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Screen Writers' Association reveals nominees for Best Writing in web-series


The nominations were divided in three categories — drama, comedy and adaptation.

Sonal Pandya

After honouring lyricists, the Screen Writers' Association (SWA) has now revealed the nominees for Best Writing in web-series for its inaugural awards. The winners will be announced at an online ceremony to be held on 27 September.

Filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan hosted the virtual press conference, introducing the SWA members and jury. SWA president Robin Bhatt, general secretary Sunil Salgia, and executive committee member Manisha Korde were also part of the announcement.

Salgia spoke about the new world that has been opened up for writers with the web, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. “This is a good change,” he said. “The lockdown has given web-series a lot. Somehow, it has come as a blessing in disguise. Like the mask industry and the sanitizer industry, the web-series industry has suddenly benefited from this.”

“There are 40 OTT platforms in India right now,” Korde said. “The business of these OTT platforms in 2018 was Rs2,000 crore, and obviously it will grow as people are locked up in their houses and theatres are not likely to open up. Because of OTT, the writing for television and films has been democratized. Everyone has a chance to write.”

The jury for the web-series drama category is made up of Ruchi Narain, Suhail Tatari and Sweksha Bhagat. The writers who were nominated are Richie Mehta and Sanyukta Chawla Shaikh for Delhi Crime, Abhishek Yadav, Sandeep Jain and Saurabh Khanna for Kota Factory, Abhishek Sengupta, Biswa Kalyan Rath and Hussain Haidry for Lakhon Mein Ek (Season 2), Alankrita Shrivastava, Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar for Made In Heaven, and Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK, Suman Kumar and Sumit Aroraa for The Family Man.

While Delhi Crime, starring Shefali Shah, appears on Netflix, the category was dominated by Amazon Prime Video, which had three shows among the nominees — Lakhon Mein Ek, Made In Heaven and The Family Man. The Viral Fever’s Kota Factory, starring Jitendra Kumar, rounds out the category. There were 25 entrants in this category.

The comedy category was decided by jury members Reshu Nath, Juhi Shekhar and Shiv Subrahmanyam. The writers nominated were Maitreyee Upadhyay, Nayana Shyam and Preksha Khanna for Adulting (Season 2), Devika Bhagat and Ishita Moitra for Four More Shots Please!, Ashish Manchanda, Shreyasi Sharma, and Chirag Ratna Singh for Girls Hostel, Akarsh Khurana and Sumeet Vyas for Tripling (Season 2), and Ajaydeep Singh and Manish Kumar for Virgin Bhasskar.

The Viral Fever had two shows with Girls Hostel and Tripling, while Dice Media’s Adulting was also nominated. Virgin Bhasskar is being shown on ALTBalaji while Four More Shots Please! Is an Amazon Prime production. There were 11 entrants in the comedy category.

The nominees for the web adaptation category were selected by Anuradha Tiwari, Anuya Jakatdar and Ketaki Pandit. They highlighted the writers of three series, Asad Hussain, Deepa Mehta, Patrick Graham, Suhani Kanwar, and Urmi Juvekar for Leila, Dhruv Narang, Nihit Bhave, Pooja Tolani and Varun Grover for Sacred Games (Season 2), and Marston Bloom, Sumit Aroraa and Tanuja Chaturvedi for Selection Day. All three shows appear on Netflix.

Jury member Anuradha Tiwari, who was asked about the main themes and content to keep in mind while adapting a popular novel, said, “There is a narrative style of writing books which can often be inexpressible on screen. And then there are things that can be only on screen and can’t translate to a book. The interesting part of an adaptation is which is the part that is translatable to screen, and how.”

Tiwari also mentioned a story’s essence and integrity, mainly a soul, which she looked for in the series when comparing the novel and its adaptation.

When asked what advice to give writers just starting out for web-series, comedy category jury member Juhi Shekhar said, “This is the best time to be here. This is the time to reach out to anyone you want to reach out to, and this is also the time your craft has to be much sharper than it ever was.”

Related topics

Netflix Amazon Prime Video The Viral Fever ALTBalaji SWA Awards