Here’s how Stateless Media is telling news, one beautiful short film at a time | world cinema | Hindustan Times
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Here’s how Stateless Media is telling news, one beautiful short film at a time

Stateless Media is a network of independent filmmakers around the world that tell stories of people in short films.

world cinema Updated: Mar 16, 2017 09:42 IST
Soumya Srivastava
Each video has a life and soul of its own.
Each video has a life and soul of its own.

What’s common between a woman going on six dates in three days, a girl who sings about Bernie Sanders and a musician losing confidence in his talent? All their stories have been turned into pieces of art—short movies to be specific.

Stateless Media is a network of filmmakers and journalists around the world that have found a great new way of telling people’s story. What they call shortreals (portmanteau for ‘short’ and ‘real’), are brief, three to four minute long videos. The focus is on one person, told through his or her own perspective and in his or her own voice.

The filmmakers, who ‘operate out of studio apartments, cafés, basements, bus stations and airports around the world, use different filmmaking styles and cinematography techniques, hence giving each video a life and soul of its own.

Stateless Media is making shortreals in Berlin, Yangon, Africa, Russia and more. “They (the films) will not be hemmed in by conventional boundaries or ideas about ‘news’ and ‘entertainment’. They will be stateless,” their website reads.

Founder Peter Savodnik is a journalist who has written for New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Time, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Wired.

Here is a selection of shortreals you must watch:


Dhruvi is looking for love in Mumbai and claims she has been on 35-40 dates already. However, she has never found ‘the one’.

For this film, Dhruvi goes on six dates in three days, chronicling her experiences. Almost all of them are a complete dud, except one.

Xu Ji

This shortreal, which we found to be the best, most stunning of them all, is about an online beauty expert who doles out beauty advice to thousands of women. However, she still asks her husband if he finds her pretty.

The film has been shot with great aesthetic sense where the highlight was of course the scene where Xu Ji walks in the gaze of neon lights on a wet pavement as other men on the street look on.


Aman left his job to pursue a career in music. His parents are not very sure about his choices and their opinions are making Aman doubt his own talent, something almost all of us have experienced.

A big gig is just around the corner and he is more nervous than ever. The film tells the brief story of failure, the part that commercial films do not find amusing enough to share.

You can watch more shortreals here.

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