India’s first and only environment-based film festival, All Living Things Environmental Film Festival is back and all set to return for it’s second edition which will be held from October 9-17. ALT EFF, which is dedicated to supporting filmmakers, creators, and artists who are eager to connect audiences with environmental themes through impactful storytelling, was established based on a need to bring people together through the arts and to raise awareness about issues that surround the climate justice movement. And with its return, the founding team–comprising Kunal Khanna, Neha Shreshta, and Rudransh Mathur–is bringing back a compelling and entertaining line up of environmental films overseen by a jury and advisory team of the festival. Originally conceived as a physical festival, ALT EFF remains virtual owing to the (still) ongoing pandemic.
Meanwhile, the jury includes Michael Snyder, an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker together with Amin Hajee, Anand Patwardhan, and Sourav Sarangi. Even Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff and TV and film personality Mrunmayee Deshpande have been roped in as ambassadors with others.
Speaking about the festival Shroff who is vocal about environmental impact, said, “Let there be more such films from the whole globe, everyone is concerned about the environment, let us educate through films. And hence it’s important to wish luck and congratulate the team of ALT EFF for such a great initiative. It’s a great medium of education for survival and sustainability. Let’s educate ourselves and our kids through such fine films at such a festival that talks about the basics of the forest, the water, the air, the food and the soil.”
Founding member and festival director, Kunal Khanna stated, “Humans are in an existential crisis and it is as a result of how we are treating all other species and ecosystems apart from ourselves, we need a fundamental and systemic shift in the way we operate. Using film as its core medium, ALT EFF is a platform and a confluence that will nurture and inspire critical thinking to address the climate emergency we are in.”
The program holds 44 films, carefully divided into ten film bundles: Drive Thru Shorts, Activision, Midnight Tails, What’s On Your Plate?, Sapling Stories (Kids Friendly), Flux & Form, A Chasm of Hope, New Voices, Deep Dive Features and Programmer’s Choice, representing a total of 31 countries and showcasing 33 India premieres. This year’s edition has a new film submission category, a ‘Youth Category’, along with International Feature Films, International Short Films, Indian Feature Films, and Indian Short Films.
Here are few films that one needs to watch out for:
Moti Bagh by Nirmal Chander
Against the forces of migration, Vidyadutt Sharma – farmer, activist and poet, chronicles the changing landscape in verses of resistance. As he and Ram Singh, his Nepali farmhand, plough the fields to keep a dream called Moti Bagh alive, we wonder if it will ever return to its old glory.
Ophir by Alexandre Berman, Olivier Pollet. France, Papua New Guinea
Ophir tells the story of an extraordinary indigenous ‘eco-revolution’ for life, land and culture, leading up to the likely creation of the world’s newest nation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
YOUTH v GOV. by Christi Cooper, Olivia Ahnemann
YOUTH v GOV follows 21 young Americans suing the world’s most powerful government, to protect their constitutional rights to a stable climate. If they win, they will change the future.
Sagarputra: Offspring of the Sea by Pooja Das Sarkar
The oldest inhabitants of Mumbai – the Koli fisherfolk from the village of Trombay Koliwada, are gradually moving away from the livelihood of fishing. The reason? The toxic, plastic-filled water of the sea and being locked in by the government’s infrastructure projects, on all sides.
A Viral Spiral by Steve Cutts
World-renowned artist Steve Cutts created an animated film for the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation, in which he not only visualizes the factors that cause pandemics, but also points at the urgent measures we must take, to reduce the risk of future pandemics.
Cover Image: Environmental Film Festival/Instagram