Short films don’t work in India: Zoya Akhtar

Director says short films will never become a huge theatrical culture in India.


Ians April 15, 2013
Bombay Talkies is a 25-minute short movie which is a compilation of four short films. PHOTO: FILE

MUMBAI:


Director Zoya Akhtar believes that short films that are shown standalone in theatres are unlikely to find takers in the country. Zoya has recently created a 25-minute movie, Bombay Talkies, which is a compilation of four short films that are different in content from each other, celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.


Zoya, who has previously directed movies like Luck By Chance and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, joined forces with Bollywood’s most popular directors including Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Dibaker Banerjee to put together Bombay Talkies.

The movie is all set to release on May 3. When asked if its release will open doors for a theatrical culture for short films in India, Zoya said, “I don’t think this will ever happen. There might have been three or four different film-makers coming together, but as a theatrical concept, individual short films just don’t work [in India].”

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Bombay Talkies is a 25-minute short movie which is a compilation of four short films. PHOTO: FILE

She further added, “You don’t need it [a theatrical release] now. With internet, digital platforms and film festivals, you have so much that you can do. But honestly, I don’t think short films will become a huge theatrical culture.”

Zoya, however, is proud that she had the opportunity to collaborate with such experienced directors.

“I am the youngest in this lot and I am proud to be sharing the credits with them. They are three amazing film-makers. I am actually the least experienced amongst them,” she said while maintaining that Bombay Talkies is a “good package.”

For her part in the film, Zoya worked around a slim budget of INR15 million. Despite that, she managed to pull it off with an actor like Katrina Kaif, who did not charge anything for her role in the movie.

When asked if she had to make a lot of compromises, Zoya said, “Compromises here and there, but not really! I am lucky that I am with producers like Excel Entertainment. They were like, ‘Do whatever, just work within the budget.’ I liked it because it was great exercise [practice]  for me.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2013.

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