A writers' residency training programme.

Our First Draft is about getting you to write yours.

India is full of storytellers. But their stories often go untold given a lack of training, exposure, and the right opportunities. We believe if you’re a talented writer who is willing to work hard, nothing should hold you back.

And that’s why we came up with AIB First Draft. First Draft will give 8 selected writers from across the country the opportunity to stay in Mumbai for 6 months, attend lectures, interact with top industry professionals, learn the skills essential to scriptwriting, and leave with their own first draft of a movie or a web series. And we’ll foot the bill. The programme starts in March 2016.

If you’re an aspiring writer, we think this is the best opportunity in the country for you.
Here’s why:

  • There is no fee. AIB will bear all tuition expenses. (Because we’re nice like that.)
  • We’ll give you a place to stay. You won’t have to hunt for a flat in Mumbai. (Even though that makes for good horror stories.)
  • Genre no bar. Just because it’s AIB doesn’t mean this is restricted to comedy writers. You can write drama, romance, horror, thriller, action or a genre that’s purely yours.
  • Some of the best industry professionals will not just train you but also mentor your writing process, providing you constructive feedback.
  • It’s a small batch, so each session will be focused and personal. Your story deserves it.
  • If we see potential in your script, there’s a good chance we may produce it.

  • Picture it. Eight creative minds handpicked from around the country, living together, learning together, and learning from one another. 2016 could be the year that changes your life.

This is the course of action.

AIB First Draft is an intensive course. Beginning in March 2016, we’re going to pack six months of your life with 200 plus hours of lectures aside from film screenings, discussions, workshops, set visits, and reviews. You’ll spend any remaining hours staring at your Word document, tearing your hair out, buckling down, and writing.

Over the course of this time, your mentor will guide you through the processes of ideation, character development, story development, plotting, structure, scene design, dialogue-writing – the works. You’ll leave knowing the basics of film appreciation, filmmaking, and film and TV history as well. Top industry professionals will step in as guest lecturers to lend you their expertise on various aspects of storytelling (so this is your chance to not only learn from the who’s who of the writing world, but also to impress them). Through the course, you’ll get critical and constructive feedback from your mentor on your story at every step. And you’ll come to rely on the support and feedback of your 7 classmates.

Six months later, you will have a first draft of your script.

Meet your mentor, Satyanshu Singh.

This National Award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and professor of cinema will be your captain, boss, creative guru and everything in between. 

An MBBS from AFMC - Pune, Satyanshu gave up his job as a doctor in the army and came to Mumbai. Here, he started his career with the poems in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan and continued to work as a screenwriter and lyricist for films and TV. His directorial debut, a Kashmiri short film – Tamaash, won awards the world over, including a National Film Award.

Satyanshu’s love for writing is only equalled by his love for teaching. Since 2011, he has taught cinema at Mumbai University, conducted screenwriting workshops, and designed the film-writing course at Anupam Kher's school, 'Actor Prepares', where he taught five batches between 2014-15.

Through the course of First Draft, Satyanshu will be spending about 8-10 hours a week with you, helping you write your own scripts. With this gifted writer and devoted teacher as your mentor, you couldn’t have asked for a better initiation into the craft of storytelling. 

Apart from him, you will also have top industry professionals as your guest lecturers, including Varun Grover (writer – Masaan, lyricist – Gangs of Wasseypur), Juhi Chaturvedi (writer – Piku, Vicky Donor), Akshat Verma (writer – Delhi Belly) and Umesh Kulkarni (National Award-winning filmmaker). You can expect even more names on this list by the time the program commences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Just go to the Application section on the website and submit your details. You will receive an email with the First Draft Writing Test attached. Once you’ve completed your test, email it to firstdraft@allindiabakchod.in with the subject line: Assignment_<Name>. We require you to submit the test within 10 days of receiving it.

Application closes on 31st January, 2016.

Either is cool. Just make sure you have a good command over the language you choose to write in.

You could apply if you’re any or many of the following.
A closet writer.
A nobody writer from nowhere, willing to work hard and make it in the industry.
Someone who used to enjoy writing, but is now at a corporate job, looking for a reason to quit.
Someone who writes for clients but wants to write for themselves.
Someone who watched a kickass show and wished they’d come up with that plot.
Someone with a head full of characters but a Word doc. without words.
Someone who took a Facebook aptitude test, which said "You’re most suited to be a writer." (Actually, no, not you.)
So basically, anyone. In fact, you need not already be a writer. We’re looking out for first timers as well.

Anyone who can only spare a month or two.
Anyone who wants to do the course part-time.
Anyone who doesn’t want to write but just wants to work at AIB. (For that email careers@allindiabakchod.in)
Anyone who just wants to come to Bombay for fun. This course is serious business.
So basically, anyone who doesn’t care about learning how to tell a story.

Once all the applications are in, the best ones will be chosen by our mentors and professors. If selected, you will be notified via email or phone. If you don’t hear from us, it means you did not make the cut. We’re expecting a heavy traffic of applicants, so we might not be able to give you individual feedback on your test. Sorry about that.

When we’ve shortlisted, Team AIB along with Satyanshu will fly down to cities around India to personally meet our candidates. We’ll get to know them through a round of interviews, and then we’ll select our 8 students. The programme will start in March 2016.

Good question. You won’t be attending lectures every day but this course demands a lot of discipline and hard work. It is imperative that you make your time in Mumbai count. We’re trying hard to provide you with the best of opportunities and facilities. We’re investing our time and money in you. So slacking is a punishable offence. You could actually be booted out of the programme.

18 plus. So, any adult, be it a college kid or a mother of two, can apply.

Once you have a first draft of your movie/web series screenplay ready, our professors will evaluate the ones with the most potential. The scripts that show the most promise will have a chance to be produced by AIB. And of course, you’ll get full fees as a writer on the production along with credit for it. If we don’t see potential in the script, we’ll pass. So at the very least you’ll have a movie script, a bunch of industry contacts and most importantly - you’ll be trained as a writer. If all goes well, each and every writer will have enough employment opportunities in TV, film or web by the end of the course. Not bad, eh?

It’s absolutely free. All tuition fees are borne by AIB.

Absolutely. You’ll be compensated well, probably better than industry standards. And you’ll get full credit for the work you’ve done.

Not an internship, no. You won’t be working on AIB projects directly, but you will be interacting with the AIB folks through the course.

Your answers are: No. No. NO. And maybe. You’ll only be able to take up the course if you know you can complete it.

If you’re from outside Mumbai, we’ll rent out a place for you all to share. Don’t expect a swanky fancy bungalow (for that try www.mtvindia.com/Splitsvilla). But don’t expect to be living in rat infested squalor either. We’ll get you a place that’s comfortable for those 6 months. Plus, you get a stipend to take care of your travel, food et cetera.

Yes, everybody from writers to directors to agents to cinematographers to background dancers.

We’ve tried to address almost all the practical concerns that a parent would have. If that isn’t enough – well, you’re planning on becoming a writer. You’ll think of something.

We’ve always wanted to start a school – this is a first step towards it. We get to meet and groom a whole bunch of awesome writers and in our very small way, give back to the creative industry. And we have the potential to produce great content. It’s a win-win situation. 

Time’s up.

The application for AIB First Draft - 2016 has been closed. Those who have already applied can mail in their assignments latest by 10th February, 2016. We will be announcing the shortlists soon after.

If you’ve missed out on your chance to apply for AIB First Draft, keep them fingers crossed. And hopefully, we’ll be back next year with a Season 2.

Thank you for the amazing response, and all the madness that came with it.
:)

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More questions still? Ask away.