So, it's a wrap! NiF Festival 2018 comes to a close.
It's been surreal, hosting all of you and for all the support we've received from the entire NiF family. Thank you!
The NiF Photography Awards 2018 were announced at the Festival. Check out the photo story below to find out all the category winners, runner ups and special mentions.
Will Burrard-Lucas is a professional wildlife photographer from the UK. He is also the founder of Camtraptions and WildlifePhoto.com. The Brit enjoys photographing wildlife all over the world, but in recent years, the African wildlife has become his primary focus. He is extremely passionate about wildlife conservation and has partnered with a number of organisations around the world, donating his time and images to help them with their fundraising activities. Through his work, Will hopes to inspire a greater appreciation for the wildlife of our planet and encourage conservation action.
Krithi K Karanth
Krithi K Karanth is an Associate Conservation Scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and works as an Adjunct Faculty at the Duke and National Centre for Biological Sciences. A PhD holder in Environmental Science and Policy, her research in India spans 20 years, encompassing issues of human dimensions of wildlife conservation. Krithi's work has been covered by media outlets such as the BBC, National Geographic, Sanctuary Asia and more. She serves on the editorial boards of premier journals like Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters and Frontiers in Ecology and Environment. She has mentored over 90 young scientists and engaged 500+ citizen science volunteers in research and conservation projects. In 2015, the World Economic Forum chose her as a Young Global Leader. She is National Geographic Society's 10,000th Grantee and Emerging Explorer 2012.
Jayaprakash is an ITES professional and an award-winning wildlife photographer. He was born and raised in the hills of Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. After 18 years, he took a break from the corporate world to pursue his passion for nature photography and travel. He recently won the Grand prize title as the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 and the Singapore Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017. He has been published by Natgeo, BBC and several international magazines.
Aaron Savio Lobo
Aaron is naturalist, fish fiend, forager and eater, which he believes are among the pre-requisites to becoming a marine conservationist. He has worked on a range of conservation and development projects involving fisheries in South Asia and West Africa. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He loves his seafood and believes that fostering a healthy relationship with our food can actually be a crucial step towards its conservation.
Samira Agnihotri has a Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the National Centre for Biological Sciences. This gave her the chance to step into the realm of birdsongs, and nothing makes her more content than walking in a forest with a mic and a recorder. After obtaining her PhD from the Indian Institute of Science studying Racket-tailed Drongos, she is currently finishing her post-doctoral studies at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Samira is also interested in conservation education and in exploring different ways to popularise the ecological sciences as well as encourage and aid in the preservation of traditional knowledge systems, especially those of the Soliga people of BR Hills.
Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi is a scientist with the High Altitudes programme at Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and he heads the India Program of the Snow Leopard Trust. His work as a researcher has focused on building our understanding of the interactions between the Snow Leopard, its wild prey species such as bharal and ibex and livestock in the Himalaya and other Central Asian mountains. As a conservationist, he works with the local herding communities in the snow leopards landscape to facilitate conservation of wildlife alongside people and their livestock.
Cara Tejpal is a self-described conservation generalist who lends her skills to help confront the gamut of conservation challenges in India. She writes, fundraises, and works on policy documents and campaigns for the Sanctuary Nature Foundation, while also heading their unique Mud on Boots Project. As an independent writer, her articles on wildlife have appeared in publications such as Outlook, Sanctuary Asia, Conde Nast Traveller and National Herald. She has previously worked with the Bagh Foundation on conservation policy matters and The Gerry Martin Project on snakebite management and mitigation in India.
Natural History Photographer
Sachin Rai is an eminent naturalist and wildlife photographer with over a decade's worth of experience to his name. He is someone with an uncompromising reverence for nature and an unfailing eye for unique perspectives. His consummate way with the camera and enormous natural history expertise bring to life the magic of the places that he visits. His images carry an unusual oomph and always have glorious stories to tell. Sachin has also been honoured with prestigious accolades including two photography awards and his work has been featured on numerous magazine and book publications.
Tiasa Adhya is the co-founder of The Fishing Cat Project, the longest-running research and conservation program on the fishing cat in the world. She is also a member of the Fishing Cat Working Group (Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation), an international group of small cat ecologists and conservationists. Since 2010, the group has been actively involved in highlighting the ecology of the species and its conservation challenges in India. Tiasa likes to write too and believes that writing is a powerful medium to engage people and youngsters alike.
Anup J Kattukaran
Underwater Filmmaker & Photographer
Anup Joseph Kattukaran is a self-taught underwater filmmaker/photographer and a scuba diver. On dry land, he runs an award-winning production house called 1st December Films (FDF), which bagged 8 Cannes Lion awards for their recent film "Nike - make every yard count." He is the only Indian to have won a Clio award for cinematography. Of all the things he films and photographs, he loves shooting in the ocean the most.
An expert in Zoology, Botany, and Evolutionary Biology, Divya Mudappa is a senior scientist at Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore. She heads the Western Ghats Rainforest programme. Divya's primary research area is in the field of tropical ecology, particularly of rainforests, restoration ecology and conservation biology. In addition, she is also interested in small carnivores, hornbills, plant-animal interactions and animal behaviour
Suhel Quader is a biologist at the Nature Conservation Foundation, an organization working towards research, conservation and public engagement of India's biodiversity. After a Masters degree from the Wildlife Institute of India, Suhel did his PhD on bird behaviour from the University of Florida. He has worked at the University of Cambridge, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (both in the UK), and the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru. Suhel divides his time between working on nature education and promoting citizen science in understanding the changing state of nature.
Artist, Urban Wildlife Rehabilitator
Growing up in the garden city of Bangalore and spending vacations at her grandparents’ place in the Western Ghats of Karnataka naturally helped Abhisheka develop a deep interest in nature. Love for animals and the curiosity and interest to know more about wildlife led her to get trained in Urban Wildlife Rehabilitation while doing her graduation in Fine Arts from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore. She has had the opportunity to live and work in close proximity with urban wild animals while she was involved in urban wildlife rescue and rehab for more than a decade. Abhisheka has several years of experience working as a wildlife researcher as well as a nature educator with research institutes like ATREE and BNHS and her research work was focused on wetland ecology and bird migration studies. She is currently part of the Education and Public Engagement team of NCF with the Early Bird Programme.
Chandrakant R Naik
Deputy RFO, Kali Tiger Reserve
Chandrakant R Naik, popularly known as CR Naik, is a forest
officer, a keen naturalist and a citizen scientist. Although he is a student of
Arts, his keen interest in learning Latin names of all the wild things around
him has led him closer to science. Over the years, he has worked with several
researchers and has studied hornbills, documented the fruiting and flowering
patterns of trees, studied spider and butterfly diversity etc. Naik’s diligent
documentation of the frog species around his home led him to be a part of a new
frog species discovery. His active involvement in education programmes by
delivering free talks at schools and colleges to create awareness and spread
messages about conservation won him the prestigious Jumbo Award in 2012. He is currently serving as the Deputy Range Forest Officer in Kali Tiger Reserve, Karnataka.
Nirupa Rao is a botanical illustrator based in Bangalore, India. Her illustrations are inspired by regular field visits into the wild, and are informed by close collaboration with botanists to achieve scientific accuracy. In 2017 she was named a National Geographic Young Explorer, and received a grant to pursue her work. She has been published in: Harper’s Bazaar India, and named in their list of Indian Women to be Proud; Chickpea USA; Medicor, a publication of the Karolinksa Institutet, Sweden. In 2018, the book ‘Pillars of Life’ authored by Divya Mudappa and Shankar Raman and illustrated by Nirupa Rao was published by Nature Conservation Foundation. It is her first formal publication.
Surendra Varma currently works as Senior Scientist for the Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Programme of Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF). He is also a member of the SSC/IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group and has been working on elephants and other large mammals since 1988. His interests in elephants focus on the 9 Cs - Counting, Classification (population demography), Conflict (human-Elephant), Corridors, Culling (Poaching), Culture (elephants in religion and art), Captivity, Capacity building and Conservation. He has worked on these aspects extensively, covering different landscapes from all elephants habitats in Asia, and contributed substantially to the science, welfare, management and conservation of these charismatic and endangered species.
Sara is a wildlife filmmaker and the founder of Evanescence Studios and The Indian Wildlife Channel. He has worked for major networks like the BBC, Nat Geo, Animal Planet and Discovery and his latest series was for NETFLIX. Sara started his journey as a wildlife photographer and continues to share a passion for creating images.
Wildlife Photographer, Entrepreneur
Growing up in Karnataka, Sudhir was first attracted to wildlife photography in 1993. This green evangelist campaigns for wildlife protection around the world to raise awareness about nature and wildlife. He is a full-time photography teacher and conducts wildlife photography tours and workshops. The founding member of non-profit photo sharing site India Nature Watch, he was awarded Sanctuary Asia's Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012.
Munmun Dhalaria is an independent documentary filmmaker interested in wildlife conservation, gender, human rights and livelihoods. After completing her masters in Media and Cultural Studies from TISS, she has combined her passion for wildlife and human-interest stories by focusing on the issues of people living close to wild landscapes. The themes of her ongoing film projects range from wildlife conservation projects in the Himalayas to the state of women’s health in various marginalised communities of India. She is a National Geographic Explorer, currently filming a rare and elusive pheasant in the western Himalayas.
Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan is a biologist studying wild Asian elephant behaviour and physiology in human-use landscapes, particularly in the Anamalais of the Western Ghats. He believes in adopting multi-disciplinary approaches involving behaviour, physiology, demography, and genetics in understanding how elephants respond to conflict with humans. Besides this, Sreedhar is also deeply interested in unravelling the historical and cultural aspects of human-elephant relationships in India, as practised by generations of mahouts, particularly in Kerala and as portrayed in the classical literary works of the past.
Akanksha Sood Singh
Natural History Filmmaker
With over 17 years of work experience that covers the range and breadth of film production, Akanksha has developed and honed her skills, often in extremely high pressure – high demand settings which range from the jungles to tent pole feature films, crafting scripts to negotiating complex acquisition & co-productions and now to producing and directing her own films. Akanksha’s films have seen first broadcast on networks like BBC, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, ZDF, Discovery, Animal Planet, PBS US, NDR Nature Films, Public Television Taiwan, Arte, France 5, Channel 4, Smithsonian Channel, and NHK.Akanksha has won three National Film Awards given by the President of India, a Wildscreen (Green Oscar) Nomination, a UN Film Award, a Nomination at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and recently, the World’s Emerging Documentarian Award. She is one of the Jurors for the 2018 International Emmy ® Awards – Documentary category.
Wildlife Presenter and Filmmaker
Malaika Vaz is a 21-year-old adventurer, wildlife presenter and filmmaker from Goa, India. As a competitive windsurfer, PADI Dive Master, horse rider, sailor and certified pilot, she has worked to empower survivors of sexual abuse, disadvantaged youth and tribal communities through adventure sport in rural Maharashtra. Malaika is passionate about mainstreaming conservation issues and engaging younger audiences and is the presenter for an 8-part television series on lesser-known and endangered species across India. She is a National Geographic Explorer and is currently presenting and directing an investigative documentary on the illegal trafficking of Manta Ray contraband in Southeast Asia.
Jyothy Karat is a journalist, based out of Bangalore. She has traveled to and reported from 20 countries and had won a Fellowship from World Press Photo and Konrad Adenauer in 2012. Her work documenting life in the Nilgiris Biosphere is part of UNESCO’s Global campaign to influence policymakers and global leaders to make green initiatives. Her work was exhibited at the UN headquarters in New York and in Geneva and at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Her photographs were also shown during the COP21 conference in France and subsequently in Morocco and in Belgium. Jyothy’s latest exhibition about Nilgiris is scheduled to open in Portugal on September 25 this year. Jyothy also makes independent documentary films for China Global Television Network and pursues rock climbing and scuba diving at leisure.
Aditi Rajagopal is a journalist-turned-filmmaker who has just returned to her home in Bangalore after almost 4 years in the UK - where she worked on Animal Planet's River Monsters, and it's conservation-oriented sequel Mighty Rivers (2018). She has worked with several conservation organisations around the country - in Delhi, Nagaland and the Andamans - and believes that nature will only be protected and conserved when people fall in love with it. She believes that apart from being lost in a dense jungle, digging deep into the sand or swimming under a crashing wave, powerful stories told through well-crafted films will give the natural world its best shot.
Community Health Consultant
Tanya Seshadri is a medical doctor and community health consultant. She has worked with NGOs and community health centres in southern and northeastern India, helping in setting up and managing community health programmes. She is an independent consultant with the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Research, the public health division of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences & Technology, and an Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru. In BR Hills in southern India, she has helped initiate a participatory action research programme to facilitate health-related engagement by the local community.
Community Health Consultant
Prashanth NS is a medical doctor who specializes in public health and works at the Institute of Public Health, Bangalore. For his PhD in public health, he studied health care organisation and management at the district level in the Tumkur district of Karnataka. After medicine, he worked for an NGO at BR hills in southern Karnataka and subsequently worked at primary health centres in Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh. His work at BR hills has been the origin and the consequence of his passion for wildlife, especially birds, stemming from a larger interest in natural history and biology itself. He teaches short courses in public health and social science research methods, social determinants of health, health equity and human resources for health.
Jainy Kuriakose is a bird photographer with a relentless passion for the planet's avian wealth, which sees her travel to all corners of the Indian subcontinent and across numerous foreign lands. Jainy, who has a doctorate in Chemistry, took to bird watching about ten years ago and when it became her life’s guiding devotion, she resigned from her job at Infosys and turned to full-time bird photography. She travels most of the time, it could be to any destination her heart desires, be it Alaska or the Andamans, Mishmi hills or Mizoram, or the famous Dr.Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekad - a place very close to her hometown in Kerala. Less than ten years of serious bird photography and she has photographed and documented more than 1100 birds in the country.
Nanda Kumar is a self-made entrepreneur from Mysore, with a Master’s Degree in Commerce. He is the proprietor of Nandana Idea Space, an offset print and packaging firm which provides employment to more than 60 people. In mid-2010, he took a break from work to travel and explore the wonders of the natural world. Nanda's passion for swimming, naturally, saw him gravitate towards the oceans. He became a certified scuba diver and turned to photography soon after, to be able to document his magical adventures underwater. Nanda has more than 700 dives under his belt, with visits to 30+ prominent dive destinations including Andaman, Maldives, Fiji and more - spread over more than 10 countries.
Shivaram Subramaniam is a nature lover, a traveller and a wildlife photography enthusiast. A management graduate with nearly two decades of corporate experience, Shivaram gave up his full-time job in 2012 and decided to follow his heart and travel the country. During his travels, he studied the various issues faced by the local community around the national parks that he visited, and by raising awareness through his photographs and by getting involved in conservation efforts, Shivaram endeavours to pay back nature for all the joy it has given him. Shivaram is also a founding member of the Saucam Foundation, an NGO started by five like-minded individuals, with the express intention of uplifting the lives of girl children in particular and rural living standards in general.
Arvind Ramamurthy is a wildlife photographer and enthusiast from Bangalore. He was introduced to the world of wildlife via art at a very young age and has been fascinated ever since. He believes that unique perspectives are very important in wildlife photography and loves photographing the lesser-known species in unique and interesting ways such that they garner more attention. Arvind believes that good photographs are a result of a keen sense of observation and a strong thought process. Arvind's images have been published in National Geographic and several others publications.
Baljeet S. Juneja
Evangelist at Adobe
Baljeet S. Juneja is an Evangelist at Adobe. His responsibility at Adobe includes building enterprise solutions for customers and developing strong ecosystem around Adobe technology stack for Creative Cloud and Document Cloud. He comes with over 10 years of in-depth experience on various digital technologies.
Thakur Devi Singh
Thakur Devi Singh Ji has been documenting and photographing leopards in the Jawai area of Rajasthan for over 20 years. From the times of the princely states when leopards were part of the shikar [arranged hunting trips] to the conservation and tourism change of today, he has seen it all. More than five wildlife movies have been made about the area and its fauna, by the likes of the BBC and Animal Planet, and he has featured in all of them. Devi Singh’s daily ritual of following his beloved animals, naming them and keeping track has helped others also to learn how to connect with these wild animals.
Sanjeet Mangat is a medical science graduate who left his practice at the age of 38 years to pursue his love for travel and wildlife photography. He has travelled extensively around the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of India. Completing nearly 10 years of travel and still photography, Sanjeet recently started compiling his work into books, to share his experiences in the wild with fellow enthusiasts. The book, Leopard on the Rocks, consists of his visits to the amazing hamlet of Bera in the Jawai area of Rajasthan, showcasing the birds and animals of the region and the issues that it's facing.