Millennium Post

Delhi’s fifth international environment film fest begins on 6 December

Delhi’s fifth international environment film fest begins on 6 December
A young tigress who has chosen to build a new dynasty in an entirely new territory is followed by a very persistent man with a camera, who records the transition and challenges she faces during her translocation from Ranthambore to Sariska.

The ensuing film about the journey of Bhagani the female tigress is among those up for showing at ‘Quotes from the Earth’, a two-day environmental film festival beginning 6 December that seeks to highlight stark environmental challenges of our times.

‘I have filmed a drama. Basically the tiger is a fiercely territorial animal and the process of translocating from one territory to another comes with its share of drama,’ director S Nallamuthu said about the making of the documentary Tiger Dynasty.

Nallamuthu had been following Baghani along with her mother Machili and sisters for many years now at the Ranthambore National Park before she was airlifted to Sariska.

‘This is said to be the very first translocation of a tiger in India. I filmed the tigress in Ranthambore and decided to follow it to Sariska so with the tigress I too made the journey,’ says the filmmaker.

To combat the dwindling tiger population of Sariska due to poaching the government had decided to bring in Bhagani.

Nallamuthu says the tigress had to fight for her territory with animals like leopards who had in the absence of tigers laid claim to the reserve.

The filmmaker details the moves of Bhagani who has to employ her cunning to deal with other big cats as wells as villages in the forest and their cattle.

‘In an alien land Bhagani has to learn to deal with human predators. The villagers feel the threat of the tiger and had once poisoned her mate. The film deals with emotions of the tigress and is quite dramatic as I have etched it out in a character based role,’ says Nallamuthu who took over two years to film.

Filming in Sariska, Ranthambore or any other place in India is difficult says the filmmaker. ‘Unlike in Africa where there is plenty of open space, in India you hardly get a blink of an ey e time to spot a tiger before it disappears in the bushes,’ says Nallamuthu who has shot with a hi-def camera.

‘I travelled with Nallamuthu while he filmed the tiger.We are not allowed to go into the reserve unless we are inside the safari jeep. We got a good eyefull of Bhagani atop a mountain and several other good shots but it requires a great deal of patience and long hours,’ says Rohtas, a forest ranger at Sariska.

The filmmaker, says he is is now back in Ranthanmbore filming the story of tiger cubs who are being taken care of by their father.

Tiger Dynasty is one among the 25 films scheduled for screening at the ‘Quotes from the Earth’ festival by the environmental NGO Toxic Links.

Films which are being shown in India for the first time include Ant Wars by Stefan Geier (Germany), E-waste Land by David Fedele (Australia) Half A View by Ankit Pogula (India), Cotton on my shroud
(India) A Pestering Journey by K R Manoj (India) and My Home is Green by Sajan Sindhu.

Ravi Agarwal, director, Toxics Link and curator of the festival says ‘This is the fifth edition and the festival’s prominence has grown each year. From 18 films in 2004, we now have 25 films in 2012.

‘The films, this year, throw light on four categories of environmental concerns – earth, water, wildlife and sustainability. All the 26 films have been made in the last two years and hence focus on the most current environmental issues.’

The films are from various genres including animations, documentaries and viewpoints.

The subjects dealt with range from contemporary and ongoing important issues such as man-animal conflicts, threats to lakes of Kashmir and Manipur, river contamination, impact of mining, struggles to preserve tropical forest, dams and the water crisis, farmers suicides, struggles for livelihood, our vanishing biodiversity, forest conservation, wastes, dangers of pesticide, and nuclear safety.

‘Quotes from the Earth’ has also been travelling to various cities such as, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Hubli over the years.
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