Another short film that is up for Oscar consideration is the upcoming live action Bittu by Indian filmmaker Karishma Dev Dube.
Based on a true story it tells the tale of the close friendship between two girls is eclipsed by an accidental poisoning at school. Set in a forgotten Himalayan community, this film follows eight-year-old BITTU. Unlike most girls in her village, Bittu is a streetwise charmer with a brilliantly foul tongue.
Chand is Bittu’s best friend and young protégé; Polar opposites but always a team- they play, steal, fight and hustle together – reciting dirty jokes for quick money in crowded bus stops. The natural performer Bittu excels at all things street level.
But at school things are different.
Chand outperforms Bittu in every way – a keen student in a pristine uniform, she is naturally everybody’s favorite at school. Meanwhile, Bittu resents the rote and attends school for her free lunch.
On this day, events escalate quickly between the two friends, bringing them to an end they never imagined.
The director wrote about the film, “BITTU is inspired by an infamous school poisoning that took place in India in 2013. This film is less about why and how the poisoning happened; instead, it explores a child’s experience suddenly and senselessly thrown into such peril. At its heart, the film is about a fierce sense of loyalty and friendship held by a young girl who is punished for her individuality and somehow saved by it.”
Bittu has had a stellar festival run with 18+ festivals and multiple wins. Having screened at the BFI London Film Festival, Telluride, Palm Springs Shortfest, HollyShorts (where Karishma won the best director award) Bittu also came to India with Dharamshala International Film Festival.
Presented by Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana who formed the cinema collective Indian Women Rising who say it is a very special and important film.
Bittu is the director’s graduate film from NYU Tisch School of the Arts was a medal recipient of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prestigious 47th Student Academy Award for narrative short film. Now, Bittu is qualified for the OSCARS in the Short Film in Live Action category.
Stay tuned for a special review!