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Short Film Bittu Bags Oscar Nomination: 7 Things To Know

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Indian filmmaker Karishma Dev Dube’s directorial short film Bittu has made it to the Oscars 2021. Bittu has been featured on the Live Action Short Film shortlist at 93rd Academy Awards.

The short film had to compete with 174 films which qualified to the category, to make it to the final list which has 10 finalists.

Short Film Bittu:

Here are a few amusing facts about the Academy Award-nominated film:

True story

The official synopsis of the short film Bittu reads, “Based on a true story, Bittu is a short film about a close friendship between two girls, eclipsed by an accident.” The plot revolves around the lives of two little girls living in a rural area.  It is a film that follows a fierce little girl who refuses to be forgotten. 

Indian Women Rising 

The film is presented by Indian Women Rising (IWR), a Cinema collective spearheaded by film producers Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, and writer-director Tahira Kashyap Khurrana. They launched the platform in January this year to discover and encourage Indian female talent in cinema. The aim is to expand its scope of marketing, sales, and distribution beyond the demographic boundaries. 

For the maker 

Indian filmmaker, Karishma Dev Dube, who directed the short film has also bagged the prestigious Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Student Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in the Asian American Category.

A slice-of-life

Bittu is inspired by an infamous poisoning accident that took place in a school in 2013. Karishma Dev Dube reimagined the story in a remote village in the Himalayas, where the writer and director of the film spent a major portion of her life growing up in a boarding school. “It was here when I formed my complicated relationship with authority, much like the one Bittu has with her teachers in school,” Dube mentioned on the official page of the short film. 

No actors cast

To show that the children have a strong connection with the area that film has been shot in, the director resorted to street casting. Karishma went around introducing herself to local communities and government schools in the area, playing games, and conducting theatre workshops with the kids.

One week film

The short film went on the floors after two months of rehearsal. However, the actual making of it took only six days. 

The sister-duo

Bittu has Karishma Dev Dube as the writer and director, while her sibling Shreya Dev Dube, was the cinematographer in the project. The latter has a feature length film to her name, called Cat Sticks, which premiered at Slamdance and won the Grand jury prize at Mammoth Lake film festival. Shreya also operated camera for Declan Quinn on the, A Suitable Boy, directed by Mira Nair.

Short Film Bittu:

Bittu Trailer from Karishma Dube on Vimeo.