The North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh this year vies with national capital Delhi along with economic capital of India - Maharashtra – for winning the bi-annual CMS (Centre for Media Studies) Vatavaran Award – popular as Indian Green Oscar – for 2009.
Out of total 366 entries, 106 films – both national and international – which have been nominated for the CMS Vatavaran Award-2009, Uttar Pradesh has got six nominations. Delhi tops the list of contenders for the award with its 28 nominations while Maharashtra stands second chance with 14 nominations.
The nominated films will be screened at the CMS Academy's Environment and Wildlife Film Festival, which is all set to start at India Habitat Centre at New Delhi from October 27.
All six films from the state of Uttar Pradesh raise the issues that have been bothering the nature and wildlife lovers for long – be it the story of an intervention to save the elephants of Rajaji National Park in the hill state of Uttarakhand, who occasionally get run over by speeding trains as the rail tracks pass through the park, or the alternative livelihood arrangement for Shahtoosh craftsmen of Kashmir, who weave soft Pashmina shawls by fleecing the endangered variety of antelope.
"It is quite a prestigious event where professionals, involved in the making of films on nature and wildlife, get together in India from all across the world and share their experiences and knowledge," says Gurmeet Sapal.
Gurmeet has been winning the award for last two times when his films 'Chasing Butterflies' and 'Leopards in the lurch' won the awards. This time also Gurmeet's two films - have got nominations. These films – 'Himalayan Voices' raises the issue of impact of climate change on Himalayas and the 'Silk Route' which talks about the livelihood issue.
Along with giving a platform to film makers to learn and share their views, the event also proposes an opportunity for media-persons interested in reporting on issues relating to environment and wildlife.
During the five-day event, a day-long workshop is dedicated to journalists, which would be conducted jointly by the faculties of CMS Academy and the experts of Norwegian Institute of Journalism. The workshop to be supported by Royal Norwegian Embassy, will train the journalists in efficient use of internet and search engines for environment reporting.
Besides, there would be a brain storming session for journalists for 'Bridging North South Difference in Reporting Climate Change: Journalists' role in Reaching an Agreement at Cop15 in Copenhagen'.
The session will see an assembly of delegates representing International Federation of Environmental Journalists along with Federation of Environment Journalists of India and CMS Academy.
Along with screening of national and international films, CMS Academy has lined up a plethora of workshops, seminars, open forums and experience sharing deliberations on climate change, sustainable transport, green wardrobe, animation for conservation, eco-tourism and so on. Variety of environment related exhibitions, games and eco-trips to green buildings and natural heritage sites will mark the event.
Detailing about the overwhelming response of participants, the Manager Communications Centre for Media Studies (CMS) Narendra Yadav said that there were 366 entries this year of which 106 (73 national 33 international) have been nominated for the CMS Vatavaran Award. Of this six are from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
"The technique of film making has improved in the Uttar Pradesh. Take the example of my film 'Tillu', which is an animation film. This is the first time an animation film from Uttar Pradesh has got an entry into this festival", says Arvind Pandey. This is Arvind's first film as a director which has been nominated for the award.
"The number of nominations is very encouraging, especially from the state of Uttar Pradesh which has got six films in the list," Narendra added. He admitted that the standards of film making have improved considerably in Uttar Pradesh and therefore so many nominations.
Alka Pande, CNS
(The author is a senior journalist and a Fellow of Citizen News Service (CNS) Writers' Bureau. Website: www.citizen-news.org)
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