This video is called Ganga: Ribbon of Life, Clip 1.
Conservation Leadership Programme alumnus wins prestigious film-making award
13th November 2012
Panda Award winner Anirban Dutta Gupta shares some tips for budding environmental film-makers.
Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) alumnus Anirban Dutta Gupta has won a prestigious Panda Award for his documentary film Ganga: Ribbon of Life at this year’s Wildscreen Festival –internationally renowned as one of the most influential events in the wildlife and environmental film-making industry.
Ganga: Ribbon of Life looks at the magnitude and repercussions of pollution in the River Ganges, which has the most heavily populated river basin in the world, home to over 400 million people.
In addition to its Wildscreen showing, the film was broadcast on National Geographic India and Fox History, and had one of the highest ratings of all documentaries shown during that period.
It was also shown to ministers as part of their review of the Ganga Action Plan, and is thought to have played a part in the final decision to revamp the action plan and temporarily stop construction of dams in the first 200km of the river.
A powerful medium
Growing up on a healthy dose of David Attenborough, Gerald Durrell and Jane Goodall from early childhood, Anirban has always had an interest in both the natural world and the art of communicating about it.
After studying zoology at the University of Delhi, he began looking for a way to combine these two interests. As a result, he took a 4-year course in design (specialising in film-making) at the National Institute of Design and worked at Madras Crocodile Bank, Chennai and the Centre for Ecological Science in Bangalore during the summers. …
For budding environmental film-makers aiming to influence the largest audience possible, Anirban offers these four tips:
Find the story. Just stating facts is not appealing enough – these need to be woven into a story with a history, characters, plots, and a solid beginning, middle and end.
Clearly state the question you want to answer early on (within the first 2 to 3 minutes). The rest of the film is about trying to find an answer to this question, so the simpler and clearer the question, the more gripping and easier to follow will be the story.
Be honest to the subject – this is an ethical issue. The footprint of the filmmaker has to be kept to a minimum so that you have as little influence on human and animal subjects as possible. This is particularly true when filming wildlife, as you need to be careful not to stress the animal or provoke it in order to get specific behaviours.
Be patient, and have the tenacity of a leech!
- Urge India to Save the Ganges River Dolphin (forcechange.com)
- Wildscreen Festival, preview (telegraph.co.uk)
- Survey to count Ganges river dolphins (indiavision.com)