Shorts often help in the discovery of upcoming talents. No wonder that a few of the filmmakers featured in our list are midway through their debut features.
We prepared this list based on parameters such as selection in A-list festivals, popularity among festival selectors and awards.
Cafe Regular, Cairo
Ritesh Batra shot his Arabic short film in a cafe in Cairo with local actors. It won the International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and a Special Jury mention at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. Besides, the film was screened at the Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, Fribourg International Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2012. In yet another feat, Arte France (Franco-German TV network) picked up television rights for the film.
Written and directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, Shor won the Satyajit Ray Foundation Short Film Award 2012 at the London Indian Film Festival. Chronicling the struggle of a migrant couple from Benaras in the ghettos of Mumbai, the film was named the Best Short Film at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2012 and South Asian International Film Festival in 2011.
The Real Millionaire
Piyush Thakur brought happy tidings for FTII when his diploma film was named the only Indian short to compete at the prestigious 34th Clermont-Ferrand short film festival 2012 in France. The film won the Best Student Short Fiction Award 2011 by the Indian Documentary Producer’s Association (IDPA) and was screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF) in 2012. The film portrays the change in the life of a villager when he is invited on the hot seat of the television game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.
Kaushal Oza’s Afterglow has been one of the most popular short films of the year at Indian festivals. It won the Best Indian Film award at 10th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival in Kolkata and the Best Short Film Award at the 11th Third Eye Asian Film Festival in Mumbai in 2012. It screened at the 5th International Short and Documentary Film Festival of Kerala, the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and the River to River – Florence Indian Film Festival in 2012. A diploma film from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), it trails the tenth day after the death of a character Minocher Mirza. While his widow is coming to terms with the loss, she also has to face the relatives and friends who come to share her grief or offer mock sympathy.
Dance of Ganesha
Bikas Mishra’s Dance of Ganesha captures one day in the life of a Chhau dancer who has to work in an automobile factory to earn a living. The thirteen minute-short received its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival 2011. In 2012, it screened at International Film Festival of Rotterdam, International Festival Signes de Nuit, Paris; Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart and the International Short Film Festival of Quebec, Canada. Now the film is slated to screen at the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival in the retrospective of Indian Cinema in February 2013.
Vikram Dasgupta’s Indo-Canadian co-production narrates the tale of three individuals bound by two commonalities- Calcutta and dark humour. The film premiered at the first Canada South Asian Film Festival in November this year and bagged the Best Short award at the 12th River to River Florence Indian Film Festival in Italy in December 2012. It will now compete in the 35th Clermont-Ferrand short film festival 2013.
A thirteen year old girl in Calcutta challenges the authority of her traditional father on her choice of music. US-based Indian filmmaker Anirban Roy made it big with his first Indian short film Audacity which screened at the American Film Institute’s Festival (AFI Fest) 2012. It won the Audience Choice Award at the International Film Festival of Los Angeles. The film screened at several international film festivals including Miami Short Film Festival, Vancouver International Short Film Festival, New York International Film Festival and Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart in 2012. The film’s rights were sold for broadcast in three countries: SBS (Australia), SVT (Sweden) and Chello Multicanal (Spain).
Chinmay Dalvi’s Bombay Snow was discovered in Dimensions Mumbai Short Film Competition at Mumbai Film Festival in 2011 where it won a Special Mention. Revolving around a migrant laborer in Mumbai, the film went on to win the Best Short Film award at the 12th New York Indian Film Festival and the Best Short Fiction award at the 5th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala in 2012.
Sutanoy Chaudhury’s Padi was in competition at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2012. The 10 minute short is the tale of a boy fighting against industrialization in West Bengal through his posters.
Shlok Sharma’s short film Sujata screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) in 2012. Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur) won an ‘Honourable Mention’ for her performance in Sujata at IFFLA.