Homegrown Picks: Contemporary Indian Short Films You Should Know

Indian Short Film
Indian Short Film

It’s not always been engraved in typical Indian mentality to turn to more contracted mediums to express themselves however, short films are finding their own unique ways of telling their stories here and India’s affinity for this format of filmmaking is certainly increasing. We’re huge fans of quicker storytelling and a ‘less is more’ mentality at Homegrown so we took the time to compile a list of some of India’s best from the recent past. We’re excited to share our list of top rated short films which cover a wide range of alternative topics--right from virtual dualities to social issues like eve teasing--collated from the last decade in India.  
I. KUSH (2013)
Indian director Shubhashish Bhutiani’s short film “Kush” has been selected by the Academy in the short-list of 10 live-action shorts that will advance in the Oscar race. The film’s story takes place during the riots that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. The story revolves around a school picnic where a teacher is trying to protect Kush, the only Sikh child in the group from the violence raging around them.
Watch the trailer here:

Gitanjali Rao’s “Printed rainbow” opened at Cannes 2006, and went on to win the three awards for Best Short Film. The film describes the loneliness of an old woman and her cat, who escape into the fantastical world of match box covers. The film successfully engages you with its simplicity and colour, and before you know it, you’re right beside the mother as she swings and runs around in her imaginary forest. This is not just another animated film. Its painted and artistic look sets it apart in the way it is made.
Watch it here:

Following his debut film, Peddlers (screened at Cannes last year),Vasan Bala’s Geek Out deals with a young man’s virtual alter ego redefining the image of the typical Indian “geek.” The film portrays the dualities that come with living virtual alter egos that have been consistently nurtured and empowered.
Watch it here:

IV. CHAI(2013)
Gitanjali Rao’s Chai displays the rapid change that India is going through and what it means to those people whose faces we never notice as we go along sipping our cup of tea every day. The film is a sequence of montages that shows four different people making tea in a tea shop. A ten year old boy selling tea in Bombay at the Gateway Of India, An 18 year old girl with her tea shop in a mid level town, A 19 year old Kashmiri lad in a Barista and An 80 year old man’s tea shop in a busy Kerala bus stand.
Watch it here:
Meanwhile, Anurag’s sister Anubhuti Kashyap makes her directorial debut with Moi Marjaani, which follows a single mother in a small Punjabi town who finds love on the Internet.
The film talks about a spirited independent single mother who struggles on a daily basis to provide a comfortable life to her son and herself. She runs a small Internet cafe in Patiala, Punjab for a living, and is an Internet user herself. The film highlights a phase in her life when love comes knocking on her door.
Watch it here:VI. THE EPIPHANY (2013)
Neeraj Ghaywan’s The Epiphany follows the story of a divorced couple on a road trip who are forced to scrape the wounds of the past that they thought were long gone. After their college reunion in Pune, a divorced couple is forced to take a ride together to Mumbai. As they meet an old woman on the highway in desperate need of help, their disparate sense of morality, culture and class creates friction, scraping the wounds of past that they thought was long gone. Some journeys may not take you anywhere, but you do move on.
Watch it here:VII. SHRI HANUMAN CHALISA (2013)
Charuvi Design Labs (CDL.tv) brings you a divine tale of a feisty warrior, in a digital never-experienced avatar. The short animated film encapsulates an awe-inspiring journey of a half monkey half human-Lord Hanuman, a revered mythological hero known for his devotional values.
Watch the trailer here:

Rahul Gandotra’s “The Road Home” was among the 10 live action short films that advanced in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards. The film centers on a young boy who is sent by his parents to an international boarding school in the Himalayas. The boy, Pico, grapples with his identity as he escapes from his boarding school in search of the road back home to England.
Watch the trailer here:IX. HIDDEN CRICKET(2013)
Shlok Sharma’s Hidden Cricket revolves around India’s passion for the sport. The films portrays how a  country that is divided in the name of religion, state, language, caste, economy, profession and even God, is unified in spirit of the game of cricket.
Watch it here:
This short film not only focuses on the aspect of eve teasing but also underlines the patriarchal attitude that our society has. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, ‘That Day After Everyday’ is simplistic in its execution, honest in its vision and pure piece of film-making. The film tells us a story of three young women have to bear eve teasing and molestation every day, until one day they decide to fight against it themselves.
Watch it here:
XI. GRAPHIC INDIA- 18DAYS MAHABHARATA (not a short film but episodes on youtube)
This is more of an honourable mention since these are more like short episodes on youtube rather than a short film but it is worth a watch. From superstar creator Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman & Robin, The Invisibles), comes 18 Days, the story of three generations of super-warriors, meeting for the final battle of their age. 18 Days is a re-imagining of the great eastern myth, Mahabharata, and follows the course of the climactic war that concludes the age of the gods and begins the age of man.
Get a sense of it here:

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