The superstar, along with fellow jury members Anjum Rajabali and Juhi Chaturvedi, felicitated the winners and presented them with their prize money cheques at a Mumbai five-star.
Aamir Khan along with fellow jurors Anjum Rajabali (chairperson) and Juhi Chaturvedi of the Cinestaan India's Storytellers Contest handed over cheques worth Rs50 lakh to the winners of the inaugural edition.
The first prize, a whopping Rs25 lakh, was won by Christo Tomy from Kochi, Kerala, whose story titled The Funeral received a thumbs up from the jury.
The second prize, a cash award of Rs10 lakh, was won by Biplab Goswami for his story Two Brides, while the third prize, carrying a cash award of Rs7 lakh, was won by Satyen Bordoloi for Who Will Marry Thomas.
The fourth prize, with a cash award of Rs5 lakh, went to Rajdweep for the story titled Ishqology and the fifth prize, with a cash award of Rs3 lakh, was won by Sagar Pandya for the story titled Sniper.
While giving away the awards, Aamir Khan said, “A good script is the heart and soul of a film. Without a good script, there can never be a good film."
Khan said there are many good writers in the country. "However, they don’t have the right platform or opportunities to showcase their talent," he said. "Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Contest is that platform. We are glad to have successfully concluded the first edition and are looking forward to the second. It was an absolute pleasure meeting the finalists and I was delighted to read their scripts.”
Rohit Khattar, chairman of Cinestaan Digital Pvt Ltd, which runs this website and also ran the contest, said, “We started this initiative years ago with the Mumbai Mantra – Sundance and Mumbai Mantra – CineRise screenwriting initiatives. I am grateful to our esteemed jury for working with us to bring Indian storytelling talent to the forefront. I would like to congratulate the winners and wish them success.”
The first edition of the contest began in October 2017 and over the course of a year, the entries went through a stringent and transparent process of evaluation at various levels.
Out of nearly 3,700 synopses that were submitted, 152 were selected for further review. These selected contestants were asked to send the complete scripts for assessment.
Eventually, five winners were selected out of the eight top contestants by the jury. All scripts have been registered by the contestants with the Screen Writers' Association or similar recognized bodies to ensure that their copyright is protected.
Speaking about the winners, Anjum Rajabali said, “The past year has been a journey of discovering new talent. It is heartening to see so many storytellers waiting for the right opportunity to tell that story. It was tough to choose the winner, but he had the right story in mind and the imagination to tell it well.”
Juhi Chaturvedi said, “The first edition of the contest has concluded successfully and we are now excited about the second edition. There is a lot of talent out there and lots of innovative concepts and stories waiting to be heard and explored. And we are looking forward to that.”
The second edition of the contest has already been announced and participants can enter by following the link scriptcontest.cinestaan.com.
Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Contest, launched by Cinestaan Digital Pvt Ltd, is India’s biggest script contest. The winners are awarded cash prizes worth Rs50 lakh. Some of the best scripts are curated to be part of the Cinestaan Script Bank, a treasure trove that studios and production houses can delve into and then directly liaise with the writers, who often find it difficult to get their voices heard.
Cinestaan Digital Pvt Ltd is an internet media company headquartered in Mumbai. The company is focused on building cinema-related products and services for networked audiences. One of its first offerings, Cinestaan.com, is an attempt to record and recount the rich past and vibrant present of Indian cinema. It is also working to put together the most comprehensive database on Indian cinema.