Run out of crime documentaries to watch? Tired of binge-watching the same sitcoms on loop? Break out of the boredom with these short films of the perfect length to keep you engaged and entertained.
From marriage to acid attacks, these films cover a whole gamut of intriguing topics, all seen from the perspective of pathbreaking female directors.
Directed by Heena D'souza, Pressure Cooker explores the story of a homemaker who is on the hunt for a new pressure cooker. Despite being told to avoid making new purchases by her husband, the character played by Pallavi Joshi decides to take a stand and put her foot down.
Set in the nineties, the short film uses the pressure cooker as a plot point to comment on the dynamics of marriage. Catch this quick watch on YouTube and Shorted.
2. Counterfeit Kunkoo
Written, directed and edited by multihyphenate Reema Sengupta, Counterfeit Kunkoo follows Smita (played by Kani Kusruti) as she struggles to find a house as an unmarried woman. Set in Mumbai, a city replete with flats and slums, the character’s story is relatable to millions of women across India who are denied housing due to their marital status.
Bagging 40 awards, the 2018 short film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and was a favourite in the festival circuit. You can watch it on Mubi and Vimeo.
Acid attack is a phenomenon that has failed to dissipate in India’s patriarchal society and Newborns aims to understand the male gaze that propagates it. Written and directed by Megha Ramaswamy, this film is centered around Laxmi Agarwal who is an acid attack survivor and an advocate for the rights of acid attack victims.
Providing a lens to the survivors, the film navigates the concepts of fear and beauty while putting a spotlight on the skewed power dynamics of gender. Catch this gripping eight-min film on Mubi.
Shazia Iqbal is at the helm of this short film based on a true story that is relatable to many Indian women. This 2018 release focuses on the story of Fatin, a young architecture student desperately in need of a scholarship to pay off her fees. Taking a shot at the patriarchal notion of male agency, Bebaak lays bare the concepts of modesty that are imposed on women. You can watch it on Filmfare’s website and social media.
This film by Pratyusha Gupta unravels the story of 16-year-old Gouri as she charts out a path very different from what was forced upon her. The protagonist, played by fan favourite Shweta Tripathi, turns her back on the Devadasi tradition that she is supposed to be a part of and goes to work as a domestic help in Mumbai.
Safar was Gupta’s graduation film for the London Film School that went on to win the Best Short Film Audience Award at the 2015 Los Angeles Indian Film Festival. Add this to your watch list of Mubi.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)