwriters Anjum Rajabali and Juhi Chaturvedi, who also conducted a masterclass.
The result of the contest will be declared in November. The best script will be awarded Rs 25 lakh.