In the race for the Best Live Action Short Film category at the 96th Academy Awards, India presents two compelling contenders that delve into profound subjects.
“Nocturnal Burger” by Reema Maya: A Glimpse into Child Abuse
Reema Maya’s “Nocturnal Burger” premiered at Sundance, unraveling the harrowing tale of child abuse within a dysfunctional Mumbai police station. The film, widely acclaimed, has secured spots at over 50 global film festivals, winning 34 awards, including the Golden Chair at KortfilmFestivalen, Norway. The narrative, rooted in a tragic real incident, explores abuse, trauma, fantasy, and the omnipresence of sexual abuse in public spaces.
Maya describes her creation as a “coming-of-age film in the darkest sense,” capturing the transition from teenage eagerness to the harsh reality of adulthood on a rainy night in Mumbai. The film features an ensemble cast, including Bebo Madiwal, Millo Sunka, and Trupti Khamkar.
“The Broken Table” by Chintan Sarda: Navigating Alzheimer’s and Mental Health
Chintan Sarda’s “The Broken Table” revolves around caregiver Deepti and her client Giri, who battles Alzheimer’s. The story unfolds on a turbulent day where Giri incessantly calls for his deceased wife. Starring Naseeruddin Shah and Rasika Dugal, the film earned its place by winning Best Short at the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival.
Sarda was drawn to the heartbreaking reality of Alzheimer’s patients, particularly one who relived the pain of his wife’s death daily. The film explores the uplifting side of Alzheimer’s, challenging societal perceptions of mental health patients.
“Two Way Street” by Asmit Pathare: A Taxi Ride Turned Battlefield
Asmit Pathare’s “Two Way Street,” starring Joy Sengupta and Gangandev Riar, transforms a casual taxi ride into a battleground as the driver refuses to enter a particular lane. The film, a winner at Shorts TV’s Best of India Film Festival, competes for Oscar qualification.
While India celebrated an earlier Oscar win in the documentary short category, hopes are high for success in the live action short category. Sarda acknowledges the stiff competition but expresses gratitude for the opportunity, emphasizing the importance of creating buzz through a social media campaign.
As the Oscars voting progresses, filmmakers Maya and Sarda aim to amplify important conversations on the global stage, hoping their films resonate with Academy members and spark crucial discussions.
Indian short films “Nocturnal Burger,” “The Broken Table,” and “Two Way Street” bring diverse narratives to the Oscars, exploring dark realities, mental health, and societal challenges. As the shortlist announcement approaches, the filmmakers express pride in representing India on the prestigious stage.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The msn.com