Film festival dedicated to environment

The festival showcased several films based on environmental issues faced by people in India and beyond

In an effort to spread awareness about environmental issues a film festival named ‘Quotes from the Earth’, was organised in the Capital by Toxics Link, an environmental group at the India International Centre.

According to the organisers, the festival which concluded on December 6, aimed to sensitise and inspire people ‘to join the campaign on environmental pollution and strive for a clean India, contributing to the on-going Swatch Bharat campaign.

Inaugurated by Padmashri Shovana Narayan, the two-day festival at IIC, also included a series of panel discussions, cultural programmes and music shows which organisers termed as ‘important’ in order ‘to stimulate dialogue on environmental struggles and concerns. The festival also screened winning entries from a student film competition organised by Toxics Link on ‘Let’s make our city plastic bags free’.

“We are acting like modern day Duryodhans and Dusshasans and are ripping mother earth of her protective covering as was done to Draupadi,” said Shovana Narayan adding that there has to be ‘mutual respect between humanity and Nature’.

Apart from diverse themes by renowned Indian environmental filmmakers like Sunanda Bhatt, Krishnendu Bose, S. Nallamuthu, Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl, the film fiesta showcased some internationally acclaimed films from countries like Australia, Germany and Netherlands. The themes chosen for this year are Biodiversity, Livelihood, Water, Sustainability, and Climate Change.

The film festival’s 6th edition was attended by students, film lovers, environment enthusiasts and citizens.

“These films being screened would go a long way in helping us understand and recognise the contradictions of the existing developmental paradigm that we have adopted,” said Ravi Agarwal, director Toxics Link. He added, “The festival is not just about beautiful wild animals, birds, trees and rivers. It's about us and our future.”

Priti Mahesh, chief programme officer at Toxics Link told Metrolife that the film festival’s purpose was also to create a sense of solidarity between people living in urban spaces with those who suffer the brunt of environmental disasters. “Some of the students were moved after seeing what the people have faced during the construction of Narmada dam.

The students, after the festival, asked if there is something we can do for these people. It is incidents like these which make us realise how important it is to organise such events,” Mahesh said.

She further added that the current climate of the country being centered around development, there is a threat that environmental issues might get neglected as witnessed many times in the past.

“Development with sustainability should be the policy of the authorities,” she concluded.
Toxics Link is an environmental research and advocacy organisation set up in 1996 by The Just Environment Charitable Trust. It lays emphasis on reaching out to grassroots groups, community-based organisations and the public at large on environmental issues.

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