News18 | December 7, 2020
The first annual All Living Things Environmental Film Festival (ALT EFF) will be held virtually from 5th to 13th December, 2020 where it will showcase 33 films on social and environmental issues and hold 11 engaging live events.
The festival, originally conceived as a physical event in Panchgani, will be held virtually this year due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from Indian films, the program includes award-winning international films from different parts of the world such as South Africa, Germany, Madagascar & U.K, USA, Republic of Guinea and Mozambique.
The festival jury includes filmmaker Satyanshu Singh, David Martinez, Monika Naranjo Gonzalez, Sudheer Palsane, Sophy Sivaraman and Akanksha Sood Singh will awarded the winning film in each of the following categories, Indian Short, India Feature, International Short, International Feature and Jury Special Mention.
The advisory team of the festival includes the award-winning filmmaker Mike Pandey, who has spent over 35 years in the environmental and filmmaking space, and Pooja Jauhari, the CEO of Glitch. The ambassadors representing the festival includes Jackie Shroff and Mrunmayee Deshpande amongst other leading figures in the industry. Shaan Kumar, Pooja Gupta, Gunjan Menon, Arati Kumar Rao and Gautam Pandey round off a talented group of ambassadors.
Here is a look at some of the films selected for ALT EFF 2020:
Stroop: Journey into the Rhino horn war (dir. by Susan Scott • South Africa • 2018)
Two first-time filmmakers explore the war for rhino horn. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, move in with their mothers and give up nearly four years of their lives to document not just the rhinos but the various people connected to this iconic animal. In this roller-coaster ride between Africa and Asia, the two women embed themselves on the front-lines of a species genocide where they are given exclusive access to the enforcement aspect of the fight.
Stroop has multiple accolades including, San Francisco Green Film Festival, Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam and many more awards.
Elephants in my Backyard (dir. Vikram Singh, India, 2020)
Set largely in Hassan, in Karnataka, the film follows Ananda Kumar, a conservationist who believes in the possibility of peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants. For the last sixteen years, he has been pioneering a radically different approach to conservation. Will Dr. Kumar and his team succeed in changing the attitudes of humans, and give the elephants of Hassan a chance to survive?
Kokoly (dir. by Garth Cripps, Paul Antion, Madagascar & U.K, 2019) – India Premiere
Kokoly offers an insight into the life of an incredible woman. Against a backdrop of extreme poverty, personal loss and a marine environment changing beyond her control, Kokoly lives on a knife edge. Kokoly follows a traditional Vezo fisherwoman Madame Kokoly – as she reflects on her life experiences and carries out her daily routine in and around the coastal waters of southwest Madagascar. The film is a powerful and personal exploration of how one woman is navigating her daily life against a backdrop of poverty and marine biodiversity loss.
Our Gorongosa (dir. James Byrne Mozambique, 2019) – India Premiere
Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife restoration stories. The coexistence of humans and animals in Gorongosa is a phenomenon we must all witness. The park has been able to increase the large mammal population over 10-fold, a truly remarkable achievement, also bringing in heavy sets of roadblocks. The movie follows the story of Dominique Gonçalves, a young African elephant ecologist – her efforts to uplift young girls and women, and bring in long term changes within Gorongosa.
For the Stripes (dir. Aayush Dudhiya, Divy Bhagia, India, 2020) – India Premiere
This film chronicles the people of Ranthambore, and their intricate relationship with the tigers of the Ranthambore National Park. Portraying the nuances of our relationship with wildlife, this documentary ponders upon how a coexistence between us could prosper.
Cries of Our Ancestors (dir. Rebecca Kormos, Kalyanee Mam, Republic of Guinea, 2020) – India Premiere
Cries of Our Ancestors is a short documentary detailing peaceful coexistence between humans and chimpanzees in Guinea, and the impact of bauxite mining on both of them.
The Love Bugs (dir. by Allison Otto and Maria Clinton U.S.A, 2020) – India Premiere
Over the course of 60 years, entomologists Charlie and Lois O’Brien amassed a collection of more than 1 million insects from nearly 70 countries —the largest private collection in the world with a value of $10 million dollars. But as Charlie’s battle with Parkinson’s becomes increasingly pronounced, he and Lois, 90, make the difficult decision to give away their drawers full of iridescent weevils and planthoppers. This humorous and poignant film explores the love of Nature–and the Nature of Love–and what it means to devote oneself completely to both.
The Love Bugs has won multiple awards including, International Science Film Festival, Nijmegen, Netherlands, New York Wild Film Festival, etc.
Peng Yu Sai (dir. Malaika Vaz, Nitye Sood, India, 2020) – India Premiere
Peng Yu Sai is an investigative documentary that dives into the illegal trade in Manta Rays from India’s oceans. Through this documentary, wildlife presenter Malaika Vaz follows the illegal trade pipeline from fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean, to the Indo-Myanmar border and finally undercover in the wildlife trafficking hubs of Hong Kong and Guangzhou, in China. Along the way – she meets with fishermen, middle men, traffickers, armed forces personnel and wildlife trade kingpins, as she tries to understand what it will take to protect these magnificent ocean giants.
Wade (Directed by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, India, 2019)
In an animated version of Kolkata, India rendered unlivable by sea level rise, things take a dark turn when a family of climate change refugees are ambushed by a tiger on the flooded streets. The directors hope that people who watch this film are compelled to imagine what their lives look like as climate change takes its toll over the years, and ensure that they do all in their capacity to avoid such futures for our communities.
White Wolves – Ghosts of the Arctic (Directed by Oliver Goetzl, Germany, 2018)
With never-before-seen footage of wolf family life, Ghosts of the Arctic is a dramatic and touching story of loyalty, companionship and devotion. It’s an epic true tale that reveals the struggles and triumphs of a family working to survive in one of the last great wildernesses on Earth.
White Wolves has collected many plaudits for its ground-breaking work, including being a finalist in International Nature Film Festival in Gödöllő, Hungary as well as winning the Best Film on Nature, Best Cinematography, Best Editor, Outstanding Achievement Award in Category Direction at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival.