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 Short films often get overlooked because they don’t have the same big budgets and extensive marketing as Bollywood films. They usually don’t release on paid streaming platforms but can be found on video websites like YouTube. However, financial limitations cannot hinder the power of thought-provoking, intelligent, and life-changing stories. These short films, packed with raw talent, meticulous editing, and freedom from commercial restraints, offer a superior cinematic experience right in the comfort of your home. Experience the brilliance of Radhika Apte in the award-winning “Ahalya” or witness Konkana Sen Sharma’s captivating performance in “Nayantara’s Necklace.” These films are true cinematic gems.

Now, let’s delve into the list of 10 incredible short films, created by some of today’s most exciting directors, which you can stream for free [and are way better than many recent Bollywood movies]:

1. Juice 

Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and starring Shefali Shah, this 14-minute short film delves into issues of internalized patriarchy and misogyny. It provides a snapshot of the gender dynamics between husband and wife in a middle-class Indian home.

2. Ahalya

Directed and written by critically acclaimed filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh, this short film presents a new rendition of the mythical woman from the Ramayana. It showcases a story where she cheats on her much older husband when god Indra appears before her in disguise. With superb performances by Soumitra Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, and Tota Rowchowdhury, “Ahalya” is a splendid 14-minute watch.

3. Khujli

Sonam Nair’s charming cinematic gem stars Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta. It explores the couple’s desire to have fun and rekindle their sexual relationship after being married for decades. Their amusing roleplay session is both entertaining and empowering.

4. Ouch

Manoj Bajpayee’s award-winning short film directed by Neeraj Pandey explores the premise that even in a seemingly ‘happy’ and ‘relaxing’ extramarital relationship, things can take an ugly turn someday. This 14-minute film showcases Bajpayee’s mastery of acting.

5. Teaspoon

In this short film, a busy couple with a traditional household dynamic finds their father-in-law’s attention only when a teaspoon is banged against his bedstead. However, this film is far from being just another sappy household drama.

6. Bypass

In this silent short film from 2003, the legendary duo Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui share the screen for the first time. It offers a bone-chilling, adventurous, and impressively shocking experience that you shouldn’t miss.

7. Interior Cafe Night 

Directed by Adhiraj Bose, this 13-minute film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Naveen Kastruia, and Shweta Basu Prasad. It revolves around lovers meeting for the last time before one of them leaves the city. The film beautifully captures the feeling of love slipping away and the fear of losing someone to someone else.

8. That Day After Everyday

Directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Radhika Apte, this short film sheds light on the limited space allowed to women in society. It addresses the issues of sexual harassment, teasing, and mistreatment that women face in the form of eve-teasing.

9. Nayantara’s Necklace

Directed by Jaydeep Sarkar, this exceptional short film features India’s finest actresses, Konkana Sen Sharma and Tillottama Shome. It eloquently portrays Nayantara, an upwardly mobile and flashy woman, and Alka, a simple housewife. Their lives intertwine, revealing the complexities of female desire.

10. El’ayichi

This 5-minute masterpiece features an incredible ensemble cast including Nimrat Kaur, Divyendu Sharma, and Vibha Chibber. It challenges the way we perceive relationships, even if they seem ‘happy’ on the surface.

These short films offer a range of narratives and experiences that deserve your attention and appreciation. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the world of short films and discover the immense talent and creativity of these directors.

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