U.S. TV and Film Writers and Producers on Research Trip to Mumbai

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A group of Hollywood writers and producers of top television shows and films will arrive for a 6-day visit to Mumbai, India on May 8 to gain inspiration for future show topics, especially in the realm of global health.

The visit is organized by Hollywood Health & Society, a program of The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles, which has a long history of connecting screenwriters with experts to obtain accurate health information for their scripts. Funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, HH&S serves as a free resource for public health information to the entertainment industry.

“We are thrilled to bring some of Hollywood’s master storytellers to India to learn from India’s long, rich history of storytelling,” said Sandra de Castro Buffington, Director of Hollywood, Health & Society. “We know that they will be creatively and personally inspired by what they see and learn while in this extraordinary country.”

Five Hollywood writers and producers will participate in the trip to Mumbai, in order to learn more about the people and culture; to gain first-hand knowledge about how people here are managing global health challenges such as TB and HIV; and to gain inspiration for future shows and scripts. They will also learn about local culture, customs, storytelling, and leadership.

The writers and producers participating in the trip are: Jennifer Cecil (“Private Practice”), Michael Nash (“Climate Refugees”), Zoanne Clack (“Grey’s Anatomy”), John Max Burnett III (“The Troop”), and Walt Disney Feature Animation executive Karen Tenkhoff.

A panel discussion will be held on 12 May, 2011 from 4:30 – 7:00 PM to showcase clips of the health storylines of top Bollywood and Hollywood TV and film writers and producers, including President of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ramesh Sippy (Director, Producer), Amol Gupte (Stanley Ka Dabba), and Vinta Nanda (Joint COO, Creativeland Pictures). The event, hosted by Hollywood, Health & Society and supported by the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, will take place at the JW Marriot Hotel Mumbai, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai 400049. Topics will include writing film and TV dramas about health topics; the entertainment industry’s approach to programming about health issues in India; writers’ individual techniques for writing dramas with social impact; and film and television as vehicles for social change.

Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, is a one-stop-shop for television writers, producers and others in search of credible information on a wide range of public health topics, including free consultations and briefings with experts. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The California Endowment, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Hollywood, Health & Society is based at the USC Annenberg School’s Norman Lear Center. The HH&S Global Health Initiative focuses on entertainment education around critical global health topics such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, polio, neglected tropical diseases and maternal & child health. For more information about resources for writers, visit www.usc.edu/hhs.

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center studying and shaping the impact of entertainment and media on society. Based at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the Lear Center works to bridge the gap between the entertainment industry and academia, and between them and the public. For more information, visit www.learcenter.org.

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism is among the nation’s leading institutions devoted to the study of journalism and communication, and their impact on politics, culture and society. With an enrollment of more than 1,900 graduate and undergraduate students, USC Annenberg offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees in journalism, communication, public diplomacy and public relations. For more information, please visit www.annenberg.usc.edu.

Supported by the Film & Television Producers Guild of India Limited

GUILD – Enhancing the value of Cinematic Arts- The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Limited is an autonomous non-profit premier film trade body comprising of industry stakeholders, is to be a principal negotiator with the Government on various critical issues, resolving intra and external trade disputes of the industry, liaising with foreign delegations to provide international exposure for its members, arranging conclaves for the benefit of members. Established in 1954 by the stalwarts of the Indian film industry including B.N. Sircar, S. Mukherjee, The Film & TV Producers Guild is today the most progressive body in show business. From renowned film makers/production houses like Yash Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Mukesh Bhatt, Subhash Ghai, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rakesh Roshan, AB Corp, Prakash Jha, Eros entertainment, Shree Ashtavinayak, Excel Entertainment ; to the young brigade of Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Farhan Akhtar, Kunal Kohli, Rohan Sippy etc.to stars turned producers like Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Akkineni Nagarjuna Rao; to new diversified media companies like UTV, Reliance Entertainment, Balaji telefilms, Viacom 18, Zee, Sahara,; to the film makers of international stature from the East and South such as Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose, D. Suresh Babu, etc., to leading TV production houses like Star TV, Zee TV, Colors, Sony TV, TV Today, NDTV, BAG Films & Media Ltd. – all are symbols of the Indian filmed content. Over the years, the Guild has also been instrumental in organizing fund raisers such as Help Telethon Concert in aid of tsunami victims and seminars & conventions with influential trade bodies like FICCI and CII. Also, the Guild has instituted the Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards for excellence in film and television – an award by the industry, for the industry and of the industry.

Website – www.filmtvguildindia.org

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