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Cinestaan script contest: The jury is ready with its verdict; announcement tomorrow

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The second edition of the contest saw entries from as far afield as New Zealand in the east to Canada in the west.

Jurors Rajkumar Hirani, Anjum Rajabali, Aamir Khan, and Juhi Chaturvedi

Our Correspondent

The suspense around the winners of the second edition of the Cinestaan India's Storytellers Contest, the country's biggest scriptwriting contest, is set to end with the jury members having arrived at a consensus about their final selection.

Unlike at the end of the first edition, however, there will be no function this time to announce the winners and distribute the prizes on account of the lockdown currently in force in the country since 24 March to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 disease) pandemic.

Instead, the jury, chaired by script guru Anjum Rajabali and comprising actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan, director Rajkumar Hirani and scriptwriter Juhi Chaturvedi, will announce the winners online on Friday 8 May. Following this, the winners will receive their cash awards by bank transfer.

Cinestaan India's Storytellers Contest carries a total prize money of Rs50 lakh, with the first prize winner bagging a cool Rs25 lakh, the second winner earning Rs10 lakh, the third getting Rs7 lakh, the fourth Rs5 lakh and the final awardee Rs3 lakh.

The second edition of the contest saw entries from as far afield as New Zealand in the east to Canada in the west. Entries were also received from several European countries like Germany and Sweden and from African nations like Ethiopia. Several entries also came in from countries in the Persian Gulf region, which host a large Indian expatriate population.

But the vast majority of the nearly 3,000 entries, a shade over 90%, came from the mother country. With the second edition accepting entries in the Devanagari script, contestants wrote in even from small towns like Abohar in Punjab, Balurghat in West Bengal, Chandapur in Orissa, Dhanbad in Jharkhand, Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, Fatehabad in Haryana, Gopalganj in Bihar, Hardwar in Uttarakhand, Irinjalakuda in Kerala, Jagiroad in Assam, Kalol in Gujarat, Leh in Ladakh, Margao in Goa, Nagaur in Rajasthan, Ongole in Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Raisen in Madhya Pradesh, Shillong in Meghalaya, Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Una in Himachal Pradesh, Vijayapura in Karnataka and Wani in Maharashtra.

Click to hear what the jury members had to say about the contest.