Short films offer a great platform to filmmakers to showcase their talent. Making a short film is always a difficult proposition. As opposed to feature films, the financial prospects are not too bright. However, the one thing that drives such productions is passion. But these constant threats often serve as fuel that end up stirring the deepest artistic urges of the filmmaker. One thing, however, is more or less certain. What these films lack in scope they more than make up for it in terms of vision.
Of late, the short films are becoming more and more mainstream with big names from the Hindi film industry going the bandwagon. But still there is a long way to go before the short films enjoy the same reverence and recognition that's associated with feature films. In order for that to happen we need to be more aware as viewers. So, here's a compilation of some of the most exciting short films that have come out in the recent times.
Even three decades after his death, it is difficult to overlook the creative genius of Satyajit Ray. Based on a short story by Ray, Anukul is directed by Sujoy Ghosh who is well renowned for his works like Kahaani, Jhankaar Beats as well as the popular short film titled Ahalya. Anukul, starring Saurabh Shukla and Parambrata Chatterjee, transports us to the futuristic world of artificial intelligence where even the machines have rights. Anukul is clever, futuristic, and profoundly thought-provoking. Here is a short film that reminds us about the true potential of cinematic storytelling.
The celebrated director of Masaan, Neeraj Ghaywan, is back with Juice — a riveting critique of everyday patriarchy and misogyny. Ghaywan's short film is as relevant as any and reminds that once the emotions start touching the right chords, words tend to become futile. Starring Shefali Shah (who delivers a deeply nuanced performance) in the role of a house wife, Juice makes a strong case for gender equality while exposing the deep-seated sense of inequality that governs an average Indian household.
3. Half Ticket 2
Here is a light-hearted short film about life that reminds us about the importance of enjoying the little moments of joy that we often tend to ignore amidst our pursuit for greater goals. Directed by Prathamesh Patil, Half Ticket 2 is the sequel to the 2017 short film Half Ticket. The USP of Half Ticket 2 is the delicate manner in which it handles the complexities of the modern relationships. The short film stars Gunjan Malhotra, Naveen Kasturia, Darshan Jariwala, and Kumar Varun.
Drug abuse is gradually becoming a menace for the Indian youth. Directed by Niranjan Iyengar, Maa revolves around a young artist who is addicted to drugs. The short film stars Neena Kulkarni, Dino Morea, and Vivaan Shah. The film's strongest point is how it depicts the tender relationship between a mother and a son. The performances are brilliant all around with Vivaan Shah edging out the others in the limited screen time he gets.
5. The Chair
The Chair, directed by Sumit Singh, highlights the disparity that the LGBTQ population faces on a day to day basis. The short film stars Sushant Divgikar and Prerna Dua in the lead roles. The Chair reminds us about the importance of being original. We often try to shy away from who we really are and end up paying a great price. While the acting could have been better, the story deserves all the praise for its progressive themes.
6. Test Drive
This Samir Chand-directed short film presents a day in the life of a struggling actor. Needless to say, Ashutosh Rana essays the part brilliantly, reminding us yet again what he is capable of doing in front of a motion picture camera. If you are looking for a refreshing short film with a great scope for character development then it is highly likely that you won't find any better than Test Drive.
Directed by Vinod Rawat, MAD, A Perfect 10 winner at the Mumbai Film Festival, is one of those rare short films that make us realize the true power of cinematic storytelling. The care with which the movie tackles the mother-daughter relationship is absolutely commendable. Here is a short film that needs to be watched.
Directed by Raju and Vishal Desai, Gutargu proves that good love stories need not always require an operatic scale. The short film stars Mohit Choudry, Nazia Davision, and Pankaj Rungta. Gutargu is essentially a story of a guy and a girl who are attracted towards one another. What makes it rather interesting is that it takes place on a rooftop.
9. The Thought Of You
Directed by Ahmed Roy, The Thought Of You brilliantly explores the marital insecurity and jealously. The root cause of all couple problems is lack of trust and in the absence of trust things only gets worse with time. A Perfect 10 winner at The Mumbai Film Festival, The Thought Of You highlights this and more. It stars Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah, and Monica Dogra. While it may not be the best short film to have come out in the recent times, the brilliant acting performances, in particular Kalki's, make it an engaging experience.
10. The Good Girl
The Good Girl, directed by Ritesh Menon, is another highly relevant short film that deserves our attention. Starring Gurdeep Kohli and Plabita Borthakur, The Good Girl touches upon premarital pregnancy. Even in today's modern times, premarital sex largely remains a taboo in India. The Good Girl endeavors to highlight the stereotypes associated with it while simultaneously spreading awareness about the perils associated with unprotected sex. The acting performances are superb. Also, the mother-daughter relationship is brilliantly explored.
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