For long, feature-length films had been our only idea of Indian movies. However, with a huge number of short films being produced in our country, that scenario is changing fast. These films are being screened in several renowned film festivals, and a lot of them are available on YouTube and other platforms to be viewed by the general public. Indian short films are novel in their style, in that they say a lot in a few words and leave you wanting more, thinking about what just happened. So, here are some of the most amazing Indian short films you can savour if you want to witness some of the most amazing work that has been done in the Indian film scene.
Sujoy Ghosh’s Ahalya with Radhika Apte, Soumitra Chatterjee and Tota Roy Chowdhury as the lead actors, makes for a thrilling watch. It is based on the story of the mythical figure of Ahalya, Maharishi Gautama’s wife, who was seduced by Indra into an affair. She was punished by her husband for her infidelity, while Lord Indra’s image was left untarnished. The film is a retelling of that very narrative, and a spin on the character of Ahalya as the passive victim.
2. Interior Cafe Night
With Naseeruddin Shah and Shweta Basu Prasad in the lead, Interior Cafe Night is a story of love and second chances. A beautiful portrait of the myriad experiences that come with the familiar feeling of love, the film is directed by Adhiraj Bose and written by Bose and Sainee Raj.
3. That Day After Everyday
This Kashyap short film is made with sensitivity, on an issue that is part of our daily reality. It chronicles women’s daily struggles when out on the road, dealing with eve-teasing and somehow managing to smile through it all. At the same time, it also paints a hopeful picture of female solidarity. The very nuance makes this one of the best Indian short films a must watch.
4. The Bypass
A silent short by Irrfan Khan, The Bypass features Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sundar Dan Detha at the helm. The 2003 film won a BAFTA, and was screened at the Edinburgh International and Aubagne Film Festivals. If that isn’t intriguing enough for you to go check out the film, it presents an interesting premise of a desert somewhere in Rajasthan, amidst which two bandits and a corrupt cop have their encounter. What follows, is for you to find out.
A dark comedy that is sure to startle the viewer, Ouch is a quirky take on gendered equations. The performances by Pooja Chopra and Manoj Bajpayee, and the clever writing make this one a must watch.
6. Nayantara’s Necklace
Konkona Sen Sharma and Tilottoma Shome’s performances make this one a great watch. Adding to that is the deeply interesting commentary on the changing world around us, and the number of ways in which human emotions play and cope with the events around.
Starring the brilliant, brilliant Shefali Shah, Juice is a film that makes you stop and think. This Neeraj Ghaywan film is beautifully paced, and brings to the fore everything that is wrong with patriarchy in merely a few minutes. The final action of reclamation by Shah’s character might have you cheering for her!
8. The Gatekeeper
This short film by Atanu Mukherjee is devoid of dialogues, but not of depth. It platforms the travails of performing a mundane job, day in and day out, and the aspirations of those stuck in such work. With a deeply empathetic lens, this film is sure to leave you in contemplation.
This hard-hitting piece brings to you a gruesome picture of the reality of being a woman in India, or practically anywhere in the world. Starring Kajol, Shruti Hassan, Yashaswini Dayama, Neena Kulkarni, Neha Dhupia among others, this film is also directed by a woman, making it all the more authentic in its portrayal.
This film by Shirish Kunder is a psychological thriller starring Manoj Bajpayee, Neha Sharma and Radhika Apte. The premise is that of a man undergoing psychiatric treatment, telling his psychiatrist about a new ‘love’ in his life, to which the latter replies cryptically. What follows is a dark exploration into the depths and alternate perceptions of reality.
So, go on and check out any of these amazing Indian short films anytime you need a short break from things, or want to binge-watch quality content! Happy viewing!