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SHORT FILMS

Plus Minus: A Tribute To The Unsung Hero Major Harbhajan Singh

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Plus Minus, Baba Harbajan Singh, Bhuvan Bam, Divya Dutta, Sikhya Entertainment

Plus Minus, the debut project of Bhuvan Bam alongside Divya Dutta, is an incredible short film. It highlights the fundamental aspects of relationships in a marriage, depicted by a mid-aged woman’s dissatisfaction and unhappiness relating to her mother-in-law. A deep conversation regarding relationships, troubles and life in general, with a young soldier, helps her explore the depth of often unrealized love of her family. Plus-Minus, rightly observes that every relationship has plus and minuses attached to it. Objective perspective of the positives and negatives is an essential prerequisite to any successful relationship.

The message of living every moment of life to the fullest is beautifully sewn to the tribute paid to one of the most extraordinary Indian soldier, Baba Harbhajan Singh. His ardent patriotism and service to the nation, has become folklore and is a story that needs to be told to the world. The Talented Indian pays homage to this true son of India.

SHORT FILMS

Looking At Grief: Departure, A Touching Tale on Personal Loss

Watch ‘Departure’, a moving short film on an individual’s personal journey through tragic loss and the stages of grief.

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Departure Short Film

Grief can often be a dubious thing. It can, simultaneously, be an encasing shell, blinding us to everything else around us, while also being a channel for the most wondrous things to take shape from. ‘Departure’ is a short film, not necessarily born out of personal grief, but definitely meant as an examination of it. Written and conceptualized by Aditya Sable and Rahuldev Mukherji, the film is a poignant look at a man reeling from a personal tragedy. More so, it’s a short film that takes a look at the tormented journey of an individual through all the stages of grief.

Directed by Aniket Jadhav, ‘Departure’ is the story of Steven and Rosalie. However, more than just being their story, it is a tale of recovery and acceptance. To lay the initial steps for the story, Steven has just lost Rosalie, the girl he intended to marry, to cancer. It is with his loss and sorrow that ‘Departure’ grapples with and, consequently, resolves into some semblance of acceptance. 

When conceptualizing the script behind the short film, Aditya Sable, decidedly, meant to look at the idea of a traumatic experience and how we, as human beings, engage with that said experience. Settling and refining the thematic thread by intertwining that examination with the stages of personal loss, the creative team behind the short film, deliberately, paces the plot of the film in accordance with the phases of sorrow, that of denial, contemplation and, finally, acceptance.

I prepared for my character by observing people, their behaviour and reaction to trauma. It was a great learning curve for me.

aditya sable

It is incredibly difficult to tackle a conceptual idea in a short film, due to the complications arising out of the script directing actors to convey an idea rather than a plot. However, ‘Departure’ does a fantastic job at the task it undertakes. Aditya Sable, featuring as Steven, portrays a conflicted character exceptionally well. What is, indeed, pleasantly surprising is the character of Rosalie, portrayed by Tasneem Hussain.

Portrayal of Sameer was quite something as he was exactly opposite me. However, the best part of this journey was the cheerful environment that the team created.

Tushar pandey

Tasneem’s portrayal of Rosalie is critical to the foundational idea of the film. Shown only in flashbacks and heard in narrative backgrounds, Rosalie represents the very idea of loss. It is to her immense credit that Tasneem takes the scripted limitations of her character and makes her presence felt throughout the film. Of course, due credit must be given to the script and direction which made it possible for the idea of loss to be embodied in a character. Still, it is one brought to life by Tasneem, herself. And that deserves recognition.

The opportunity to work with such a hardworking and familiar team was a great experience.

Tasneem Husain

Take some time out to watch ‘Departure’. It is, after all, an important look at something that we all face.

Credits: YouTube (QuirkCLan Productions)
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SHORT FILMS

The Art of Aping: A Satirical Social Commentary on Blind Imitation

Catch The Art of Aping, an animated short film that is sure to bring in the nostalgia with its visual execution.

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Short Film

Cartoons have always held an important place in the sphere of satirical commentaries. Most of us remember the comic strips in our dailies that we read religiously. An animated short film with intentionally magnified visual content, ‘The Art of Aping’ is somewhat akin to that. With an art style that emulates the comic panels of the ‘90s, the short film is a critique of the western mores that we, as Indians, have adopted over the years. And, in this specific case, imitation is not necessarily a form of flattery. Rather, blind imitation, usually, shepherds in invasive practices that obliterate traditional customs and habits

Brought to you by the team behind Studio Eeksaurus, ‘The Art of Aping’, a film by Ananya Anil, is more of a cartoon strip than a conventional animated short film. With the base foundation of a character who is exaggeratedly traditional, the film follows the daily social situations that he maneuvers in his attempt to parrot the habits and the lifestyle of his western counterpart. While the absurdity of his own actions do not seem to be evident to the character, it is clear that he is losing his own identity in the whole process. 

A contrasting background score, with traditional percussion beats and native vocal backing, highlights the inane attempts of the character to become more like his western peer. The more our character tries to shed his own customs, the more the background score seems to tie him down. The character’s failure seems, curiously, like a result of the film’s score.

Most satirical social commentaries lay it on too thick. The Art of Aping, however, in its brief 5 minutes of runtime, embraces exaggeration and over-the-top sarcasm. It is a satire of layers, as much in its content as it is in its stylistic execution. 

Spend some time watching it. Just the art style, itself, is enough to usher in waves of nostalgia.

Credits: YouTube (Studio Eeksaurus)
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SHORT FILMS

Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk: Watch A Singular Lady Tear Through The World

Experience a fantastically bizarre animated short film about a fisherwoman and her wild dream of painting the town red in her own tuk tuk.

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Short Film

Animated Films are, perhaps, the most ideal medium to express what conventional filmmaking techniques cannot. They allow for a certain freedom in their delivery, merging childlike creativity and ethereal storytelling. ‘Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk’ is one such film.  Centred on the realization of personal desires, it is a brilliant, idiosyncratic animated short film that celebrates the pursuance of our most private and quirky fantasies.

A production from the talented team at Studio Eeksaurus, the film follows a local fisherwoman from a coastal village who dreams, solely, of owning an autorickshaw. Her daily drudgery is broken by spells of fantastical illusions where she sees herself in a brightly coloured autorickshaw, cruising at the speed of thought. There is fascinating imagery here, one of dazzling hues and bright determination. In these moments, we catch glimpses of the personal and eccentric world of our, admittedly brash, fisherwoman. A pearl, from the belly of one of her daily catches, allows her to finally bring her dreams to life. An adventure ensues. She cruises the streets of her village, throwing caution to the wind. There is nothing more important to her now, until, one day, it all comes crashing down. 

Written and directed by Suresh Eriyat, ‘Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk’ is a weighty exploration of individual desires and the complete devotion we protect them with. Contrasted against a playful animation style and flamboyant imagery, Eriyat, with the help of a talented animation team, tells a compelling story through an imaginative and completely bizarre plot. It is, in all aspects, a tale of fantasy rooted deeply in the mundane.

The shining feature of the film, however, is its background score. A mix of traditional musical styles, with joyous instrumental beats and celebratory vocal backing, the background score plays the most important factor in relaying the joys and sorrows of our central character. Shalini Agarwal and Chetan Sashital, who also conceived and recorded all the character voices in the film, have done an outstanding job in bringing the script and the animation to life.

Studio Eeksaurus presents a 15 minute journey of pure madness and joy, one that you have to experience for yourself.

Credits: YouTube (Studio Eeksaurus)

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SHORT FILMS

Natkhat: Watch Vidya’s Reel Self Go An Extra Mile To Free Her Son From Patriarchal Arrest

With a perfect blend of bitter reality and sweet hope, the movie explains rape culture with utmost simplicity.

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Natkhat

Revolving around a mother-son duo, the short film gained international attention when it got its premiere on We Are One, a Global Film Festival streaming on YouTube. Natkhat casts Vidya Balan and Sanika Patel in an Annukampa Harsh story and is directed by Shaan Vyas. The 33-minute film introduces the audience to how common the rape culture is, and is normalized. The film also unfolds how kids parroting their elders deal with awful outcomes-highlighting the ones in a patriarchal society like ours. 

Vidya is seen teaching her school-going son values about patriarchy and some other lessons through bed-time stories. The actress who plays a homemaker in the movie and is usually hidden behind a pallu, also goes an extra mile by revealing her own scars to her son along with the yarns she tells him. 

Despite playing a nameless character and being referred to as maa or bahu, the actress delivers her character powerfully and mere with the bed-time anecdotes, she teaches her 7-year-old Sonu some valuable lessons and finds the key to destroy the possible budding rape culture, at bedrock level.  

The child artiste also does an impressive job and surprisingly, it’s a girl playing a boy- very contrary to the theme but somehow fitting as well. All it took was two A-list actors, great cinematography and some simple yet powerful narrative to put light on some dark issues. 

Introducing the first look of the movie to the world, Vidya mentioned how this movie also serves as the need of the hour and talks about gender equality in the growing age of children. The movie has also bagged an Oscar Nomination for the year in the short film category. 

Sharing the news about the film‘s selection in the Academy Awards, the actress wrote: “So so so thrilled that our film NATKHAT is in the race for the OSCARS 2021 after a 2020 filled with prestigious international film festivals.” 

Credits: YouTube (Filmy Talks)
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SHORT FILMS

Watch Missing Dada: A Journey of the Truly Lonely

The truly lonely seldom speak about it. Missing Dada takes us through the journey of a man wrapped in his own isolation.

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Missing Dada

Most of us live our lives on a cyclic routine. A constant, churning and repetitive pattern that, mostly, goes by undisturbed. In that unvaried pattern, certain rules establish themselves. Soon enough, these rules become an imprisoning thought, drawing us in and making us feel, irrevocably, alone amidst a sea of people. There is a lot to be asked about this kind of loneliness. Where do we go to seek our need for warmth, comfort or, even, simple companionship? Do we turn to the same society that set these caging rules of engagement in the first place?

Missing Dada is a short film about these very questions. For 8 minutes, director Shashank Jain, explores the deeply parasitic relationship between individual loneliness and societal validation. 

We see the world through the lens of the eponymous ‘Dada’, a man in his senior years and set in complete consistency. He says little, spends his days changing the dates on his calendar and looks longingly at those around him. Those around him hardly take notice of him. To them, he is just a passer-by, a man of no significance. They have their own lives and Dada has his own. Dada, like the rest of the world around him, craves to be heard and seen. Chance, finally, gives him what he desires and, for a few moments, he is happy, finding joy in the smallest of gestures and greetings. How long does happiness, grounded in fallacy, last, though?

Produced under the banner of Asha-Azad-Films, Shashank Jain presents a beautifully directed film, weaving thematic ideas into one another and conveying them, mostly, through visual cues. The film, deliberately, has little dialogue. We see more than we hear. A poetic narration runs in the background, pulling us in closer to the insular world of the central character. Azad Jain does an excellent job at portraying a man who is profoundly struck by the idea of being alone. There is depth in his gaze and a profound sadness in his sighs. In a way, he makes us breathe in his defeat.

Missing Dada is not just a film about a man and his singular, desperate desire to escape his loneliness. No. It is a film about an older gentleman’s social and emotional isolation and how society, as a whole, engages with him.

Spend some time watching it. It will be a truly beautiful 8 minutes.

Credits: YouTube (Pocket Films-Indian Short Films)

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