Eco-wildlife film fest opens in Delhi

Feb 14, 2011 IANS

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) The capital renewed its commitment to the environment Monday with the inauguration of the Wildscreen Festival, the Indian and Sri Lankan avatar of the world's largest environmental and wildlife festival, at the British Council here.

The festival was inaugurated by actor Kunal Kapoor.

The two-day festival, which will also visit Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Colombo, will screen six movies, including the BBC Life Series. It opened with the screening of "Can We Save The Planet Earth", a 2006 movie (featuring two documentaries) presented by Sir David Attenborough.

The screenings will be accompanied by seminars that will will focus on "Trends in wildlife & environmental filmmaking", "The Magic Art of Storytelling", "Managing a Production" and "The Ten Rules of TV".

The movies to be screened over the next two days include "Extreme Ice", on glacier melts from US directed by Noel Dockstader; "The Man Who Stopped the Desert", a West African tale of greening the desert by Mark Dodd from Britain; and "The Wild Meat Trail", an account of wild meat hunting and eating in northeast India directed by Rita Banerji and Shilpi Sharma.

Other films include "North-Eastern Diaries: Seeking Wildlife in the Eastern Himalayas" from India by Sandesh Kadur, "How Earth Made Us: Human Planet" from Britain by Matthew Dyas, "Wild: The Coral Gardener" from Britain by Emma Robens, "Green" from France by Patrick Rouxel and the BBC Life series on environment.

Chief executive of Wildscreen Festival, Richard Edwards, said he was delighted to return to India and Sri Lanka again this year to further the relationship with local audiences and filmmakers.

"India and Sri Lanka are key destinations for Wildscreen's outreach programme because of the region's rich filmmaking heritage, and because like many other areas of the world, the natural environment is under threat from rapid economic development and climate change," Edwards said.

The Wildscreen Festival was founded by Peter Scott in 1982 and has been organised every alternate year for the past 25 years.

It is the world's largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival.

Held in Bristol, known as the world's biggest centre for wildlife filmmaking, the festival attracts hundreds of delegates from around the globe who work in film, television and the press, as well as those actively involved in working to conserve the environment.

Rob Lynes, director of British Council in India, said: "The British Council actively engages with environmental filmmakers as they play an important role to shape public opinion on key issues like climate change."

"In this context, Wildscreen plays an important role in helping us reach out to budding and young environmental filmmakers and enabling them to produce visually powerful and inspiring films," Lynes said.

Kunal Kapoor Pictures


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