Documentary film festival to spread environment awareness

October 5th, 2008 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Sounding the battle cry against climate change from Kashmir to Coimbatore, documentary makers are taking an environment film festival to eight cities, hoping to enlist people in their cause.”CMS Vatavaran 2008 - Environment and Wildlife Traveling Film Festival,” organized by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), is taking a collection of 6,000 documentaries on environment by Indian and international filmmakers across the country over the next five months and its organizers say they hope to reach 80,000 people with the message of fighting climate change.

“In each festival, more than 5,000 children would be participating,” festival director Alka Tomar told IANS. “Around 40,000 children all over the country would be sensitised about the issues concerning Planet Earth.” The festival will also feature interactive programmes and talks by experts, she added.

The Vatavaran festival will screen in each of the cities about 40 films selected from its collection based on the region and location and include award-winning documentaries. The festival was launched in Leh in Jammu and Kashmir and has moved to Agartala. Its next stops are Bhopal, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune and Ranchi.

“Every place and individual is affected by global warming. And a step taken by every individual will make a huge change,” said Vijay Bedi, the award-winning filmmaker of “Cherub in the Mist”, a film about red pandas found in Sikkim and in other places in the Northeast.

Bedi, who has won 11 awards for his films on environment including an Emmy, told IANS in a phone interview, “Even the slightest increase in temperature like 0.2 (degree Celsius) can kill animals like red panda that live in acute conditions.”

“The entire ecosystem gets affected with the increase in temperature and it not only affects the wildlife but also economies globally,” he added.

India is particularly vulnerable to climate change because the changes in temperature and in rain patterns will hit hard agriculture on which more than two-thirds of the nation’s population is dependent and which constitutes about a third of the nation’s economy.

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