This event at The Castiko Space is likely for you if you enjoy viewing and breaking down the movies you watch.
The typical three-hour movie has become obsolete due to the internet revolution, the proliferation of smartphones, and shifting customer preferences.
Viewers are eager to alter their habits to see more intriguing stories now that they know that good stories can be told in many formats, including shorts, features, and serials. Since people’s attention spans are getting shorter, more and more viewers are becoming open to the micro-content of short films.
Saif Hyder, a former executive at Radio Mirchi, is one of many people passionate about movies. He started watching movies and attending movie festivals because he wanted to be an actor. Despite attending 100 film festivals, Saif rarely sees his films in theatres or online.
Given that many short movies had a message or intriguing concept, he became interested in them. Many of these movies were pretty good, so I was considering how I might encourage more people to watch them, Saif explains.
Under CineShorts Screenings, he began hosting tiny screenings in Mumbai in 2019. The inaugural performance, which took place in September 2019, had 25 to 30 seats and was completely sold out.
To organise the screenings and buy the movies, Saif maintains not to spend much money. He watched every short film that came his way before getting in touch with the directors and setting up a showcase, according to Saif Hyder.
It’s Time to Get the Show Started
The long lockdown months did, however, cause a surge in short films. Most short films have a social theme, and directors and performers took the opportunity to film in their homes and share tales on pandemic-related topics.
Famous actors who starred in short films at this time were Shefali Shah, Soni Razdan, Nandita Das, Divya Dutta, Rasika Duggal, Annup Sonni, and Mukul Chadda.
An increase in content consumption on OTT platforms was another effect of the pandemic. The biggest streaming services, such as Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar, noticed an increase in their subscriber bases and started looking for new content to add to their collections. Saif began contacting larger outlets to screen films under his banner.
His efforts were finally successful in April 2020 when Hungama’s OTT platform selected two to three short films from his library as it attempted to fill its website.
At least 108 short films, including Winding Up, Midnight Mirror, and the Good Wife, are currently under CineShorts Premiere’s control. About 75 of these are available on Hungama, 100 on MX Player, and nearly 45 shorts from Saif’s filmography are being watched on Disney+ Hotstar (including Pankaj Tripathi-starrer Laali).
Saif asserts that because the short film business is so heavily “budgeted,” they neither provide nor take money to represent films.
It is challenging to request payment from short filmmakers because they typically spend their money to produce the content.
Similar to the traditional method of film distribution, which involves distributors purchasing a movie from a production company and releasing it in theatres throughout their respective regions, OTT film releases are made available to consumers.
Saif, on the other hand, Saif purchases content through exclusive and non-exclusive agreements and publishes it online rather than through theatres.
The Solution Comes Here
Now that they have confidence that their content will end up on a credible digital platform, filmmakers are no longer reluctant to offer their films. Cineshorts receives a 40–50% cut of the movie’s revenue as the platform provider.
The international players in the short film market are US-based Short of the Week, Taiwan’s Omeleto, and London’s Discover Films. These platforms buy and collect short films from various film festivals, including Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto.
For his short film production company, Saif has worthy goals. We intend to expand our content library with short films from international film festivals.