5 short films every film student needs to watch
You don’t always need a run time of 120 minutes and big screening venues to tell a story and these short films are a testament to this. We’ve rounded up five short films that caught our eye, certain to inspire aspiring filmmakers.
Based on a short story by Satyajit Ray and directed by Sujoy Ghosh, Anukul has the backing of some of the finest names in filmmaking. Starring Saurabh Shukla and Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Anukul is a dark and nuanced film set in a dystopian future, where a man who buys a robot as a housekeeper at a time when humans are losing their jobs to machines. The relationship between man and machine forms the crux of the film, and although written in 1976, it is eerily relevant today with the mounting wave of artificial intelligence. With sublime performances by the cast, Anukul is a haunting film that will stay with you long after it is over.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2mqIgdae5I
A bypass in Rajasthan, two muggers, and a corrupt police officer; a fairy tale this movie is not. Violent, gritty and aggressive, Bypass will thrill you with its no-holds-barred approach. The 15-minute long film starring lauded actors Irrfan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is written and directed by British filmmaker Amit Kumar. A couple traveling by the road are brutally killed by muggers while Irrfan as the corrupt officer adds on to the chaos by looting the dead couple. The performances are top-notch and the very real locations the film was short in adds to the desolate atmosphere for a wholly edgy, tense feel.
And did we mention that the film plays without a single dialogue putting in an appearance? A silent film that doesn’t falter once, Bypass provides several cues to aspiring filmmakers.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCRBY9ss-58
At a glance, the premise of the Neeraj Ghaywan directed Juice might seem banal but is, in reality, a searing take on the deep-rooted misogyny and patriarchy in Indian society. A dinner get-together scene with a house-wife (Shefali Shah) bustling about in the kitchen while her husband (Manish Choudhary) enjoys drinks and snacks with his office colleagues in the living room – the perfect set-up to reinforce outdated domestic cliches. Shefali Shah’s withering looks negate the need for dialogues to convey her disgust and annoyance with the archaic attitudes on display. Supported by a stellar cast, the film shines an uncomfortable light on the internalized sexism and classism that is the norm in our society.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Sk7fQGIjE
Another gem from Sujoy Ghosh, Ahalya stars the inimitable Radhika Apte and the legendary Soumitra Chatterjee is a modern take with a twist on the mythological story of Ahalya from the Ramayana. Ahalya is the wife of the sage Gautam. Lord Indra, attracted by her beauty, disguises himself as her husband and seduces her. Her husband’s rage no bounds once he finds out and he turns her into stone. Sujoy Ghosh gives a feminist spin to this tale, which can be interpreted in some ways as Ahalya’s revenge. Although replete with white motifs and a whole lot of daylight, Ahalya leaves you with a sense of eeriness that is hard to shake off.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff82XtV78xo
The shortest film on our list clocking at just over three minutes, Raasta doesn’t let its tiny runtime stop it from telling us a poignant story. Directed by Errol Marks and Aditya Sawant, Raasta gives you a glimpse at a day in the life of two young boys begging on the streets of a busy metropolitan.
Cars and bikes stop at the traffic light with one of the kids snagging a few coins while the other watches the cars drive away without getting any money at all. Over the course of three minutes, we watch as their relationship develops and what started as a competition between the two ends up with the triumph of humanity. With no dialogues, the film relies purely on the acting, and the cast, young though they might be, have done a wonderful job.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtGp3i6TvzU