How to qualify one’s film for the coveted Oscar awards? This is one query that resonates in the mind of every aspiring film maker in the world. Well, the 17th edition of Mumbai International Film Festival has got you the right answer in the form of Master Class session lead by Carter Pilcher, Founder and CEO of  short movie entertainment company Shorts TV. Carter Pilcher is also the distributor of Oscar nominated short films for seventeen years and a voting member of both the BAFTA and the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Giving a birds eye view on the long journey of ShortsTV since its inception in 2000, Carter Pilcher said that the world of short films is really exciting and there are enormous opportunities in this field. He also gave a brief description about process and timeline followed by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in deciding on the Oscar nominated short films.

Road to Oscar : Listing out rules to follow in one’s road to Oscars, Carter Pilcher said that qualification is key and there are three ways to get qualified for applying to Oscars. “The film must either commercially release for seven days in a Los Angeles theatre or win a qualifying prize at an accredited film festival. It can also qualify by winning Gold, Silver or Bronze Award in Student academy awards”, he elaborated.

Carter Pilcher also highlighed that making a great short film is really about story telling. “To get Oscars you have to tell a great story or raise an issue that needs to be solved.  One can make the story interesting and exciting with pictures, inferences, characters, voice overs, animation and live action. But filmmakers should be cautious while mixing various media. Everything you use for film must serve the story”, he added.

Carter Pilcher also emphasized that getting nominated for Oscars should not be the end goal for film makers. “ Goal is introduction of one’s film and oneself as a film maker. Theatrical release of the film allows filmmakers to share their work with a greater audience. It will also bring one into the larger world of film making on a completely different level”, he said.

Hinting about the future of short film industry, Carter said that short films are becoming a more mainstream art form in India and abroad. He also discouraged the trend of putting short films online as that may work against the films while considering them for Oscar nominations. 

He also touched upon crowd funding platforms like Web 3 that helps the film makers to raise money directly from audience.