November 16, 2007
Open University Films
Here is an initiative by the Open University of Britain, well worth emulating by our own Indira Gandhi National Open University!
An epic journey across the length and breadth of Britain is continuing with The Nature of Britain, co-produced by The Open University and currently showing on BBC ONE, BBC TWO and BBC FOUR.
Presented by Alan Titchmarsh, The Nature of Britain concentrates on the unique ecology of different landscapes and eco-systems throughout the UK and the diverse behaviour of the animals and plants that live in them. During his journey, Alan shares his enthusiasm
for the British wildlife, encouraging viewers to step outside and explore the natural history on their doorstep.
The series features eight key landscapes - Island; Farmland; Urban; Freshwater; Coastal; Woodland; Wilderness and Secret Britain. It paints a beautiful contemporary portrait of Britain’s wildlife and provides the definitive guide to The Nature of Britain.
"Wildlife is marvellous on TV but our local natural world is fascinating too. Every time I observe wildlife I see something - a plant, an animal, a pattern of behaviour, which I have not seen before. You don’t have to be a zoologist to experience this and
the series shows some of the special things right on our doorsteps. The regional films will be great for informing viewers of what they can do locally to experience the natural world themselves and of how they can make a difference."
October 06, 2007
Activists making use of various visual mediums
to create awareness on the project’s impact -Mysore
With Minister for Energy H.D. Revanna asserting that the
Government has no option but to go ahead with its decision to set up
the 1,000-mw coal-fired thermal power plant at Chamalapura to meet the
increasing demand for power in the State, the movement opposing the
decision is being intensified in the urban and rural parts of Mysore.
Chamalapura Ushna Vidyut Sthavara Virodhi Horata Samanvaya Samithi is
making use of various visual mediums to educate farmers and people on
the impact of the project. While environmental organisations such as
the Mysore Amateur Naturalists is engaged in giving power point
presentations on how the project would affect flora and fauna in the
area, besides the life of poor farmers, students of Chamarajendra
Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) are engaged in preparing publicity
material for the agitation.
A CAVA student has made use of an old building in Kukkarahalli village
to project the impact of the project. "Nirantara", a cultural
organisation, has produced "Baduki-Badukalu Bidi", a mini-documentary,
and is screening it in schools and colleges.
Farmers themselves have arranged the screening of "Matad Matadu
Mallige" which dwells on the plight of flower-growing farmers and how
they succeed in their fight. "Power V/S People: Struggle of
Chamalapura farmers", a documentary produced by Chandrashekar
Ramenahalli, is making waves in Chamalapura and surrounding villages.
As part of the campaign to create awareness among farmers,
Chandrashekar Ramenahalli, who has worked with Medha Patkar in the
Narmada Bachao Andolan, has produced the film with support from the
Chamalapura Anti-Thermal Plant Struggle Committee.
Chandrashekar Ramenahalli, a student of sociology, produced the
documentary in 15 days. The 35-minute documentary, which records the
opinions of farmers and energy experts, also throws light on the lush
green fields in the 12 villages where farmers harvest up to three
crops a year.
October 04, 2007
"Badabon-er Katha": A tale of the Sundarbans
The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, lies on the
Southwestern coastal areas of Bangladesh, forming a seaward fringe of
the delta. The Sundarbans is intersected by a complex network of
waterways, mudflats and small islands covered with mangrove forests,
and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The
area is known for its wide range of fauna. There are about 334 species
of trees and plants and 450 species of animals in this forest - a
repository of diversity. Of these, there are 47 species of mammals,
270 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles and 200 species of fish.
A documentary film on the Sundarbans, titled Badabon-er Katha, was
premiered on August 18 at National Museum Auditorium. Under the
supervision of Manzarehassin Murad, Moynul Huda has directed the
documentary. It is a joint venture by Steps Towards Development and
The documentary presents the scenic beauty of the Sundarbans in
different seasons, as well as the dependency of humans to the forest
for making their living.
Badabon-er Katha begins with images of spectacular beauty of the
majestic forest. The documentary features the diverse lifestyles of
people living in the Sundarbans, including fishermen, honey collectors
and others. Badabon-er Katha also highlights some natural and man-made
changes that are fast becoming threats to the existence of the
Prior to the screening of the film a discussion was held. Professor
Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Dr. Ainun Nishat (country representative of The
World Conservation Union Bangladesh), Ranjan Karmokar (executive
director of Steps Towards Development), Swapan Guha (CEO of Rupantar),
filmmaker Manzarehassin Murad and director of Badabon-er Katha, Moynul
Huda spoke at the event.
Referring to the Sundarbans as the "only sweet-water mangrove forest
in the world", Dr. Ainun Nishat said, "Three points of the forest are
listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, this rare heritage
site is under threat."
Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed said, "This documentary will be a record
of the Sundarbans, if ever the largest mangrove forest in the world is
September 20, 2007
"In an age when nothing seems to move unless backed by the five-letter word “Money”, it is indeed surprising to find someone who creates a documentary woven around his own music to raise awareness about the state of India’s environment, more so when he urges
people to make copies of his film and share it with others without any commercial aspect involved.
Chinmaya Dunster’s film is not a typical documentary – it is more a compilation of footages from a series of multimedia concerts recorded live at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environmental Education and Awareness (BVIEER) in Pune in 2004 that is juxtaposed
with poetry readings, interviews with environmentalists and educators and footage of scenery, wildlife and peoples from all over India, all in an effort to make people think."
Read the full article at
See Dunsters films uploaded on youtube by visiting
August 05, 2007
Here is a quote from a prominent African film authority, which is applicable to a large extent to the situation here in India as well.
"As an industry, wildlife and natural history filmmaking touches uniquely on three socio-economic issues which are crucial to the future of the African continent:
Firstly, in the wake of globalisation, if our rich natural resources are properly managed and developed, then independent and sustainable development in African countries will continue. It is crucial in the pursuit of African renewal and the new partnership
for Africas development that such resources need to be exploited to the advantage of African people.
Second is the crucial issue of conservation and environmental protection - an issue which is not unique to Africa and requires international cooperation and resources to develop effective strategies in combating threats to our environment. Showcasing these
issues on television internationally is an effective way to raise awareness and support for these causes.
The third issue is the development of the African film industry so that wildlife and natural history filmmaking is representative of all Africans. To achieve this, it is imperative to implement training programmes which will foster the development of black
filmmakers and to change the current status of the industry. Put simply, the challenge is how do we make indigenous Africans not only the observed but the observers and the participants in telling the story about this continent.
We need to be conscious of this fact: if we are to ensure the survival of our environment and the prosperity of this industry, filmmaking must become representative and diverse. Africans are presently the trackers, the translators and the lodge servants
in this industry, perhaps sometimes the odd ranger or national park representative... but rarely the arbiter of the story.
We are following through at pledges made at last year’s Wild Talk Africa conference to spend $1 million on developing the industry here and commissioning up-and-coming natural history filmmakers. From now on, through the NHU AFRICA, e.tv will produce 40 hours
of programming a year, ranging from lower-budget/higher-quality series to blue chip documentaries.
So far we have commissioned films on frogs in Madagascar, a lake in Venda, desert elephants in Namibia, climate change in Africa, ground squirrels in the Kalahari, a southern African travel series, a wildlife rehab series in Johannesburg, a good news conservation
series, and of course where would the NHU AFRICA be without films on cheetahs, sharks, wild dogs and crocodiles! Our aim is to work with international broadcasters on some of these productions and we are currently co-producing HD films with NHK, and Five in
the UK and are in discussion with National Geographic over a few more".
Source: WildFilmNews July 2007
July 24, 2007
The Curse of Copper
Kenya-born film makers, Jenny Sharman and Richard Jones (True Nature Films) won the ’Best Independent’ award at Missoula (IWFF) with their film ’The Curse of Copper’. The film also picked up a merit for music. Made in Ecuador, the film is having a very positive
impact in drawing attention to the plight of a unique cloud forest and local communities that are being threatened by a Canadian mining company. The film is helping to stimulate a growing public campaign to try to stop this open cast copper mine from going
ahead, but, as yet, the company continues to push forward with its plans. If you’d like to see the film, please go to
July 16, 2007
The Congolese film "Everyone for Conservation"(3 hrs) won the Merit Award for best Conservation initiative at the International Wildlife Film Festival, 2007.
The film was produced to bring about change in behavior and attitude critical for the protection of both human and wildlife populations. Produced by a Congolese production team, it is being disseminated by Congolese educators.
The premise is that awareness efforts must be grounded in the communities where the problems manifest themselves; the issues must be locally determined, the voices recognizable to the audiences that view the films, and produced in the language or languages
of the region, in a manner and style that is culturally appropriate. Dissemination is at the community level, in group settings that empower people to think and communicate with each other through shared experience.
June 01, 2007
CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS Broadcast Premiere on Montana Public Television
Caught in the Headlights, 53 minutes, 2006
CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS, which documents the conflict between wildlife and automobile culture will have its broadcast premiere, June 7 at 7 pm on Montana Public Television <http://www.montanapbs.org/>.
Repeat broadcasts at 4:30 pm on June 9 and 8:30 am on June 10.
In the United States where over four million miles of roads cross the landscape, an animal is killed on the road every 11.5 seconds - with one million vertebrate animals falling victim to automobile collisions annually.
Through the voices of six individuals who are intimately familiar with vehicle-wildlife conflicts, CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS is a quirky, informative exploration of automobile culture. Two Department of Transportation employees combine humor and sensitivity
while taking the viewer on a tour along Montana’s state highways.
A Wildlife rehabilitator since childhood turned raptor educator, painter, and welder, shares her work and perspective of the hardships that birds face in a world where car collisions are the leading cause of injury and death for raptors.
Raising a child as a single father may be hard; try combining that with an hour long commute to work through prime deer and elk habitat. One auto-body painter tells stories of close calls with wildlife on the road while warning of societal stubbornness.
A road ecologist from the Netherlands studies opportunities for creatures to cross roads safely while providing his own social commentary on the past, present and future of our transportation infrastructure.
Another man seeks apology and ceremony by turning roadkill into bronze sculptures. His bold artwork challenges us to examine our dependency on the automobile through death preserved on the walls of a Seattle-area gallery.
CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS weaves together these diverse voices united in their reverence for the long ignored casualties of the highway.
High Plains Films
P.O. Box 8796
Missoula, Montana 59807
May 15, 2007
Wildlife Asia Film Festival took place in March 2007 in Singapore.
"Cherub of the Mist" by Bedi Films (India)won the "Best Asian Film " award. "Village of Dust, City of Water" by Moving Images(India) won the award for the Best Environmental Film.
Naresh Bedi and Mike Pandey were given special awards for contribution to film making.
The following films/programs were selected for screening at the festival.
"The King is Dying" by Special Investigation Team, CNN-IBN
"Man Elephant Conflict" by NDTV
"Ganga is Dying" by Special investigation Team, CNN-IBN
March 07, 2007
"My parents have always been opposed to buying a TV and they were trying to explain to us the reasons why they were not falling in line with the TV-buying public.
We couldn’t understand all their arguments until they finally put it to us this way: TV is for those who will never get to experience the real thing. Do you want to actually visit, some day, all those beautiful places they show on TV, or would you rather be
happy with just seeing them on the screen? The choice simply put was: Buy a TV, or travel around instead. We chose travel. And I am proud to say that till today we have never allowed the idiot box space in our house. We have travelled instead to almost all
parts of India. I learnt snake catching in Pune, handled crocodiles in Mamallapuram, studied spiders and earthworms in Chennai and even travelled to Thailand and Malaysia in my quest to learn more about reptiles. All of which I managed to do because I never
sat in front of a TV."
Read the full article by Rahul Alvares, a young snake rescuer from Goa, who has recently won the ’Young Naturalist Award’ given from Sanctuary Magazine by clicking