Anjum Rajabali is a prolific Indian screenwriter. He has spent over 20 years in the Indian film industry with films like Drohkaal, Ghulam, The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Raajneeti to his credit. He is also known for his leadership and contribution to various writers’ rights initiatives in India, most notably recognized for lobbying with other prominent writers and activists for amendments in the Copyright Act in favour of writers.
He began his career in the film industry as an associate scriptwriter for the critically acclaimed Drohkaal (1994). In 1998, Anjum wrote the screenplay for the film China Gate along with writing the story and screenplay for the hit crime-thriller Ghulam, starring Aamir Khan and Rani Mukherji. In the following years, Anjum is credited with writing for prominent films across a variety of genres, including the action film Kachche Dhaage (1999), the drama Pukar (2000), the biographical film The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002) and the horror Naina (2005). He was the script consultant on Prakash Jha’s crime-drama Apaharan (2005) and Anjum’s association with him extended for the next four successive films that Prakash Jha directed, with Anjum writing for Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan (2011), Chakravyuh(2012) and his latest release Satyagraha (2013).
He is the Head of Screenwriting at Whistling Woods as well as the Honorary Head of Screenplay Writing at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), a course that he founded in 2004. Apart from being a script consultant on several films, he also conducts coveted workshops, seminars and conferences on screenwriting that have helped writers in India and abroad. In mid-2014, he joined hands with Mumbai Mantra as Convenor for their new initiative, the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Programme - 100 Storytellers A Year - a detailed step-by-step process of nurturing screenwriting talent, planned with 8 defined stages of creative intervention, which invited applications from enthusiastic and determined Indian screenwriters from any part of the world, including non-resident Indians and even those with mixed Indian parentage.
As an active leading part of the 'Progressive Writers Group' (PWG) India, Anjum has been working tirelessly for improvements in writers’ rights in the Indian film industry. PWG has been steering the Film Writers Association (FWA) since 2008, with one consistent goal: Empower the writer. In these years, the FWA has become increasingly proactive and has lobbied together with noted writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar for amending the Copyright Act in favour of writers and has also fought several cases against producers to get justice for their members. Under Anjum’s guidance, they have strengthened the Dispute Settlement Committee which protects exploited writers and have initiated negotiations with producers and broadcasters for a standard contract that would protect writers’ rights. For improved management and record-keeping, they have created a website where writers can conveniently register their work online. The PWG has also helped form a National Solidarity Front for Indian screenwriters and has made the FWA prominent on international screenwriting platforms.
Born on: 7 August, 1958
Born in: Talaja, Gujarat, India