While Bollywood is slaying the market, the Indian film industry has been creating masterpiece after masterpiece ever since it has begun producing films back to as far as we can remember. This level of excellence that we usually see in most Indian theatrical films has not been lost when it comes down to Indian Short films. Indians are known for their critical thinking, integrity, and the ability to gather unique ideas and further execute them, keeping the culture in mind and all of these can be depicted easily from their short films.
Young Indian minds are now able to shine in the limelight due to the vast popularity that modern-day short films are receiving. They are also able to showcase their ideas within the least budget possible. All of these short films are the reason why this new era of short films is here to last. Indian short films have been getting a lot of recognition due to its realistic elements that indeed inflict a change into the viewers.
Almost all the Indian short films released are a product of a film-genius nevertheless but to shortlist a few best Indian short films we will only highlight a few handsome gems that are irresistible, and we absolutely can’t leave them out from this ambiguous list.
List of Best Indian Short Films
1. The Bypass
Starring the famous Nawazuddin Siddique and Irfan Khan, The Bypass is a short silent 2003 Bollywood film that is written and directed by Amit Kumar. This film has received international recognition as it was featured in Aubagne and Edinburgh International film festival. This short film was shot on a stranded road located somewhere in Rajasthan, India which can be seen during the course of 17 minutes that film runs for. In short, this film is about two stranded friends that often mug and kill people that pass through a barren land called “Bypass,” in it also enters Irfan Khan playing the role of a corrupt police officer but that’s not it.
There is more to this story than what I have described for which you will need to watch this short to find out what happens. It is a tale of a thriller that gives us an idea of the different levels of violence and aggression human beings, both from lawful and unlawful backgrounds can reach to for money, food, and sex. With excellent cinematography and a mute telltale, this short film is one of the best Indian short films you will ever encounter.
2. Little Terrorist
Written and produced by Ashvin Kumar, Little terrorist is a 2004 live-action short film that was nominated for 2005 Academy Awards. This film follows the story of a young Pakistani Muslim boy who whilst playing near the Indo-Pakistan border, lost his cricket ball over the fence that separates the two countries. To fetch the ball, he crosses the fence and grabs the attention of Indian border security forces. Further, into the film, we come to know how he survives in a country that is foreign to him. What is more intriguing about this short film is that the quality of performance delivered by the lead cast despite being new to the industry, in fact, this was the first project the lead cast acted in.
Like we mentioned before, this movie is one of the short films that are shot with a tight budget on the streets of Rajasthan. The production team faced multiple unfortunate events during the filming. At one instance, the tent containing movie reel burned down which was luckily retrieved and also once a herd of cows stampeded the shooting locations. This film has made a name in the book of short films for a genuine reason. It is a film that highlights a global issue without being desperate or pretentious. The various details of this film capture and conveys messages that the world doesn’t know of, making it just among the many best Indian short films to be released.
Why we love Indian short films is because of the authenticity and the films being closest to reality, giving us an insight to day to day things we aren’t aware of that we are aware but have turned a blind eye to, giving rise to corruption majorly due to our negligence. Similarly Rastaa, a 3-minute short film that is way more than its title. Rastaa is the story of two young boys, both of which are beggars at the same street of Mumbai, no different from what we regularly see in India. They both struggle for survival but yet never rip off one another. It portrays humanity and morals that still exist in the underprivileged children despite having no proper guardian and guidance. With well-shot takes, this film was shot on Canon 550D and further ended up being featured on MAMI 2011. Just like most of the shorts in this list, this movie too is simple and without dialogues yet conveying a lot than one can predict. Truly actions speak louder than words. A film that is a must watch, only in 3 minutes, it promises to leave an impact on you.
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4. That day after Everyday
Starring the beautiful, Radhika Apte in this short film directed by Anurag Kashyap one the greatest and remarkable film directors. Released in 2013, “that day after every day” focuses on a social issue; eve teasing that takes place globally every single day. The film understands that it is an issue that no single individual can be given responsibility to resolve, neither is there a specific solution to it. But the main purpose of this film is awareness and spreading and indirectly hinting a message that true solution to issue starts at home, proper guidance and teaching morals to children from an early age reduce the possibility that an eve teaser is among us. This short lives up to the expectation of any quality theatre film, say great screenplay or the message it has successfully delivered to its viewers, this short is bound to impact every audience and the goal achieved is when an eve teaser himself is impacted by this short. Finally, this short film is more of an educational documentary that needs to be publicized to serve its purpose of creating truly.
Directed, written and produced by Sujoy Ghosh, Ahalya is a 2015 Indian Bengali short film starring Radhika Apte and Soumitra Chatterjee. This film begins with the arrival of a police officer in a house which belongs a married couple to inspect a missing person case. Things look well but are they really the way it seems? The few characters that are present in the film play their parts really well to provide a satisfactory thriller experience. Sujoy Ghosh has really brought a core essence to this film, enthralling its viewers in a small span of 14 minutes. Ahalya successfully builds suspense that is revealed in the last few minutes with beautiful execution. This movie is a must watch for people into mythology. So if you are into Hindu mythology and in the mood for something unrealistic, this one is a good pick for you.
6. The School Bag
Sometimes there are films that we cannot relate to, but its impact can be deeply felt. The school bag is such kind of a film that will leave a hole in your heart. Released in 2016, the school bag has earned The Vancouver Golden Panda International Film Festival. Directed by Dheeraj Jindal, this film is based on real life incidents that took place in Peshawar, Pakistan. Following the story of a small boy with his simple demand for his birthday, a school bag, after lots of resilience was given to him by his loving mother but who knew that something tragic was awaiting him for his birthday, for which The school bag is seen as an item of regret in this context for his mother.
The real catch of this film is Sartaaj, who plays the role of the small boy. He is truly a gifted actor who is evident from a few scenes in this film, although the script and dialogues that were assigned to him were way too mature for his age making his role look a tad bit unnatural and scripted. This film brilliantly portrays the sacredness and warmth of a mother-son relationship with the unexpected occurrence of tragedy due to terrorism. In a nutshell, the directors of this film want you to empathize with the unfortunate incident that has taken place in Peshawar, an attack that was against humanity. This movie is definitely without a saying, a must watch as it educates those that aren’t really aware of the tragic things that are happening around the world.
7. A monsoon date
Directed by Tanuja Chandra and written by Gazal Dhaliwal, A Monsoon Date is a 21-minute long short film released in 2019. This short film follows the story of a young woman, who sets out to meet a man that she has been dating for a while. While on her way she reminisces about her past affairs with other men. She decides to tell about her past to him even though she is uncertain if he will ever like and see her the same way after she opens up to him.
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Released in the year 2019, Moh is a short ZEES original Indian film directed by Kevin Kailash Muthiah and Kabir Thapar. Starring Sheeba Chaddha, Adah Sharma, Micky Makhija and more, Moh is about a young, aspirational girl who has dreams for her life neglecting and failing to see what she has already been gifted with.
9. An Internet Affair
Directed and written by Rishabh Agarwal, An Internet Affair is short romantic thriller that got its release in 2019. The film is about a nerdy young Indian boy who find his long lost childhood love interest over the internet. His love is restored but more strongly this time so much that he would go to the extent of doing deeds that only psychopath is capable of. Do not miss out on the beautiful videography that An internet affair has to offer.
Neeraj Ghaywan is the director of this short film that got its release on 2017. The story is about the hardships faced by women in a typical Indian household. In this film, Mr Singh has hosted a party where the men enjoys their booze and cigs in the comfort of their home whereas the women are busy in hot kitchen keeping the party running and catering to the men’s needs.
That’s our take on Best Indian short films, promising to serve you with quality screenplay and performance all with excellent cinematography. It is because of masterpieces like the ones listed above, lots of new writers and producers are able to land a career based on filmography. With that being said, let us show our support for them by investing more of our time on short films like the ones listed above. Hoping that you shall take away something new from these films just like we did.