Director Sujoy Ghosh believes that though the short films format has been there in the industry for long, no effort has been made to commercialise it and make it mainstream. With this intent, the ace director has partnered with Sriram Raghavan and film critics Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand to present the Critics Choice Short Film Awards (CCSFA) that seeks to recognise the talent behind short films.
"Short films are not mainstream because we are still to work out how to commercialise them but nevertheless they are great learning platform for people who want to get into filmmaking," Ghosh told PTI in an interview.
"It's a great challenge to make a film in this format. It's a new format where you have to learn everything from scratch, be it the scripting, the acting, the cinematography. All faculties of filmmaking, you have to revisit because your presentation window is different, because it's not being made for the big screen but the small screen," he added.
Ghosh, who has worked in the format and made shorts like Ahalya and Anukul, believes one should not make a short film just for the sake of it as the medium does not enjoy the kind of budget and publicity which a proper feature gets.
"What you're making, behind it has to be a very clever product. There's a lot behind a picture. There's budget, there are stars, publicity, a lot of moving around things. A feature movie has a lot of clutch whereas a short film doesn't have any clutch, apart from the content and whatever cleverness it brings to the table, which means a short film has to be spoken about. "Only if we talk about it, only then it's going to live on since we don't have any hoardings or publicity material. So without any money to make something into a commercial product is the challenge. It's a huge challenge and more than anything it's a great learning experience." The director says when venturing into short format one has to be clear with his idea and intention for making it.
"It's a good platform but you have to be very clear, as with anything, whether you're painting or making a film. You have to be clear as to why you want to do it. There has to be a reason behind everything, an intention.
"If your idea is that I'll make a short film so I can be a film director. That is a wrong reason to make a short film. I think you should make a short film when you have a story. But you can't just say that 'I'm not getting a feature so let's make a short film'. You should make a short film only when you've something to say and which could be presented in a short film format," Ghosh says.
He says the Critics Choice Short Film Awards (CCSFA) intends to do something for the filmmaker behind a great short.
"We watch a short film and like it very much but we can't do anything for that person who has made it. So I think the film critics what they're doing is a great way of recognizing good short films and the talent behind those films. It brings them to the forefront.
"It's a great effort to get the talent out. Like how it happens in pictures, best film, best director, best actor. I suppose when you do that for short films then they also get a little platform and more respect."
The Critics Choice Short Film Awards have been instituted by Film Critics Guild in partnership with Motion Content Group. The first edition of the awards will be held in Mumbai in December this year.