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Episodic (Fiction) Writing Workshop

Episodic (fiction) Writing Workshop © Goethe-Institut Pakistan

Goethe-Institut Pakistan in collaboration with Vidhi Films presents Episodic (fiction) Writing Workshop – for TV and Online Platforms.

Developing a pilot for your series.
Pitching to film producer in Germany.


The aim of the workshop is to provide a training ground for writers to develop an original series and pilot script for the international market. This 6-month workshop will provide participants with the tools to help develop projects from idea to pilot.
Participants will receive professional pitch training.  
Together we want to develop work that will find its place in the international content market for episodic series.
Timeline: Three virtual workshops, July/September/November 2021.

No. of participants: 10.
Preference will be given to talented film writing professionals or filmmakers who have a track record in writing for film/television.
The program will provide immersive training over three weeks divided into one week in July, one in September and one in November. During the in-between months’ participants will be required to continue writing pages based on the feedback they have received during the workshops. At the end of the workshops, participants will have a first draft of their pilot episode.
The aim of the workshops is to provide continuous mentoring and support for participants as they develop their storylines for their pilot episodes.
Specialized workshops on ‘character development’ and ‘dialogue writing’ will be held in June and September.
Prior to the last workshop in November, the pilot scripts will be divided between 2 independent readers from the film industry who will provide feedback via a zoom session or give written notes to each participant. These notes will be discussed further in the workshop.
The final workshop in November will focus on how participants can take their first drafts to the next level.
An intensive pitch training workshop will be organized for two half days in November that will focus on how to pitch at national and international film forums and markets.

Participants must submit the following:  
1. Cover Letter with a short CV stating why they are interested in joining the workshop.
2. Log line of not more than 35 words of the idea of the series they wish to develop during the workshop.
3-5 page treatment.
Please send your applications to:

* Applicants must have access to Netflix and other streaming platforms (via VPN) as they will be required to watch recommended series as part of the course work.
Last date for submission: 15th June 2021.
Announcement of final selection: 30th June 2021

First Workshop:8th – 14th July 2021 with Sabiha Sumar
10th July 2021 with Rachel Mathews on Character Development
Second Workshop: 6th – 10th September 2021 with Sabiha Sumar
16th September with Rachel Mathews on Dialogue Writing.
Third Workshop: 8th – 12th November 2021 with Sabiha Sumar
15th November with Imran Khan - Pitching
16th November 2021 with Rachel Mathews - Pitching.
17th November 2021 Participants will pitch to an independent film producer in Germany - Jamila Wenske and Imran Khan.
Participants can be single or work jointly with a co-writer. Participants are required to make a commitment for the entire 6-month duration of the virtual workshop. Participants are required to continue writing in between workshops. Two sessions will be set up in between workshops with Tutors to discuss progress.
The same participants will continue throughout the workshops from June to November 2021.
Sabiha Sumar

Sabiha Sumar is multiple award-winning filmmaker and Sundance alumnus. She has earned critical acclaim for her narrative films as well as documentaries. 
Sumar's films have been commissioned by Channel 4, BBC, HBO, ITVS/PBS, ZDF, ARTE, 3SAT and Al Jazeera. Her work has been supported by the Sundance Documentary and Feature film programs as well as by Cinereach. Her debut narrative feature film KHAMOSH PANI/SILENT WATERS (2003) won the LEOPARD D'OR (Golden Leopard) for Best Film, Leopard for Best Actress at Locarno Film Festival and 15 other awards worldwide. It was the first South Asian film to premiere at Sundance 2004 and the first South Asian - European co-production invited to EAVE.
Sumar's most notable work in documentaries include: WHO WILL CAST THE FIRST STONE (1988) Research/Writer/Director, World Premiere, London Film Festival with Guardian Lecture for the film, Golden Gate Award, Sanfrancisco International Film Festival, DON’T ASK WHY (1997) for ZDF/3SAT's award winning series Girls Around the World, DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT: A NATION'S JOURNEY (2007), Writer/Director, Sundance Film Festival, Anasy Awards, Abu Dhabi, Best Documentary & EU Best Documentary Award, SAVING FACE (2012) Academy Award® Winner for Documentary (Short Subject) International Documentary Association, Best Short Award, News & Documentary Emmy®, Best Documentary, News & Documentary Emmy®, Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form, AZMAISH A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SUBCONTINENT (2017) TIFF, Locarno and BFI LFF. Her most recent documentary MOTORCYCLE WOMAN (2019) for 3SAT is selected for the Juliane Bartel Media Prize 2020/2021.
In Pakistan, Sumar has directed TV drama series MI RAQSAM (I Dance) 23 episodes for GEO TV & Khuda Dekh Raha Hai (HE IS WATCHING YOU) 20 episodes for A Plus as well as a celebrity talk show THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE, 13 episodes for HUM TV.
Sumar is a recipient of the Honour of Grade de Chevalier awarded by the Ministry of Culture & Letters, France (2004), is an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge (2015), and received a Special Recognition Award from London Asian Film Festival (2017). 
Currently she is developing an international series titled Ordinary, Extraordinary.
Rachel Mathews

Rachel Mathews is a screenwriter based in Berlin. She is currently co-writer of Leben, a returning series in development with UFA in Germany. She has taught screenwriting and filmmaking in Myanmar for over a decade and works closely with up-and-coming Myanmar writers. Having been showrunner on series two of The Sun, The Moon & The Truth, a drama series for Myanmar's MRTV4, she has just completed the scripts for a police mini-series set in Yangon. She has also written radio plays for BBC Radio 4.
Her award-winning short films can be viewed at vimeo.com/rachelmathews

Her most recent credits include:
2020: Leben – Co-Creator & Co-Writer (pilot script stage)
Returning supernatural series for Jörg Winger (Deutschland '83, 89 Hackerville) and Big Window Productions, part of UFA Germany
2020: MyPol – Showrunner (6 x 10 min scripts delivered 29.02.20)
Crime mini-series written with five Myanmar writers for the EU-funded MyPol project, designed to help reform the Myanmar Police Force 

Jamila Wenske

Jamila Wenske, grew up in East Berlin, studied at today's Film University Konrad Wolf in Babelsberg, is a post-graduate of L'Atelier - German-French Masterclass in Paris and Ludwigsburg.

In 2018, Jamila was named one of 10 PRODUCERS TO WATCH by VARIETY MAGAZINE and is a member of ACE, EAVE, AN - ATELIER NETWORK, the European and the German Film Academy.

Her successes as an international co-producer/producer include the feature films THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MÄKIby Juho Kuosmanen (Un Certain Regard Award 2016, European Film Award Discovery Award 2016), Isabel Coixet's THE BOOKSHOP starring Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarckson and Bill Nighy (Berlinale Special Premiere 2018, 3-time GOYA winner 2018), Vadim Perelman's PERSIAN LESSONS starring Lars Eidinger and Nahuel Biscayart, inspired by the novel motifs THE INVENTION OF A LANGUAGE by award-winning author Wolfgang Kohlhaase (Berlinale Special Premiere 2020), and DAS SCHÖNSTE PAAR by Sven Taddicken with Luise Heyer and Maximilian Brückner.

Tutor & Producer:
Imran Khan

Imran is responsible for the development of the production slate for Joerg Winger’s new label at Big Window Productions.Prior to his current role he has worked in media for over 13 years at CBS Television, Warner Bros., and Turner Broadcasting in various roles including scripted series development and sponsorship marketing. He then launched his own media startup, The Snack Content Network™.
After successfully exiting his startup Imran was then recruited by Google where he spent the next eight years working across three different continents as a marketing consultant tasked with collaborating with creative agencies to develop brand initiatives for advertisers by capitalizing on dynamic opportunities in the digital world. He has been recognized for his efforts with prestigious Cannes Lion awards for his work on P&G Secret's Mean Stinks anti-bullying campaign and for P&G Always' #LikeAGirl campaign.
Imran has two diametrically opposite degrees inBiochemical Engineering and Musical Theatre from Northwestern University in Chicago. In addition, he holds an MBA from Columbia Business School in NYC.