Shortening a long story The distribution startup that this is a slam-dunk for short films that are hard to sell.

The triple threat technology revolutions, the rise of smartphones and the evolution of consumer preferences has rendered the three-hour-long film obsolete.

Conscient that great story can be told at all sizes whether it’s shorts, features, or serials, viewers are ready to alter their habits to enjoy interesting stories. The rapid decrease in attention time means that increasing audiences are opening to the micro-content that is found in short films.

Saif Hyder who was an ex- Radio Mirchi marketing executive, is one of the many who are fascinated by cinema. In fact, Saif Hyder decided to quit the job to explore his love of the arts. Desiring to become acting, he began watching numerous films and going to film festivals.

When he was at these festivals He was thinking in his head Where were the short films so prominent at film festivals getting made available?

The short films attracted his interestas the majority of them had with a message or an intriguing concept. I was contemplating a lot on how I could get more people to go through this content since a lot of these movies were great, Saif says.

In the year 2019, he began organizing small screenings in Mumbai under the name CinemaShorts Screenings. The first screening that was held in September of 2019 with a capacity of 25-30, and was fully booked.

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Saif affirms that he did not spend too much funds to arrange the screenings or purchase films. But I put in a lot in my spare time. I watched each short film that came to me and then I reached out to the filmmakers and put together an exhibition, Saif says.

Many new filmmakers appreciated that their work was presented to a different group of viewers.

He continued to hold weekly screenings throughout all over the city. Eventually, the inquiries began to come in. At the beginning in 2020 Saif held screenings with seating capacity between 70 and 80 Tickets were priced at Rs 100 , and later, at Rs 250.

At the time, it appeared that screenings of short films could be scaled up by scheduling screenings at various venues. But COVID-19 soon struck all over the world with the intention of locking everyone into their home.

Despite the disappointment and shock, Saif kept approaching short filmmakers to show their films on YouTube.

This was not a success for everyone as many filmmakers didn’t want to release their content to be available in the open. This would not permitted them to send their short films to film festivals since they would not be considered exclusive, he recalls.

The show is now in the field

However, the lengthy period of lockdowns led to the growth of short films. Many shorts feature a social concept, and directors as well as actors took advantage of the time and smartphones to shoot at their homes, and to tell stories about pandemic-related problems.

Famous actors such as Shefali Shah Soni Razdan, Nandita Das, Divya Dutta, Rasika Duggal Annup Sonni, and Mukul Chadda were among the actors who starred in shorts at this period.

The pandemic also led an increase in the consumption of content through OTT media platforms. Streaming giantslike Netflix as well as Disney+ Hotstar, have seen their numbers rise and started looking for original content to fill their library.

Saif began to approach larger platforms to show films in his sphere. However, things didn’t go as planned quickly.

His efforts finally paid off in April 2020 the time Hungama’s OTT platform downloaded one to three of his shorts while it was attempting to fill its site.

CineShorts Premiere presently has the rights to at most 108 short movies, including Winding Up, Midnight Mirror, The Good Wife, Unfiltered Love, Last Letter, Kathi Pe Ghoda as well as A Day In Winter. In all of these, Hungama runs about 75 short films. 100 of them are available on MX Player, and close to 45 shorts from Saif’s catalog are streaming through Disney+ Hotstar (including Pankaj Tripathi’s Tripathi, which stars Laali).

Saif says they don’t offer nor accept money to promote films as the market for short films is highly budgeted.

Films that are released on OTT is like the traditional distribution model for films, where distributors purchase a film from a production company and show it in cinemas within their respective territories.

Saif On contrary, buys content in exclusive and non-exclusive agreements and then releases them on streaming platforms instead of in theatres.

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As the platform’s provider, Cineshorts takes a 40%-45 percentage portion of whatever the film earns.

London-based Discover.Films as well as Taiwan’s Omeleto and the American-based Short of the Week are among the international players operating in the field of short films. These platforms purchase as well as curate films of shorts from festival like Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto as well as other festivals.

Saif will have big goals for the short film business. We intend to include the short film selections from festivals around the world into our library of content.



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