By Nandini Hegde, Film Production Faculty, Jain Animation School
Meetings, friends, traffic and events keep us busy on the weekdays and sometimes during the weekends as well. It is very difficult to find 3 hours in a day to go catch a movie at the theatre. The prices of tickets are high and unless you book in advance you may not get good seats. Movies are becoming shorter in duration because stories can be told in lesser time and the audience has a shorter attention span. Just like fast food and quick delivery through online shopping websites, quick cinema is also the need of the hour.
Short films have been made in India for a long time now but in the recent past the audience for them has increased drastically. This is not just because of social networking sites but also because people are interested in watching them.
Filmmakers are also promoting these films as they require a low budget and have a lot of scope for directors, actors, cinematographers and technicians. Onir (Director of My Brother Nikhil and I Am) has not just supported short filmmakers but he has filed an online petition to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with some members of the industry. This petition demanded lower ticket prices in theatres and screening of independent films on television. The petition also demanded low cost exhibition spaces throughout India. Save Indie Cinema is supporting filmmakers who want to make fiction, documentary, and animation films.
INDEPENDENCE TO CINEMA: Poster of the Save Indie Cinema petition.
Cinema in India has completed 100 years but short films have always been neglected. This is because mainstream cinema earns more revenue and has had a vast audience for many years. Filmmakers who want to make films on a low budget prefer to make short films and showcase them in film festivals. Filmmakers who have managed to make a mark in the film industry are supporting the short filmmakers. Anurag Kashyap, who changed the Hindi film industry one film at a time, is one such filmmaker. This maverick recently produced a series of short films with a common theme: India is a visual journey. Kashyap knows that short films can give us good filmmakers. He started his career with short films that were telecast on TV in the 90’s. He gradually made his way up and struggled a lot to direct his films. Kashyap is also a part of the Seagram’s Royal Stag Large Short Films. He is encouraging new filmmakers using different platforms.
BENGALI vs. PUNJABI: A still from the short film – The Epiphany directed by Neeraj Ghaywan.
Film festivals are supporting independent cinema especially short films. These film festivals are able to showcase the films to a wider audience in India and abroad. Student films get a separate category in most film festivals which give them a lot of scope. Events like 48 hour film projects encourage students and filmmakers. There is no doubt that short films are the future but will they get the recognition, success, and the fan following is something that we have to wait and see.
Check out these short films on YouTube: