Wildscreen, the world's largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival, will be touring India and Sri Lanka in February 2009.
Nine wildlife or environmental filmmakers from the UK will be coming to India and Sri Lanka as part of this event, organized by the British Council. The festival will also see screenings of wildlife and environmental films from across the world, some of them winners of the Wildscreen festival's Panda Awards, the environmental equivalent of the Oscars.
The Wildscreen Festival was founded by Sir Peter Scott in 1982. It has been organised every alternate year for the past 25 years, and is now considered to be the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival. Held in Bristol, UK, it attracts hundreds of delegates from around the globe who work in film, television and new media, as well as those involved in environmental conservation.
“We are delighted to be returning to India to further develop our relationship with Indian audiences and filmmakers, whilst exploring new markets in Sri Lanka," says Harriet Nimmo, Wildscreen’s Chief Executive. "These countries are key destinations because they are developing fast, with eco-systems which are under threat from rapid economic development and climate change."
She adds: "The films being screened as part of this year’s Festival have an environmental focus, including engaging stories about climate change - and aim to inspire and enthuse those interested in preserving and protecting India’s and Sri Lanka’s precious biodiversity.”
The Festival is coming to Sri Lanka for the first time. The programme, held at the British Council Colombo on 12 - 13 February 2009, will screen several award winning films on climate change and wildlife, showcasing the best of current environmental film making worldwide.
The Colombo event will also include master classes by three UK filmmakers on various aspects of making and distributing factual films, such as the role of films in environmental conservation, scriptwriting and managing a film production. They will be joined by three Sri Lankan TV/film professionals who will share their own experiences in documentary film making and TV programme production (see box).
TV news for investigative environmental reporting
During Wildscreen festival in Colombo, a session on this topic will be presented by Thusitha Pitigala, Producer, Action TV, and Asoka Dias, Station Director, MTV Channel (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka.
Action TV is a daily investigative story on the station's news bulletins branded as News 1st. Going out in English, Sinhala and Tamil, these stories are produced by a roving team of TV journalists who not only unearth instances of corruption, bureaucratic apathy or injustice, but also follow up with relevant state officials for remedial actions. Among the dozens of public interest stories taken up Action TV are many related to the people's right for a clean and healthy environment. This session will share the investigative techniques, experiences and challenges faced by Action TV team through two case studies – covering sea sand mining in Panadura and human-elephant conflict in Thabbowa in North-western Province.
On 14 February 2009, TVE Asia Pacific will present a selection of films on environment and sustainable development drawn from their global catalogue, which includes some Sri Lankan and South Asian titles. Click here for screening schedule
Admission to film screenings and master classes is free and open to the public. Participation in master classes requires prior registration with the British Council. Details are available at their website.
British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our purpose is to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide. The British Council is active in 109 countries and 227 towns and cities worldwide.
Wildscreen is a charity registered in Bristol that uses wildlife imagery to promote and encourage conservation. Wildscreen is unique; by using photographs and film to illustrate the beauty of the natural world we aim to inspire and enthuse a whole new generation of conservationists. Films and photographs are an emotive, powerful and effective means of building environmental awareness, helping to ignite the first spark of interest in natural history and stimulating a continuing passion for the wonders of life on Earth. With growing extinction rates, they also provide an important historical record of the planet’s endangered plants and animals.
TVE Asia Pacific is a Colombo-based, regionally operating media foundation that communicates for sustainable development through television, video and the web. It is both a producer and distributor of educational video films for broadcast, civil society and educational uses across the Asia Pacific region.
Images courtesy Wildscreen and British Council