Several Indian films with eclectic themes are bidding for Oscars in the shorts Categories at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Keith Gomes ‘”Shameless”, Tushar Tyagi’s “Saving Chintu” and Shaan Vyas’ “Natkhat” are aspiring for nominations in the category “Live Action Short” and Saurav Vishnu’s “Tailing Pond” in the category “Documentary Short Subject”.
All films have Bollywood or Hollywood family trees.
“Shameless” stars Sayani Gupta (Emmy-nominated Amazon series “Four More Shots Please”) and the writer and actor Hussain Dalal (“Sitara”). The sound design comes from an Oscar winner Resul Pookutty (“Slumdog Millionaire”). Shabinaa Khan (“Laxmii”) is presenting the film with producers Ashley Gomes, Sandeep Kamal and co-producer Girish Bobby Talwar.
Keith Gomes has a pair of shorts in his honor, including the award-winning “Doobie”. He was the co-writer and assistant director of “Kick” with Bollywood king Salman Khan.
In “Shameless” a software developer is captured from home by a delivery girl who raises questions about the issues of entitlement, humanity and empathy towards migrants. “The idea is global and relevant today, with all of the lockdown and work from the home culture,” said Gomes diversity. “Conversations and hugs have become likes and emojis, while kindness has become an act of greatness. Put it with an Indian gaze, “Shameless” is a reminder to find that connection and be kind to every person or being. “
Tushar Tyagi has also gone through several shorts, including the award-winning Rose and Gulabee. His “Saving Chintu” stars Adil Hussain (“Star Trek: Discovery”), who also produces alongside Ritika Jayaswal, and Shakun Batra (“Kapoor & Sons”) as executive producer. The cast also includes Sachin Bhatt (“Magnum P.I.”), Edward Sonnenblick (Emmy-nominated Amazon series “Inside Edge”) and Dipannita Sharma (“War”).
In “Saving Chintu”, an Indian-Indian gay couple travels to India to adopt a child living with HIV in an orphanage and faces the country’s cultural challenges. “I chose this topic because I wanted to draw attention to the fact that parents come from within. It’s pure unconditional love, ”said Tyagi diversity. “How can the sexuality of potential parents ensure whether they will be good parents or not? My mind wanders when it comes to India’s laws, how can heterosexual prospective parents guarantee that they can be good parents and same-sex couples not? “
Shaan Vyas, one of the producers of “The Lunchbox,” makes his directorial debut with “Natkhat,” produced by Ronnie Screwvalas RSVP and Bollywood actor Vidya Balan, who also appears as a mad mother who educates her child about equality through bedtime stories.
“Natkhat was made with a very naive but strong urge to change things,” says Vyas. “To reach every corner of the world and tell the world that change begins at home.”
“Tailing Pond”, produced and directed by debutant Saurav Vishnu, is told by Cynthia Nixonwho has been back on the news lately for the revival of “Sex and the City” “And Just Like That”.
Tailing Pond, a synopsis of India’s nuclear program, examines the dire effects of uranium extraction on the health of the indigenous population of Jadugoda in eastern India. These are especially serious for young children, many of whom get sick and die from radioactive waste pollution.
“Tailing Pond was created with the unique aim of bringing immediate social change and justice to the tribal people of Jadugora,” said Vishnu diversity.
Indian filmmaker Karishma Dube, winner of the silver medal at the Student Academy Awards for her graduation film “Bittu” from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, is also a contender in the live-action shorts category. The film describes a close friendship between two girls who is overshadowed by accidental poisoning at school.
India won twice in the live-action short film category for Ismail Merchant’s “The Creation of Woman” (1961) and Ashvin Kumar’s “The Little Terrorist” (2005) and once for the short documentary topic for Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “An Encounter With Faces ”(1979). Rayka Zehtabchi’s India Set “Period. End of the sentence “won the documentary Oscar in 2019.
The Oscar shortlists will be announced on February 9th.