|THE TRUTH ABOUT TIGERS now on YOU TUBE
The Truth About Tigers is a first-of-its-kind video guide for all those who want to understand tigers and the problems associated with their conservation. It aims to put the distilled wisdom of top tiger experts in the hands of viewers so that they are empowered to ask the right questions and demand the right actions. The film was Produced and Written by Shekar Dattatri.
Two years in the making, the film combines stunning footage shot by some of the world’s leading wildlife cinematographers with deep insights from experts such as renowned tiger biologist Dr. Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society, and wildlife crime fighter, Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India. Internationally acclaimed actor, Roshan Seth, provides the narration, and one of Britain’s top documentary composers, David Mitcham has contributed to the music score.
This unique film takes one through the tiger’s life, from birth to death, and illustrates how different human activities impact the conservation of this great predator. More importantly, it provides practical solutions to tackle the crisis, clearly outlining what the government needs to do and how citizens can contribute to saving our national animal. An accompanying website www.truthabouttigers.org not only provides more detailed information and guidance, but also links to the video on You Tube and Vimeo. A request to all those who read this: please pass on the link to everyone you know. Tigers need all the help they can get, and creating awareness is the first step towards change.
Praise for the film
Superb job. The footage is excellent. And the editing is very well done too. I especially appreciated the script which is concise, not sensationalized, and informative. I hope the film gets a wide distribution. Congratulations – George Schaller, Wildlife Biologist
The film really is marvelous and I should think enormously useful. I was truly impressed — not only with the footage but with the spare, careful, clear writing – Geoffrey C. Ward, author of Tiger-Wallahs
it is pitch perfect. The voice, and words, and all the sound, are exactly right. The shots are brilliantly chosen to illustrate and drive the logic and the words. Really, a masterpiece – Ruth Padel, author of Tigers in Red Weather
Award for SOS – Save our Sholas
To mark the 25th anniversary of the declaration of Kerala’s famous Silent Valley rainforest as a National Park, Shekar Dattatri and his colleagues have produced a documentary highlighting the vital necessity of protecting such forests. Titled ‘SOS – Save Our Sholas’, the 24-minute film, narrated by celebrated conservationist, Valmik Thapar, showcases the rich biodiversity of the southern Western Ghats forests and the problems that beset this fragile landscape. The film lays particular emphasis on the immense water harvesting capacity of these forests, and underlines the fact that all the major rivers of peninsular India originate in the Western Ghats.
The declaration of Silent Valley as a National Park was a landmark event in India’s conservation history, and came about due to a vigorous campaign waged by people from all walks of life against a dam proposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board across the perennial Kunthi River that runs through the valley. The dam would have submerged a large tract of virgin forest.
Almost 20 years ago, Dattatri and his colleagues produced the first ever natural history film on this virtually unexplored forest. The 50-minute film, ‘Silent Valley – An Indian Rainforest’ became an instant hit with audiences, and also bagged two National Awards and half a dozen international awards at wildlife film festivals in USA, Japan, Italy and other countries. ‘SOS – Save Our Sholas’, produced by the Trust for Environmental Education, draws upon the best sequences from the earlier film, but also contains new material shot by Shekar and Thiruvananthapuram based natural history filmmaker Suresh Elamon.
“We felt that a crisp film on the subject was sorely needed as an educational aid, particularly in schools and colleges, to introduce young people to the immense importance of shola forests. It is very gratifying that Delhi based Centre for Media Studies has selected the film for its ‘Greening Young Minds’ project, and is distributing the film to ten thousand schools across India”
In its first outing the film has won a Technical Excellence Award for Best Story at the recently concluded Vatavaran Environment and Wildlife Film Festival in New Delhi. The jury, led by Award Winning filmmaker Jahnu Baruah, described it as a “Visually powerful, well-scripted film that succeeds in creating the much needed awareness for the conservation of Shola forests”.
The film, which was supported by SPEC India and ENDURO India, is now available in English and Hindi, and will be made available also in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Marathi later this year.
|Indian filmmaker awarded for environmental work:
Shekar Dattatri wins 2008 Edberg Award
Karlstad, Sweden, September 30, 2008
The Edberg Foundation in Sweden has decided to award Indian filmmaker and naturalist Shekar Dattatri, Chennai, India, for his conservation and education work. The foundation writes:
“The Edberg Foundation has decided to award its annual Edberg Award to filmmaker Shekar Dattatri, for his important work with conservation and environmental awareness in India. The Edberg Foundation notices how a world-class filmmaker has decided to forego international fame and well funded film projects for broadcasters worldwide, to pursue national, regional and local projects in India. In due time his efforts will reach a wider audience outside India, but its immediate effect on local conservation initiatives creates an example which the Edberg Foundation wants to acknowledge and praise as a model for other regions of the world. With his camera, his deep knowledge of Indian wildlife, and his great enthusiasm and belief in local action to solve environmental issues, Shekar Dattatri has set an example for the world to follow.”
Shekar Dattatri will travel to Sweden and receive his award on October 24th. During his stay in Sweden he will also give lectures and master classes to students and researchers and screen his internationally award winning film on the Nagarhole National Park in India. He will also screen the film Mindless Mining – The tragedy of Kudremukh – a film on iron ore mining in a rainforest national park in south India. The film played a vital role in stopping the mining. A third film which will be shown to the public is The Ridley’s Last Stand – a film about the massacre of the olive ridley turtles on the Orissa coast.
In his work Shekar Dattatri has clearly shown that local knowledge of natural history and environmental situations is of utmost value for successful conservation action, and he is not afraid of expressing an opinion based on his knowledge, says the President of the Edberg Foundation, Bo Landin.
He has gained the respect of scientists, activists and local communities, and shown the strength of working through a democratic system, Bo Landin concludes.
More about the Edberg Foundation:
Rolf Edberg (1912-1997) was a prominent Swedish politician and was, among many other things, an active participant in the formation of the United Nations and council of Europe after the Second World War. He was a true internationalist working for peaceful solutions to political and other problems, and it was his initiative that led to the organization of the first UN conference on the environment in Stockholm in 1972. Rolf Edberg had an interdisciplinary viewpoint, where establishing democratic rights went side by side with active environmental projects in the effort to minimize environmental problems of the earth. Depletion of resources leads to deterioration of both nature and the living conditions of human beings. The industrialized world contributes to a disproportionately large fraction of the exploitation, while the developing nations suffers the greater share of the environmental burden. The Foundation’s mission is to encourage environmental achievements and efforts. The Foundation’s honorary Chairman is Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister of Sweden.