5 Must Watch Short Films Made by Indian Directors

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on January 10, 2015

2014 saw short films emerge as a popular medium of communication. Be it brand building or social awareness campaigns, you had a short film for everything. The willingness of young Indians online to engage with interesting & relevant content coupled with virality fueled by social media platforms meant that 2014 turned out to be the year short films well and truly arrived in India.

This also ensured that the medium attracted the attention of some Indian filmmakers. As opposed to the west (especially Hollywood) where filmmakers, both new and old, keep making short films, we rarely see our filmmakers experiment.

Maybe the tide is turning. These five directors took the plunge and made films on a range of interesting topics.

1) That Day after Everyday - Anurag Kashyap

India has seen an increase in incidences of molestation and sexual harassment of women, raising serious concerns about the safety of women. There seems to be no end in sight to this malaise. Anurag Kashyap is known for tackling difficult themes in his cinema and does so again in his inimitable style in this film.

When it first came out, the film led to a lot of debate, especially in the way it ends. It might not offer a credible solution to our problems, but then the film doesn't profess to do so. It is just a reaction to what's happening around us.

2) I Am That Change - Sukumar

2014 was a politically charged year that saw election after election fought on the platform of anti-corruption. This short film couldn't have been more well timed. It even released on the Independence day.

Directed Sukumar builds on the simple message of Mahatma Gandhi exhorting us to 'be the change, we want to see in the world around us'. Starring popular telugu star Allu Arjun, the film is effective and has the feel of a public service ad. However the intention is noble and so is the message, so we won't quibble.

3) Going Home - Vikas Bahl

A young girl gets stuck in the middle of nowhere when her car breaks down. And it's late night. A group of men hover in and she seeks their help. This short film featuring Alia Bhatt, made as a part of  Vogue Empower campaign tried to show us the need for creating a better world for women, one where they can live safely rather than in fear.

4) A Day In The Life Of Lakshmi Manchu's Feet - Ram Gopal Varma

There are directors and then there is Ram Gopal Varma. While the rest of the world is busy making films that try and spread joy or preach to us about the need to make a better world, Varma makes a film that has nothing to do with anything. All it does is give us a feet's eye view of a young starlet as she goes about her day. The name says it all. Really.

While one may call it voyeuristic or indulgent, we loved the film for its irreverence. And one could argue it shows the multiple roles women play in their daily lives. But we think Varma was just having fun :-). What do you think?

5) Gharwali Diwali - Vikramaditya Motwane

This short film made for Pepsi India during the festive season was meant to pull at our hearts and make us realise the true value of our parents before its too late. Or as Karan Johar proclaimed once, it's all about loving your family! Of course Motwane does a much better job than Karan Johar would have. Or maybe we are just a bit biased.

With this campaign, Pepsi went beyond the normal, boring brand campaigns that still crowd our TV. Made for the internet, this short was subtle in its use of the brand and focused more on the characters and the story instead. That seems to be the new norm as can be seen in this brilliant DBS Bank short film here.

We will probably see more such short films in the coming year as more and more filmmakers realise the potential of this format.

While these are all new and came out in the last year (except Anurag's film that came out couple of years back), short films in India have had a hoary past. Legendary director Satyajit Ray made one back in 1965 called 'Two'. While it deserves a separate post for itself, and we promise to do that sometime in the near future, we won't keep you from it.

Which one did you like the most? And are there other such short films that we missed out on? Do let us know.


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