Why 'Natkhat' was replaced by 'Shameless'?
All of the media was abuzz a few days ago with reports that Shaan Vyas's excellent short film 'Natkhat', which was on the normalisation of misogyny had been replaced by Keith Gomes' 'Shameless' as India's entry for the Oscars 2021 in the 'Live Action Short Film' category. But Vyas shared another story to tell. However, he firmly refuted reports of his film being out of the Oscar race.
"I think it was an error and as far as I know, they have fixed it. We are all eligible and in the race. I am not sure of what kind of error. But suffice to say, as far as I know, the Academy's shortlist for shorts comes out straight in February now. There is no official entry from India for shorts since the eligibility criteria is very different," said director Shaan.
Vyas further added, "I'm surprised at the reports as 'Natkhat', which had won 'best film' at the 'Best of India Short Film Festival', is eligible for Oscar qualification and very much in the race to the Oscars 2021. The Oscar Shortlists Announcement only comes out in Feb 2021."
'Natkhat', a short film produced by Ronnie Screwvala's RSVP, deserves a deep and attentive dekko just for being what it is, an unflinchingly brutal critique of the male gaze. The setting is some kind of a mofussil North Indian backwater where the musk of masculinity can be smelt all the way from the children's school to their parents' bedroom. The main characters are a little alert, vulnerable and there is a thoroughly corruptible little boy named Sonu (Sanika Patel) who hears and sees the female gender being abused everywhere.
In less than half an hour of playing time, 'Natkhat' walks the audience through a complex, ugly
and morbid maze of 'mardangi'
and how it spreads its tentacles in the male gender from a very young age.