Real to Reel – the story of Short films

Dr. Maushami Bhattacharjee

This pandemic situation has made our lives obsessed about the news updates on Corona, worrying about our families and worrying about our job situation.   But amidst such chaos and confusion one thing that almost all of us experienced during this lockdown period was either binge watching or watching films – be it the feature films or the new genre which is making waves these days ‘the short films’. In the words of George Miller, “Short films make up a unique medium, one that lends itself neatly to subtler scenes and visual experimentation. They also, not-so-coincidentally, carve out a space for voices often quelled in the world of big-budget blockbusters.”

The lockdown has inspired many filmmakers to create interesting short films. A short film is typically considered to be a movie that is less than 30 minutes in length. While there were a variety of films with varied subjects being circulated, in Assam a young and budding film enthusiasts Aminul Haque – who is a Masters in Mass Communication decided to utilise his knowledge and ideas, thereby writing and directing a short film entitled ‘The News’ which dealt with the consequences of fake news circulated via social media.

The film was released on 18th of July and in a few hours of it release, because of its pertinent choice of subject it went viral on social media platforms. Within a few days the films could cross the 5000 plus views mark. This is the fourth film directed by Aminul, in a span of four months. His other films namely Morichikar Rong, Durjug, and Maa too dealt with sensible issues and were appreciated by the movie lovers. When asked about his unique choice as a subject, the director of the film Aminul said “I am jaded on watching romantic films. How can people always keep on making films on love when there is so much more happening around us? Fake news is like a blemish to our society, which can only be erased with our knowledge and understanding. My film is just an attempt to make people aware about the detrimental consequences of social media.”

Short films are far less expensive than feature films and are not expected to make much financial returns. The investors are aware of the fact and they willingly invest in these films that aim to be more experimental and challenging. The time has come for movie lovers everywhere to support short films and these budding talents. The industry also needs to take action to support the short films and help them in making a place at the movie theatres. Perhaps the most obvious format would be to show four or five short films back to back. Since short filmmakers are dying for exposure, most would be more than happy to have their films screened.

Dr.MoushumiBhattacharjee is an Independent Researcher and Folk Media Enthusiasts.

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