We are excited to welcome you to the 6th edition of the Nature inFocus Festival.


Venue: Chamara Vajra, Bangalore
Date: August 2, 3, 4


Mahesh Rangarajan

Environmental Historian

Presently Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Ashoka University, Mahesh studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford. He has taught at Jadavpur, Cornell and NCBS and also served as Chair of the Elephant Task Force. His first book ‘Fencing the Forest’ was published 1996 and the most recent one, ‘Nature and Nation’, in 2015. His co-edited works include ‘At Nature's Edge’, 2018.

Aparajita Datta

Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation

Aparajita Datta has been involved in research and conservation in Arunachal Pradesh since 1995. While her primary focus has been on hornbills, she has carried out exploration surveys and camera-trapping studies for mammal species, examined the impacts of hunting and logging, and engaged with the government on the management of some tiger reserves and protected areas. She has also worked with communities for conservation, however, she now believes that reconciliation between wildlife and people is not always possible. Aparajita has also written several books for children.

Jonathan Clay

Producer, Director - Silverback Films

Jonathan is an award-winning documentary filmmaker specializing in wildlife and environmental stories. Highlights of his 24 years working in the industry include producing and shooting on the BBC series 'South Pacific', 'Wonders of the Monsoon', and 'Tribe' as well as shooting and directing on 'Human Planet' and 'Blue Planet II'. He is currently working at Silverback Films on 'Our Planet' – a collaboration between Netflix and WWF which aims to ignite a global conversation about the recovery of biodiversity and humanity’s journey to sustainability. This project has seen him move from the safe confines of broadcast television to the unpredictable world of social media platforms and viral videos; a challenging but satisfyingly creative space with huge potential for inspiring global change.

Ravi Chellam

Wildlife Biologist

Ravi Chellam has been involved with wildlife research, education and conservation since the early 1980s. During his career, he has worked with numerous institutions including the Wildlife Institute of India, United Nations Development Programme, Wildlife Conservation Society - India Program and Greenpeace India. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Metastring Foundation.Ravi's current interests include conservation of large carnivores, conservation and management of wildlife and biodiversity outside protected areas, restoration of wildlife habitats and the use of information technology to enable public participation in research, conservation and public health. He also serves on the Governing Council of the Bombay Natural History Society, on the Board of Advisors of the Nature Conservation Foundation, and as a member of the expert committee appointed by the Government of India to guide the translocation of Asiatic Lions.

Joanna Van Gruisen

Wildlife Filmmaker

Joanna Van Gruisen grew up in the Northumberland countryside but has lived in the subcontinent since the late 1970s. She came to India in 1981 to make wildlife documentaries and has lived here ever since. An early pioneer of wildlife photography in India (winner of BBC Wildlife Photography awards) she has been part of the conservation scene for several decades - filming, photographing, writing, researching and editing. Joanna presently lives in Madhya Pradesh where she co-runs a small eco-lodge and is active in sustainable tourism fields and local nature projects.

Vivek Menon

Wildlife Conservationist

Vivek Menon is a wildlife conservationist, environmental commentator, author and photographer. The winner of the 2001 Rufford Award for International Conservation for his work to save the Asian Elephant, he is the founder, executive director and CEO of the Wildlife Trust of India.  He is also the author/editor of ten wildlife books, scores of technical reports and more than 200 articles in various scientific and popular publications.Vivek plays a role in advising the Indian government on natural heritage conservation as a part of several committees like the Project Elephant Steering Committee, National Wildlife Action Plan Committee and many more. Internationally, he is the chairperson of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, a member of the Species Survival Commission Steering Committee of the IUCN and an advisor of the Marjan Centre of Kings College, London.

Anish Andheria

Wildlife Photographer and Conservationist

Dr Anish Andheria is the President of the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), a not-for-profit set up to preserve, protect and conserve forests and wildlife. He is also a member of government committees like the National Tiger Conservation Authority and many more. He was awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Conservation Award in 2008 and the UAA-Institute of Chemical Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2017.A wildlife photographer of repute, he has photographed in some of the most remote wildlife reserves in India. His collection of over 350,000 images serves as a veritable archival record of the wildlife and wildernesses of India. He has also co-authored two books on Indian wildlife and has contributed to several other books and publications, including scientific papers. A natural communicator, he is also one of India's leading motivational speakers and has introduced thousands of young people to the joys of nature and the rationale for nature conservation.

Rita Banerji

Founder-Director, Dusty Foot Production

Rita Banerji is one of the leading environmental filmmakers in the country. Her work is grounded in the clever use of communication as a tool for conservation action. In 2017 Rita was awarded the National Geographic-CMS Prithvi Ratna Award for her contribution to the environment and the RBS Earth Heroes award in 2018. She has been part of three Panda Award-winning films, also known as the Green Oscar at Wildscreen, UK. Her core work is in engaging and empowering the youth, especially from indigenous and grassroots communities, in conservation through the use of the visual medium.

Dhritiman Mukherjee

Wildlife Photographer

Dhritiman Mukherjee is as elusive as the animals he photographs. His photographs have appeared on The New York Times, National Geographic Traveller, Lonely Planet, WWF, UNESCO, and Birdlife. In 2014, Dhritiman won the RBS Earth Hero award.

Harini Nagendra

Ecologist

Harini Nagendra is a professor of sustainability at Azim Premji University. She has conducted research on the interaction between people and nature in forests and cities for over twenty-five years. In addition to research publications, she writes widely for the public in newspapers, magazines and other venues. Her books include Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities (2019), and Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future (2016).

Raghu Chundawat

Conservation Biologist

Dr Raghu Chundawat started his career as a conservation biologist more than thirty years ago, with his research on Snow Leopards in Ladakh. Later, he worked as the Regional Science and Conservation Director for the International Snow Leopard Trust. He was also a member of the teaching faculty of the Wildlife Institute of India. Raghu is very closely involved with tiger conservation and research in central India and recently published a book based on his ten-year study there, “The Rise and Fall of The Emerald Tigers”. A recipient of several conservation awards, his work with Panna’s tigers, was made into an award-winning wildlife documentary film by BBC/Animal Planet.

Nandini Velho

Wildlife Biologist

Nandini Velho completed her Earth Institute Fellowship from Columbia University. Over the last decade, her work has focused on the human dimensions of wildlife management. She works with local forest managers, artists and designers to engage in-depth with on-ground outreach, including healthcare and logistical support of front-line forest staff, and extensive writing in popular medium.

Gautam Pandey

Director, Riverbank Studios

A National Award winner, Gautam Pandey is one of India’s most accomplished wildlife filmmakers. He studied film in Canada and has several national and international awards to his name. Beyond awards, Gautam is someone who lives with a passion for the wild. Born into a family of nature-enthusiasts, his passion for filmmaking started at an early age and he focused it on using the visual medium to bring about awareness about wildlife and document unique animal behaviour in the wild. Gautam has also produced and directed several episodes of the TV series Earth Matters, which is India’s longest running environmental series on National TV 3.

Sara

Wildlife Filmmaker

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, National Geographic, 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.

Chetana Purushotham

Marine Biologist

Chetana Purushotham is an alumnus of the WCS-India Master's program at NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore. Her journey initially began with her assisting scientists on ecological projects in the Western Ghats. Thanks to a keen interest in studying animal communities, followed by a series of fortunate events, she found herself diving in the Andamans Islands - studying coral reefs in the aftermath of the mass bleaching episode in 2010.While she never left the Andamans, her focus over the years gradually transitioned from diving for research to diving to educate. Chetana now heads the marine conservation and education wing at DIVEIndia, the oldest dive school in the Andamans.

Ricky Kej

Music Composer, Environmentalist

Ricky Kej is an internationally renowned Indian Music Composer, Environmentalist and Professor. He has performed at prestigious venues in over 25 countries, including at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and Geneva. Ricky has won more than 100 music awards in over 20 countries. He is a Grammy® Award Winner, US Billboard #1 artist, UNESCO "Global Ambassador for Kindness" & UNICEF 'Celebrity Supporter’. He has been Awarded "United Nations Global Humanitarian Artist" and is also the “Youth Icon of India".

Saurabh Desai

Nature Photographer

Saurabh worked as a planning engineer at Larsen & Toubro for seven years before he quit to become a full-time photographer. He has now established his own media production house, 50mm Media Productions, and has published a coffee table book named 'Visual Poetries - Fine Art Nature Photography'.He has won numerous national and international accolades and has had his work published on platforms like SAEVUS, Sanctuary Asia and National Geographic. Saurabh's main forte is nature photography, and he hopes to help people fall in love with nature and thereby create a collective consciousness of conservation.

Purva Variyar

Science Communicator, Hobbyist Photomicrographer

Purva Variyar is a Conservation and Science Writer with The Wildlife Conservation Trust. She has been a Senior Editor and Science Communicator for the Sanctuary Asia magazine and has also worked with The Gerry Martin Project. 

Yashpal Rathore

Wildlife Photographer

Yashpal Rathore is a naturalist and a photography mentor. He specializes in DSLR-based camera trap photography, capturing images of rare species in their natural habitat.

Ramya Reddy

Photographer

Ramya Reddy has been a professional photographer for over twelve years, drawn especially to blurring lines between physical and imaginary worlds. She took to the artistic possibilities of the camera very early on and went on to pursue her love of the photographic arts with studies at the Parsons School of Design (NY) Light and Life Academy (Ooty) and Santa Fe Workshops (NM). Her fine art work has been exhibited in India and the US. On the commercial front, she has collaborated with boutique lifestyle brands including Taj Hotels, Forest Essentials, Star Asia, Michelin Guides and Ganjam. Her work has appeared in publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Elle, Vogue, and a series of travel-based coffee table books. An aspiring writer, Ramya has recently published a book: Soul of the Nilgiris: A journey through the mountains, a close-to-the-heart project she spent a decade working on.

Kiran Khalap

Writer, Rock Climber

Kiran Khalap first went for a hike with his sister’s college trekking group in 1976. He climbed Mt Kalsubai, the highest peak in the Sahyadris mountain range; which became the start of a life-long passion. Since then he has regularly trekked the Sahyadris, notching up a list of 100 different forts. Like most trekkers, he later graduated to the sport of rock climbing. In 2016, Kiran facilitated the hosting of the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) Bouldering World Cup in Navi Mumbai for two successive years. He continues to trek in the monsoons and rock climb during the non-monsoon months.

Shatabdi Chakrabarti

Independent Filmmaker

Shatabdi Chakrabarti has been a media professional for the past 14 years. She started her career with NDTV and has worked extensively in both the advertisement and documentary space. Her passion for photography has won her a number of accolades; she won the Conservation Issues category at the NiF Photography Awards 2018 and her work was exhibited at the India Art Fair 2019.Shatabdi writes for Tattoo Cultr, India’s only online tattoo magazine and has been researching the vanishing culture of traditional tattooing of Indian tribes. Documenting wildlife and ethnographic stories is where her interest lies. She is now an independent filmmaker, working on stories around wildlife and conservation in the country.

Avijan Saha

Wildlife Photographer

Avijan Saha hails from the town of Siliguri in West Bengal. It was only once his father bought him a point and shoot that he started photographing and documenting the wildlife around him. By late 2010, he gave up his job in the media sector and committed himself to a career in photography. His work was focused on human-wildlife conflict, particularly human-elephant conflict, that was prevalent in the region.In 2015, one of his pictures got published in the National Geographic magazine, after which he spent time working on human-elephant conflict issues in the Indo-Nepal border. Soon after, Avijan joined an NGO called Aaranyak where he dedicated all his efforts in conservation photography. He has published a book, 'Identification of Solitary Elephants', which he distributed to local villagers, tea garden authorities and forest officials to help spread awareness and educate the communities on the ground.

Rasilaben Vadher

Range Forest Officer, Sasan Gir

Rasilaben has been working as a Forester with the Wildlife Rescue Team of Sasan Gir, Gujarat. A regular day at work for Rasilaben involves being a part of strenuous rescue operations of wild animals like lions, leopards, crocodiles and nilgai. Apart from this, she is also responsible for management of Wildlife Rescue Centres, treatment and care of sick wild animals, releasing wild animals, responding to human-animal conflicts and patrolling in forest areas - day and night. She is part of the first team of women forest staff of Gujarat and has been featured in the documentary ‘The Lion Queens of India’ which airs often on Discovery Channel.

Serlibon Timungpi

Green Hub Fellow

Serlibon Timungpi belongs to Dongkamukam in West Karbi Anglong, Assam, and is from the Green Hub batch of 2016-17. After the fellowship, Serlibon continued as a training assistant with Green Hub. At the same time, she initiated conversations around conservation with her community, especially looking at the spread of rubber plantations and quarrying in her area. In 2018 she was selected for the Community Civic Action Fellowship instituted by Econet. She is now leading the Forest Project in her area which looks at the wellbeing of the community through ecological security.

Lalvohbika Hrahsel

Green Hub Fellow

Lalvohbika is a member of the forest patrolling team at the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram, and a Green Hub Fellow from the batch of 2018-19. A natural with the camera and an aptitude for the creative, he has combined his strengths to capture both the beauty of Dampa and the threats oil palm plantations pose to the region, in his films made during the fellowship. Passionate about the protection of biodiversity, Lalvohbika can be that unique voice from the region. He is also a talented singer and guitarist.

Book Launch

Shivang Mehta

Wildlife Photographer

A former journalist and PR professional, Shivang left the comfort of a corporate office to become one of India’s leading natural-history photographers with national and international awards to his name. His love for the forests of Kumaon pushed him to choose Corbett National Park as his main area of work for his organisation Nature Wanderers, which not only helps promote the culture of nature photography in India but also gives aspiring photographers an opportunity to work with him and choose wildlife photography as a full-time career option.

Book Launch

Rohan Chakravarty

Cartoonist

Rohan Chakravarty is a cartoonist, illustrator, wildlife buff and creator of Green Humour, a series of comic strips about nature. He believes that there is always a funny side to the serious things in life.

coming soon...

Some time slots are likely to change.