Guest Author: Have 20 Minutes to Spare? Watch these three short films on TataSky Shorts TV Right Away!

By - Sulagna Chatterjee

In the world that is so extraordinarily busy at all given points in time, it becomes very difficult to take some time-off and enjoy finishing your favourite series or catch up on your favourite film. In these settings, one would only hope and wish for captivating, pocket-sized content that is high on emotions, and would give you a feeling of absolute contentment. That is the magic of short films. The internet today is filled with numerous short film channels – a few whose content is handpicked and curated really well, and a few where nobody has any idea what content is being showcased and why. In this magnanimous world of choices, how do we know that the content we’re consuming is indeed the best? Well, our job has been made simpler by Tata Sky, who’ve launched a special on-demand channel solely for world-class, entertaining and a handpicked bouquet of short films.

I’ve personally been a complete lover of short films, since it somehow goes on to show how you do not need a complete 120 minutes to tell an intriguing story. At times, 10 minutes is all you need. It shows you the importance of every line, every scene and every shot. As a budding filmmaker myself, short films is a guidebook for me on what I need to do. When I came to know about Tata Sky ShortsTV, I was overjoyed. Slightly apprehensive too (or perhaps, slightly cynically), I decided to have a look at the choices of films they had made, and I was in for a surprise! What an incredible mix of content – comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi and across languages. Here, I list down three of my favourites across which will take less time for you to watch, thank I

1. Loot

A normal week-day. Usual bank operations. You see men and women walking in and out, without really noticing, observing or paying heed to one another’s existence. A mistake that they’d have to pay the price for. Out of the blue, it’s a hostage situation. But of a kind that one has never experienced on TV. This short film, directed by Greg Rom is the kind of film that would make you appreciate each and every aspect of filmmaking – ESPECIALLY SOUND DESIGN. Many films have showcased the importance of good sound design, but this 9-minute short film takes it to a different level altogether. Every scene is played out with complete precision, and the actors Athena Mazarakis and Craig Morris (who’re also the producers) are spectacular in every way. I can’t go into much of the details of the film because once I start, it’s all spoilers. You’re certainly in for a treat when you experience Loot.

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2. Marvin

This 2010 animated film by Frank Pudney and Mark Nute speaks so beautifully and subtly about ‘being imperfect’ and not ‘abiding to the society’s understanding of normal’. A young Marvin is born with a hole in his head – yes, a hole. Though nothing’s wrong with him or the way he functions, the doctor just advices his parents to put a cork in the hole, so as to ‘hide it’ from the conniving eyes of the society. Marvin learns to cope with this ‘unique’ self by trying to manage everything very sportingly until the day, in a weird turn of events, his common sense flies out from his brain. He embarks on an adventurous, almost hilarious journey in finding where his common sense got lost, and why he suddenly feels so confused and zoned out. The writing is rhythmic, poetic and very easy to understand, often making you chuckle as you see Marvin navigate his way through life, without his common sense and what he does by the end of the film. If you ever feel like you’re not ‘capable’ enough, watch this film and rethink your capability.

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3. Love and Miss Lily

How far you can go for love? What has been the most intense, selfless thing you’ve done for love? I can assure you that little Joey, our kindergarten protagonist of Love and Miss Lily has done more for Miss Lily. Love is an all-encompassing feeling, isn’t it? And that’s exactly what Joey feels for his teacher Miss Lily. Young Joey is willing to go all out to impress and woo Miss Lily, but will he be able to, especially with a love-hating bully Jules around him at all given points in time? Starring Kobe Humphries and Caige Coulter, and directed by Ruth Baird, this five-minutes film will make you feel all sorts of “Aww!” The innocent and pure writing is brought to life and enacted beautifully by the actors, without it being too verbose. When you feel like the world is a weird place to live in and that there’s no hope for love and kindness, watch this film.

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Sulagna Chatterjee is a Mumbai-based screenwriter, who started off her career as a celebrity PR, but soon found her love for films and television. Also, you can reach out to the author here.