Monday, March 5, 2018

Creative Journeys 8: Jayant Kaikini

Toto Funds the Arts
British Council Library, Bangalore
are delighted to invite you to
the eighth talk of TFA’s series Creative Journeys
by the well-known Kannada writer
Jayant Kaikini

Date: Friday, 23 March 2018.  Time: 6.30 p.m.
Venue: British Council Library, Prestige Takt, 23, Kasturba Road Cross (Opposite Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum), Bangalore

JAYANT KAIKINI is a Kannada poet, short story writer, columnist and playwright living in Bangalore. He has six short-story and five poetry anthologies, three collections of non-fiction, and three plays to his credit; he is also a much sought-after lyricist, script and dialogue writer for Kannada films. Among his many literary awards are the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award which he first won at the age of 19 in 1974 for his debut poetry collection, followed by three more in 1982, 1989 and 1996 for his short story collections. He received the Karnataka State Award for best dialogue and lyrics, and the Filmfare Award for best lyrics in Kannada four times — in 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017. A well-known television personality, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate from the Tumkur University in 2011 for his contribution to Kannada literature, film and television. His latest book is an anthology of essays on cinema, and his latest short story collection in English translation is No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories (Harper 2017).
His unfettered anecdotal chat in English salted with Kannada, moderated by journalist-author C.K. Meena, will span the ups and downs in his life, his intense relationship with Mumbai, his literary universe, his experiences in television and cinema and — in true Jayant mode — unexpected forays into whatever strikes his mind and stirs his memory.

The TFA Creative Journeys is a series of talks, providing a platform for both younger and more experienced writers, filmmakers, performing artists and visual artists to speak about the influences, impulses, processes and thinking that have shaped the art they produce. 
Previous speakers have been Gieve Patel, Sunil Shanbag, Surupa Sen, Jitish Kallat, Sampurna Chattarji, Susmit Sen and Neel Chaudhuri with The Tadpole Repertory.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Workshop on Scripting for Short Films: Call for Applications

Scripting for Short Films

Toto Funds the Arts  
in association with British Council Library, Bangalore 
is pleased to announce a two-day workshop on scriptwriting for short films 
Irawati Karnik
 Venue: British Council Library, Prestige Takt, 23 Kasturba Road Cross (Opposite Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum), Bangalore
Dates: Saturday, 24 February and Sunday, 25 February 2018
Time:  10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Fee:  Rs 3,500 (For British Library members: Rs. 3,200)
 "The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn't."                                                                                                        --  Jean-Luc Godard

What is it about the form of the short film that finds such appeal among the makers as well as the viewers of cinema? To answer this question, this workshop will not only examine the form but also looking into a brief history of cinema and its relationship to the viewers. Participants will be introduced to tools and techniques for writing a short film. The fundamentals of scriptwriting for short films will be explored through some creative exercises, focusing on structure, treatment and characterisation. We will also refer to examples from a variety of short films to arrive at insights into how the writing on the page translates to the screen.

All great artists—in music, drama, literature, in art itself—have an understanding of the rules, whether that knowledge is conscious or not. The aim of the workshop is to explore and examine narrative shape, ask how and why it exists. When do rules help and when might it be a good idea to throw them out of the window. Such an analysis can act a bit like a barium metal: used correctly it illuminates not just all story structure, but all narrative—fictional and otherwise; it breaks open and reveals the very way we perceive and render all experience. 

About the facilitator
IRAWATI KARNIK is a multiple-award-winning writer, translator, director and actor based in Mumbai. She writes in Marathi, Hindi and English. Among her drama scripts are Sex, Morality and Censorship (Hindi) directed by Sunil Shanbag, The A Casting (English, later translated into German) directed by Sophia Stepf, which premiered in Berlin in November 2011, and two scripts that won the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award for Best Original Script: Gasha (Hindi) directed by Abhishek Majumdar and C Sharp C Blunt (English) directed by Sophia Stepf (Flinttheater, Berlin). She was a dramaturg on the award-winning play Kaumudi (Hindi) written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar. 

Irawati has written a number of full-length feature films in Marathi including Mana Pakharu Pakhar for which she won the Zee Award for Best Dialogue, Medium Spicy, and more recently, Anandi Gopal. Her Marathi plays include Teech Ti Diwali, Vadani Kavala Gheta, Mrugacha Paus, Varle Ahet, Aaltoon Paaltoon, and Chhapa Kata, which is running successfully across Maharashtra. 

The workshop will be limited to 15 participants between the ages of 18 and 35.

Note to applicants

You can apply by sending a mail to, along with a short bio-note and a statement explaining your interest in doing this workshop. 

Deadline for Applications: 15 February, 2018.  

Once you are selected, we will let you know how to remit the fee. Participants will be requested to make their own arrangements for lunch. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Toto Awards 2018: The Winners

The winners of the Toto Awards 2018 under different categories were announced at a function in Bengaluru on January 13. They are


Prabh Deep (New Delhi)


Aishwarya Arumbakkam (Mumbai)

Taha Ahmad (New Delhi)

Creative Writing (English)

Maya Palit (New Delhi)

Urvashi Bahuguna (Gurgaon)

Creative Writing (Kannada)

Manjunayak Chellur (Koppal)

Short Film

Shreyas Dashrathe (Pune)

Kunjila Mascillamani (Mumbai)

Toto Funds the Arts congratulates the winners and wishes them the very best in their future endeavours! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Interview with Rachna Ravi, designer of the Night of the Nominee poster

New Delhi-based artist Rachna Ravi is one of the most versatile artists out there. Self-taught, naturally talented and forever exploring new techniques, Rachna's work stands out for its playful imagery, choice of colours (or lack of) and unconventional style. 

She was our first choice to design the poster for the Toto Music Awards' Night of the Nominee 2018, which will feature Rohan Rajadhyaksha, The Sine Painter and Prabh Deep at Primal on January 12

We had a little chat with Rachna about her process behind the poster, creating an aesthetic that defines her, and more:

Take us through your process for the Toto Music Awards poster from the conceptualisation to execution. 

When I received the text for the poster, the two main things I wanted to encapsulate were the three nominees and the night of the event. My current style of work is to basically keep the subjects bare minimum and in black and white. I like to fill the rest of the visual space with mostly floral patterns and maybe some other elements. I've been hooked to floral elements for quite a while now but somehow still haven't gotten enough of it. So keeping my current style of work in mind, I tried to do justice to the three artists. I also tried to do justice to the celebration of art that the event stands for.

When it comes to your aesthetic, you have a few distinct styles that you work with. How have you arrived at these and who are some influences?
I'm a self taught artist. I have been drawing ever since I can possibly remember. I have never particularly paid any conscious attention to my style of work. It just evolved with time. It's all just trial and error for me. I also like looking at good art. I try to spend a lot of time looking at good art. It opens up my brain to various things I otherwise may have been ignorant about. If I feel some type of way about a certain something, I try to incorporate it in my work, but in my own way.

There are just way too many artists out there, living and dead, that are so good and so much more better than me. It's hard to pick and choose. Every single day I come across at least a few artists on Reddit or Instagram that just blow my mind away. I don't know how to narrow it down to just a few. 

What are your preferred tools for your art? Also, please describe the space you work. 

I was strictly a traditional-medium-only girl till January last year. Then I worked at an office for a few months before I realized it's just not for me and quit. I learnt a fair bit of digital work there. Since then, I have been making use of the digital medium, in addition to my traditional work. I don't sketch, which a seasoned artist can easily see in my work. I usually go straight for the drawing. I sometimes paint straight up, scan it and finish it off in Photoshop. It's all very instinctive. I never plan a piece of work. I just go with the flow and do what I feel like in the moment. I don't know how to explain it, it's just this gut feeling when I know a piece is done. I almost always hate my work a week after it's done anyway, so it doesn't really matter I guess.

I don't have a work space. Like I said, I'm very instinctive when it comes to my work. I do have a board tho and I work on loose sheets of cartridge paper. So basically whenever my brain tells me it's time to draw or paint, I just go grab my board and set camp wherever I may have been sitting. It's always in front of my laptop and I hate working when there are people around.

What was the most exciting part about this project for you?

With any piece of commissioned work, the most exciting part is cracking the basic concept. Since I don't plan my work ahead, I always start with a very vague idea of where I want the final piece to arrive at. As I am working, I start collecting bits of ideas and elements in my head. I start putting these down one by one and it always looks like an incohesive mess. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. At some point I finally find the piece that binds the whole thing together. Finding that one piece has to be the most exciting part of the project for me.

Follow her work on Instagram at