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Film on Gujarat salt workers bags Vatavaran film fest award


New Delhi :  Mumbai-based Farida Pacha’s “My name is Salt” and German-Italian film “Last Call” have bagged the best film award in Indian and international categories respectively at the ongoing CMS Vatavaran film festival here.

The International film festival for environment and wildlife conservation, which is in its 8th edition had conferred the awards at a function here late last night.

178 entries in 11 categories were received from various filmmakers from across the world. The winning films were selected from a shortlist of 74 films, organisers said.

Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar, who chaired the selection jury commended the attempt to spread awareness about the environment a “magnificent idea” and appreciated the filmmakers for their unique ideas.

“My heart goes out to all these film-makers for making us a little better human beings, making us aware of the problems and makes us realise that we also instead of debating do some concrete work to save environment,” Palekar said.

Pacha’s winning film “My name is Salt”, portrays the lives of thousands of families who work laboriously extracting salt from desolate land of Kutch of Gujarat. The process is interrupted every year by the monsoon, which washes away all their unfinished labour.

“The Last Call” based on a 1972 published book “Limits to Growth” was a research by a team of young scientists from MIT. Through the film the filmmaker has provided a provocative insight into the reasons behind the ongoing global crisis and share their visions of mankind’s future.

Capturing the stunning mass nesting event of the Olive Ridleys of the Indian coastline in coastal Odisha is Rita Banerjee’s film “Turtle dairies – the Olive Ridley Turtle”, which bagged the best film award in the children’s category.

The film showcases the metamorphoses through an emerging hatch-lings, baby turtles.

Banerjee has been a part of several award winning films over the last 20 years including ‘The Wild Meat Trail’, which was among the three three Panda winning films at Wildscreen Festival in London in 2010.

Also Print journalists, Anirudhha Ghosal and Pritha Chatterjee of a national daily were given with a joint award for the Young Environmental Journalist of the year for their extensive coverage on environmental issues and sustainable development.

A total of 22 awards were conferred to filmmakers in 8 categories in Indian section and 5 categories for international films.

“The theme has been chosen keeping in mind the fact that the way water scarcity issues are addressed, impacts upon the successful achievement of most of the development goals,” Director General of CMS, P N Vasanti said.

The environment festival that began on October 9 is scheduled to be continue till October 13.

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