Indian film producer, screenwriter and director, Kiran Rao — who is married to Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and is actress Aditi Rao Hydari’s cousin — has returned to filmmaking after her directorial debut eight years ago, with Dhobi Ghat, which was featured at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. She has also worked on blockbusters Lagaan, Monsoon Wedding, Swades, Taare Zameen Par, Dangal and Secret Superstar. Kiran returns with two 10-second short films for Facebook India, which show changes in human behaviour. These films are a part of Facebook Thumbstoppers initiative, which was launched in May 2019 to transform storytelling.
Kiran's two films for Facebook are about gender discrimination. In one of them, the audience sees a woman, who has suffered domestic violence, using an ice pack to nurse a bruise. Her domestic help hands her a cell phone with the police’s number. In the other film, a mother serves milk to her son and daughter but the son gets more milk, which he then pours into his sister’s glass, to make their share equal.
Speaking about her new films, Kiran said that shooting a film with a mobile camera, in a vertical frame, can make storytelling inexpensive but exciting, encouraging the youngsters to become storytellers and experiment with this medium.
“Shooting something on a vertical frame will cut the cost and will be more economical. It’s also true the cost of shooting is going down with time as technology is becoming more accessible to people. But the cost of shooting also depends on the concept of the story. If I have a high concept that requires VFX, the product will be more expensive. The short format is exciting. Also, the 10-second time format is cutting the cost for an advertiser hugely. I also believe few stories in the short format create more impact than in a longer format,” she said.