Short films raise questions, consider ideals on social issues

Brace power of filmmaking and the world wide web


January 9, 2018

/ By / New Delhi

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With the increasing influence of the internet and social media platforms, various people are resorting to short films to spread social messages and ignite discussions on various social taboos.

Gone are the days when short films didn’t draw many audiences, and one couldn’t find them anywhere but just at film festivals. Today, owing to the power of social media, these short videos pop up in everyone’s newsfeed and are being appreciated widely.

Short films in India are increasingly coming to the fore with their honest idiosyncrasy. Many well-known Bollywood filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and Sujoy Ghosh, have been choosing the passage of short films lately. And following them are various regional film directors who are now switching to short films to spread their social messages. For instance, films like ‘The Curse’ (2016) and ‘alt Life’ (2017) raise questions on social issues like gender inequality, racism and cyber crimes.

One such film that persuades viewers to wake-up to the breach of human rights is Upavahana. Released in November 2017, the film projects ants as a figurative expression to show how Rohingyas have been forced to flee Myanmar. The short is a glimpse into the harsh reality of the Rohingyas’ distress projected by showing how ants wander around in search of food and shelter. The purpose of the film is to bring a change in the notion that people have about the refugees.

The Internet has allowed people to distribute their work and to reach out to viewers around the world with an unparalleled ease. And what could be better than a short film to inform, spread a message and entertain?

Recently, internet users in south India witnessed a short film appear several times in their newsfeed. Lakshmi – a short by Sarjun KM, is being shared across social media platforms for its bold approach in dealing with a sensitive social stigma. The film dispenses out issues of extramarital affairs and smoothly portrays how freedom of men and freedom of women differ in our society.

Young girls and women in India are fighting against gender stereotypes every day. Even today, a girl child is given less preference than a boy child and to contribute in spreading awareness about the stigma and reduce the problem of female feticides, director Anuj Gulati came up with his short – The Manliest Man. The film projects problems of the Indian rural caste system and mundaneness of female infanticide. Set in a remote village, the story revolves around an untouchable who fails to produce a son after one daughter – putting the focus on moral conflicts in the country.

Whether through hard-hitting truth or daring experimentation, the increasing number of short films in the country manifest that the medium is alive and well.

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