nature/wildlife films

Distributing on the internet

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 15, 2006

Forum Post

For an ecologically sensitive film maker, films are a medium of communication and the communication process is not completed until the message is delivered to the proper audience and feedback (positive or negative) is garnered.

With internet sites like for free distribution and for paid distribution, the age of low cost film making seems to have arrived for wildlife film makers.

And making your work available for free download on the Net does not preclude you from also selling an easy-to-access version at a reasonable price (say Rs 200-300) for home viewing. You get the mindshare and publicity, and you also have a (modest) revenue stream.

nature/wildlife films


Posted by Susan Sharma on August 10, 2006

Forum Post

A country with no natural wealth of its own, is attracting tourists worldwide who want to study animal behavior. This country is Singapore. Jurong Bird Park and Santosa Island are must visits for wildlife lovers.

The open zoos of Singapore educate, conserve and entertain. The need to protect endangered species is communicated so well through these efforts that corporates invest liberally in the upkeep of the Singapore Zoological Gardens. The butterfly and insect sections, the Dolphin Island and other nature related sections of the Zoo are crowd pullers.

Short two minute video clips of my visit are uploaded at the following links

NOTE:   In case the links do not open, cut and paste the urls in your browser. Use the BACK button in your browser to come back to IWC Blog.

"Sky Meets Sea"

"Animals Teach"

Hope you like watching them. I look forward to your comments.


nature/wildlife films

Power of Video to change/motivate? Read this real life story

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 09, 2006

Forum Post

"Ela Bhatt was totally sold on the idea.

With support from the United Nations Development Programme and USAID, she managed to bring the Martha Stewart team to Ahmedabad. Twenty women from SEWA were given an intensive three-week training. They were all women from the unorganised sector who were unfamiliar even with basic electrical stuff, let alone digital technology. There was Leelaben, the vegetable vendor, Shubhadraben, the bidi-roller, Taraben, the incense-stick-maker…

Leelaben recalls: “I was dying every day and living every day. As a vegetable vendor I used to sit in Manek Chowk market with two baskets of vegetables. But the police always abused us, displacing us whenever they wished to.” For Shubhadra, the bidi-roller, protesting against unjustified wages or insufficient security measures in the workplace was difficult before she learnt how to record her demands. It’s been a long journey since 1984.

For the poor illiterate women of SEWA, Video Sewa has become a tool for change. What began as a sensitisation programme has turned into a mechanism for protest and marshalling public opinion. From simply depicting poor women’s concerns, it has become a canvas for information-dissemination, awareness-building and policy advocacy.

But for the users of this technology, there’s no jargon-spewing. The day Leelaben understood the hidden powers of the video she knew immediately what she had to do. Neelam Dave, coordinator Video SEWA, joined SEWA in 1981. She was among the first group of 20 members to be trained. Although Neelam was a trained photographer she was not exposed to the digital media and she found the training immensely useful. Explaining the effectiveness of video as a communications tool, Neelam says: “Video footage can make the authorities sit up. Leelaben and Shubhadraben both recorded the deplorable conditions of vegetable vendors and bidi-rollers. Armed with the footage, we visited the Ahmedabad civic authorities that responded faster than ever before.”

On a different occasion, the bidi workers of Anand district united to agitate against their employer who had illegally sacked them from their jobs. They had no testimony to back them up, but they had recorded their experiences, which were used as evidence in the Supreme Court, resulting in a favourable judgment and compensation for the women. Neelamben explains that this is not an isolated incident. “We went to Lucknow some years ago, to organise women doing chikankari embroidery. After the core training programme was over we screened some footage of a rally we had shot in Ahmedabad. The footage related to the demands of readymade garment workers for minimum wages. The Lucknowi women were enthused. They immediately decided to organise a similar rally in Lucknow. Such is the power of video,” says Neelamben.

With over 100 films completed, Video SEWA is now a movement. Somewhere down the line it became more than just a protest tool. It is also a space to discuss and negotiate macro issues like food security, water and sanitation, labour rights and women’s rights."

Nilosree Biswas (Nilosree Biswas is a journalist and filmmaker based in Ahmedabad) InfoChange News & Features, April 2006


nature/wildlife films

Living With the Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 11, 2006

Forum Post

Comments on 'YouTube'

Question by Gertalian  :  Did you film this yourself?Also,are the Tigers victims of poaching,or pollution?What has caused their demise? Sorry if my questions seem stupid.

Susan: I filmed "Living With the Park" myself. The tigers are victims of poaching. The single one reason for their numbers reducing is poaching. Habitat reduction, of course, limits the popoulation from increasing. 

Comment by Gertalian :

 To answer your question"Is it time to include the villagers to help protect the Tiger?",I would say yes.Granted I am largely uninformed about the situation,but sometimes desperate circumstances call for desperate measures.

nature/wildlife films

Yahoo group for Indian documentary makers

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 24, 2006

Forum Post

Join Docuwallahs2, a list focussing on documentary films (mainly from India)

The list is moderated by Frederick Noronha, a journalist.

nature/wildlife films

Youtube - watch trailers on desktop

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 14, 2006

Forum Post

Watch trailers of the following films at the links mentioned under them.

 Sarang-The Peacock

 To Corbett With Love

 Wilderness Nepal

Seoul-Where Modernity bows to Tradition

Living With the Park-Ranthambore National Park


nature/wildlife films

Short films from

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 06, 2006

Forum Post has produced five short films under the banner “”.

  1. Sarang-The Peacock
  2. To Corbett With Love
  3. Wilderness Nepal
  4. Seoul-Where Modernity bows to Tradition
  5. Living With the Park-Ranthambore National Park

You can have a preview of the films at

where trailers of the films have been uploaded and can be viewed on your desktop. To view the film you need to have a broad band connection on your computer.

Please write the name of the film in the search button on the main page at

Alternately, write Susan Sharma in the search box and all the five films will appear. Click on the play button and you can see a trailer of about two and a half minutes long, on each of the five films.

All the five shorts are available for purchase online at


nature/wildlife films

Survey on 24 Hour Channel

Posted by Mithun on September 04, 2005

Forum Post

A survey was conducted in the year 2003 by the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) for their 24 hour Higher Education Channel.

Out of 481 sample students whose responses have been tabulated, more than 75% students preferred programmes with a focused approach to widen their horizons; India’s place in World Heritage, Nature related issues and People of India are subjects close to their heart. 90% of the students surveyed wanted programmes on contemporary issues with a window to the world.

Young India views itself as a global citizen! A very positive development indeed.


nature/wildlife films

The mangroves off Thane Creek

Posted by Oliver Pinto on May 17, 2005

Forum Post

Could someone tell me about the kind of flora and fauna there is around the area covered by mangroves around the Thane Creek? The area I refer to is that which can be seen as one passes by in a local train on the central line. It begins after Dombivli and stretches from there up to the Mumbra Parsik Tunnel.

Has anyone ever surveyed the area or documented the wildlife and plant life therein? This area has been diminishing rapidly over the last few years and 'development' seems to be happening here. I hope we don't lose this beautiful stretch to 'development'.

Thanks, Oliver


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