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Short film directors make the big leap

Some of our most well-known and accomplished filmmakers in the country have all started off at the same point - making shorts. So whether be it Sudhir Mishra or Vidhu Vinod Chopra, feature length films seem to have been a natural progression for many directors. No wonder that award-winning short filmmakers like Ritesh Batra and Vibhu Puri are going the Bollywood way as well.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar

Debut feature: Monsoon Shootout
Release date: Unclear
Notable shortie: The Bypass
Co-produced by Kashyap and Guneet Monga, Amit Kumar’s project was one of the three Indian films to be screened at Cannes Film Festival two months ago. According to trade insiders, the film has already earned distributors and is expected to release before the end of this year.

Ashish Shukla
Ashish Shukla
Debut feature: Prague
Release: September 6
Notable shortie: Corneliani
All set to clash at the box office with Shuddh Desi Romance starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra, Ashish Shukla’s debut venture stars Chandan Roy Sanyal and Elena Kazan in the lead roles. The film was supposed to release in July itself but got delayed due to some unavoidable circumstances...

Ritesh Batra
Ritesh Batra

Debut feature: The Lunchbox
Release: September 20
Notable shortie: Gareeb Nawaz’s Taxi
Also called Dabba, the film was not only showcased at Cannes but also managed to earn a standing ovation along with rave reviews. Starring Irrfan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the film shall compete with Phata Poster Nikla Hero and Ungli for screens.

Ravi Alok
Ravi Alok

Debut feature: Untitled
Release: 2014
Notable shortie: Khuli Khidki
A comic thriller and based on the short film of the same name, the casting of this feature is in progress. It’s a story of an insurance agent who sells policies in a red light area. The film will mark the production house involved’s debut venture into mainstream cinema.

Shlok Sharma
Shlok Sharma

Debut feature: Haramkhor
Release: Unclear
Notable shortie: Tubelight Ka Chand, Sujata
Set in a dry, sun struck small village in Madhya Paresh, Haraamkhor stars Nawazuddin and Shweta Tripathi in prominent roles. It is a criss-cross of emotions across gender and age, loss of innocence and ultimately returning to it before the credit rolls.

Vibhu Puri
Vibhu Puri

Debut feature: Bambai Fairy Tale
Release: Unclear
Notable shortie: Chabiwali Pocket Watch
With Abhay Deol rumoured to be the protagonist in this period love story set in the city of dreams, the project sounds interesting. What’s more interesting is Abhay is said to not only star in the film but also produce the whole endeavour.

Vasan Bala
Vasan Bala

Debut feature: Peddlers
Release: Unclear
Notable shortie: Geek Out
His debut film travelled all the way to Cannes - along with other international film festivals - last year but it is yet to hit the local theatre. According to sources, it might finally see the darkness of a cinema hall before the end of this year.

No comment
Some short film makers are not at liberty to talk about their upcoming films thanks to confidentiality clauses signed with the production house. Nonetheless, they are thrilled about the prospect of creating their own movie.

Neeraj Ghaywan
Neeraj Ghaywan

Debut feature: Untitled
Release: 2014
Notable shortie: Shor
He’s one of the assistant directors of the upcoming Anurag Kashyap film Ugly. And as of now, he’s working on his debut full-length feature, which is in its pre-production stage.

Anubhuti Kashyap
Anubhuti Kashyap

Debut feature: Untitled
Release: 2014
Notable shortie: Moi Marjaani
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s sister is currently writing the script of her debut venture and she hopes to release her film in early 2014.

The long and short of it
“Internationally, everyone from Hitchcock to Lucas to Spielberg started out with shorts before moving to feature films. I’m happy India too is realising the potential of short filmmakers. It’s a great trend and is only getting stronger with time. I see more and more short filmmakers making features in the times to come.” - Cyrus Dastur, who runs a short film club across the country

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