When asked what advice he would give to aspiring filmmakers about to start making short films, Anil Thadani quipped, “To not start.”
Thadani helms AA Films, one of Bollywood’s biggest distribution companies and he isn’t the only one to voice borderline disdain for what is arguably cinema’s most neglected genre, the short film. More so in India where audiences have largely become conditioned into consuming movies that are at least two hours long.Ironically, a number of Indian films that aren’t feature-length and don’t find much industry support here, at least initially, end up doing quite well abroad. So why does this form lag behind back home? Thadani points to the near-zero market demand because "the audience wants entertainment, which short films don’t have."
Here are three filmmakers who have achieved recognition in the short film space. Each of them has a unique voice and has tackled different themes
Her directorial debut, and most important work in the short film genre is Kelkkunnundo (22 min; 2009) – about the adverse effects of urbanization.
His most recognised short film is Just That Sort of a Day (13 min; 2011) which ”follows the lives of seemingly disconnected characters as they try to find sense in the everyday events haunting them”.
Other shorts include
Life is a Beach
(5 min; 2011) – about two individuals’ equation in a city and and
(7 min; 2008), about a couple in love and on the run.It’s still a bit awkward for Abhay Kumar to explain what he does to most people, he says. "I get asked what I do, and when I say I make short films, I’m asked whether it’s running in the theatres. When I say it isn’t, they think that I make documentaries!" chuckles Kumar, adding that people have no clue what this form is all about.
Major award-winning work from Rao includes Printed Rainbow (15 min; 2006) – about an elderly lady and her cat; True Love Story (19min; 2014) – a love story between two street kids in Mumbai; and Chai (11 min; 2013) – about four tea sellers in Mumbai
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From HT Brunch, November 23
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