Must-watch Indian short films

If you've had an overdose of longwinding feature films, here's a refreshing break

They entertain, educate and even borrow from life like any other motion picture. But the challenge is to make the intended point in seven rather than 170 minutes.

5 days of Facebook

From relationships to social issues and new age technology to the human mind, we speak to a new crop of directors who are creating innovative short films that are cheap to make, easy to share, and are finding an audience as never before.

Film: In Transit/ Drama
Duration: Seven and a half minutes
Director: Stev Elam
Screened at: Golden Door International Film Festival, The Angeleno Film Festival, 15-Minutes Of Fame International Film Festival
An American film written by an Indian, this one's purely inspired from real life, about a chance encounter between an Indian man and a Spanish woman at a Los Angeles bus stop.

The film that was put together through donations and crowd funding is now taking the American festival scene by storm.


Says writer and actor Sunil Sadrangani, "The Spanish lady mistakes the boy for a Mexican guy and starts speaking to him in a language he can barely understand. The film addresses the Indian diaspora experience in an alien culture."

In fact the film was screened for the first time in Mumbai last week and the writer has already been receiving offers to create a web as well as an Indian version.

Interestingly, the project has had Emmy and Oscar nominated artistes working on it and has already been selected for various awards within the Angeleno film festival. In Transit will be available online within a few months.

In Transit

Expert speaks
Shekhar Kapoor:
"The film looks very promising and I congratulate the entire team."

Film: Shor/ Drama
Duration: 16 minutes
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Screened at: Abu Dhabi film festival, South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF)
Shor encapsulates that one brief moment where your life could turn around for good. Fast-paced and gripping, the film exposes the vulnerable nature of human beings during extreme situations. The story is about a couple trying to survive within the seedy ghettos of Mumbai.

A still from In Transit

Adds Ghaywan, "When I first wrote Shor, I almost felt like abandoning the idea because it seemed like it would never work out. But I stuck it out."

Expert speaks
Anurag Kashyap:
"Shor is a film that took me completely by surprise. There was a certain organic way it was shot and that is the beauty of it."
Film: 5 days of Facebook/ music video
Duration: Seven and a half mins
Director: Manish Jain
Screened on: Facebook, other web mediums.
It is a classic example of how a short film can spread like wildfire if directed towards the right medium. The film officially became one of the most shared and discussed Indian videos within the web domain.

Interestingly, an idea that stemmed from the Hollywood film 500 Days of Summer, 5 days of Facebook takes an objective look at the virtual space and life in real with respect to relationship.

5 days of Facebook

The story is about a guy meeting his long lost college friend on Facebook and imagining her as his girlfriend and has obviously struck a chord with many youngsters.

Says director Manish Jain, "One of the common feedback that thrills me is when people write to us saying they see themselves in the video."

Interestingly the entire film is shot as a music video and musician Rahul Bhatt has given some lovely notes.

Short film clubs in Mumbai:
Shamiana short film club
Mocha film club
Taj Enlighten Film Society
Prabhat Chitra Mandal

Screening venues:

British Council, Elphinstone;
American Centre, Churchgate;
Alliance Francaise, Churchgate;
Max Muller Bhavan, Kala Ghoda

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