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Happy Ending director Anil Bajpai speaks on challenges of creating horror short film

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Director Anil Bajpai’s horror short film, ‘Happy Ending’, which stars Nalini Negi (of Naamkaran fame), and Ishita Ganguly (known for her role in Maitree), recently released on Jio Cinema. The film is a spooky 11-minute Halloween treat written by the acclaimed screenwriter Mushtaq Shiekh, who is renowned for his work on popular Bollywood features like ‘Om Shanti Om’, ‘Ra.One’, ‘Billu’, and ‘Rangrezz’.

Director Anil Bajpai gives insights about the film, stating, ‘Happy Ending takes a unique approach by relying entirely on visuals and atmosphere to build suspense, eschewing dialogue altogether. While dialogue can be a powerful storytelling tool, its absence in this horror short creates a truly immersive experience for the audience. The film further elevates the chills with a shocking twist ending, a hallmark of effective horror storytelling.’

He further discusses the challenges of crafting a horror film in the short format, and says, ‘Every scene and frame becomes crucial. With limited time to build suspense, you need to grab the audience’s attention immediately and hold it captive. My inspiration for this approach was David Sandberg’s chilling two-minute horror short, “Lights Out”. It masterfully delivered scares and surprises within a tight timeframe, proving that brevity can be incredibly effective in the horror genre.’

Sharing his working experience, he adds, ‘Ishita and Nalini are both terrific performers. To be with Mushtaq sir on the set was a life-time experience. He is extremely humble and supportive. He is a terrific guide for filmmaking. My DOP, Arvind Yadav, is very talented and comes up with innovative ideas for the shoot. The whole unit was superb and we had a lot of fun.’

The short film is produced by Contentment Films and Twenty First Century Motion Arts Pvt Ltd.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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