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Karishma Dev Dube’s ‘Bittu’ makes it to the Oscar shortlist

Poster of 'Bittu'

There is a mixed news for India on the Oscar front. The official Indian entry in the Best Foreign Film category, Jallikattu, failed to make it to the shortlist for the coming 93rd Academy Awards. Yet, there hope and chance for an Indian film to make a mark at this international event. The short film Bittu has made it to the Live Action Short Film shortlist, and is still in contention for a nomination.

Directed by Karishma Dev Dube's Bittu is part of the ten-movie list. The film has been presented by Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga and Tahira Kashyap under their Indian Women Rising initiative.

What makes Bittu special is that it is based on a true story, making the viewers a part of the journey of a defiant fierce girl who refuses to be forgotten. The film goes on to present a heart-warming story of friendship between two school friends.

Inspired by the infamous incident of poisoning that took place in a school in Bihar in 2013, the director has reimagined the story in a Himalayan village. It has been shot in a place near Uttarkhand’s capital, Dehradun, called Koti.

The other films shortlisted in this category that will compete with Bittu are Da Yie, Feeling Through, The Human Voice, The Kicksled Choir, The Letter Room, The Present, Two Distant Strangers, The Van andWhite Eye.

The Anthony Nti directed Da Yie, won the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in 2020. It is a story about Matilda and Prince who embark on a life-changing trip. Capturing the world of the young and that of criminals, the film is set in Ghana.

Written and directed by Doug Roland Feeling Through is a story about a young boy who is homeless and how his life changes when he meets a deaf and blind man waiting for a bus. Helping the man, the boy sees the world with a different prism which makes him learn a lot.

The Spanish-American short drama The Human Voice, directed by Pedro Almodovar, is based on play of the same name written by Jean Cocteau. It is touching story of two living beings faced with abandonment. One is a woman who keeps watching the suitcases her ex-lover is supposed to pick up and the other, a dog who can’t fathom why his master left him.

The Kicksled Choir directed by Torfinn Iversen is the tale of Gabriel, who is inclined to join the Kicksled Choir that raises money for refugees. Things change, when his father gets into a tiff with one of the local refugees, making it challenging for Gabriel to join the choir.

Premiered at HollyShorts Film Festival, The Letter Room is directed by Elvira Lind. A dark prison comedy deals with the secret life of a correctional officer who is transferred to the letter room. Finding himself in a new world, helps him find spirituality and solace.

The reality of being black in America is what Two Distant Strangers is about. Directed by Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, the film tells the story of a black cartoonist who after a romantic evening is heading home, when he is stopped by a white police officer.

Erenik Beqiri directed The Van is a about Ben who fights so that he can leave Albania. Ben fondly hopes that his father too will come with him.

White Eye directed by Tomer Shushan is a story about a man who finds his stolen bicycle with a stranger and how while attempting to get it back, he finds it difficult to remain human.

The final nominations for the Oscars will be announced on March 15. This year, the award gala will be held on April 25.