Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in the number of Bengali short films. From quaint production to modern masterpieces, exploration of diverse themes, and from thought-provoking social messages to the portrayal of complex human characteristics, these short films have earned their deserved recognition from audiences. With the advent of advanced technology and social media upgradation, filmmakers have aspired to make quality shorts with minimum resources aiming for global recognition. Listed below are the top 10 Bengali short films that are worth the watch.
1. Ochena Rong (2023)
A film directed by Sinjan Mukherjee, Ochena Rong, is about a middle-class boy struggling to lead a balanced personal life but failing to do so. The skilful portrayal of the pathos and the shortcomings of middle-class people helped the film find its way to France after its selection in the French International Cine Awards.
2. Porichoy (2022)
It is an Award-winning short film by
. The film deals with the theme of self-identity, whether it should depend on the profession or the social stigma of patriarchy. It reveals how self-dependence, self-respect and self-confidence are essential for a woman. The plot is about how two former college batch mates, one who is now a housewife and the other a sex worker, meet after a long time and explore each other's lives and try to understand the importance of self-identity for a woman in today’s world. The excellent performance by the two powerful actresses,
and Koneenica Bandyopadhyay, led the film to immense success.
3. Chelemanushi (2021)
Chelemanushi, directed and written by Saki Farzana, is based on the short story authored by Manik Bandhopadhyay. It is a film that deals with the consequences of the partition of India in 1947. There are two kids from the Mishel Para, a society where Hindus and Muslims coexisted harmoniously for over a decade, immune to the uprising riots between the two religions. The violence against the other Hindus from the neighbourhoods affects those kids and their families. Eventually, we see how the heavenly Mishel Para transforms into a ravaged area after their promise of protecting each other breaks apart over a seemingly trivial issue.
4. Fantasy Cafe (2020)
It is a film directed by Jitanshu Sharma that deals with the relevant topic of homosexuality. Some people are not vocal about their true desires and feelings. This film is a monologue between two people of the same sex, trying to confront their emotional feelings towards each other contrasted with the juxtaposed opinion of them that they wish to express, aligning with the societal conventions against their actual desires. The film is in the form of a plea to acknowledge and accept this form of human sentiment.
5. Infinity Disturbia (2019)
Director Mrinmoy Majumar's Infinity Disturbia is a psychological movie. Even now, problems related to the psyche are still unattended and taken very lightly by society. This film is about the psychological status of a man, suicidal in nature, who finds himself to be redundant in society. The utter confusion regarding his life and future makes him frightful from within as if he is sinking deep into absolute darkness.
6. Okkhor (2019)
Okkhor, directed by Kabita Ghosal, is a short film about child education, child labour and trafficking. It is about a boy, Laltu, who comes to Kolkata for his education with his father. However, the situation changes, and he drowns in the depths of illiteracy. The film delivers the scenario of the plague of illiteracy, how children suffer from it, and therefore, society gets destroyed.
7. A Tea Story (2018)
A tea story by Trinava Sur gives us a glimpse into the life of an old widower, a tea lover who, in the end, succumbs to loneliness. Though he was leading a peaceful life with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, he felt solitude in their presence. Nobody was there to talk to, to whom he could confide. The film shows us the reality of old people who cannot express their emotions and feel confined within their own lives.
8. Queen’s Gambit (2016)
The director of Queen’s Gambit,
, has given us a thrilling short film that includes two strangers meeting at night over a deadly chess game. As they continue the game, with every hour ticking away, it gets mysterious, and strange things emerge, leading to an unexpectedly spine-chilling climax. The cast,
and Srijit Chakroborty, has made the film all the more engaging.
9. Sudarshini (2015)
Director Moumita Chokroborty has done a commendable in portraying the agony of those women who face rejection in the matrimonial arrangements due to their darker skin tone. The engraved typical Indian concept of a fair-skinned woman being the most eligible candidate for any marriageable man has ruined the lives of many not-so-fair women. The film shows how the inclinations towards colourism have affected the psyche of women in the present generation too.
10. The Third Eye (2015)
The third eye, directed by Sreenanda Sarkar, presents the hypocrisy dwelling in Indian society, which worships goddesses, but women face hardships in their daily lives. Through the story of an aristocratic daughter-in-law who wanted to pursue her dream career, supported by her husband but disapproved by her mother-in-law, the irony of the country gets represented. Against the backdrop of the festivity of the auspicious Durga Puja, the storyline becomes more impactful.