In this category we would like to showcase the work of non-professional filmmakers who have shown great initiative by taking the first step forward - making their own film.
This is further divided into two sub-categories:
This category is open to new or established broadcasters, film or television production companies/distributors and independent filmmakers from anywhere in the world.
This is further divided into two sub-categories:
An edited or unedited video clip shot on a mobile phone that captures an incredible moment of animal behaviour.
The Jury Curator is Wildlife Filmmaker, Sara.
Founder-Director, Dusty Foot Production
Rita Banerji is one of the leading environmental filmmakers in the country and her work has been grounded in using communication as a strong tool for conservation action. In 2017 she 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.
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.
Natural History Filmmaker
With over 17 years of work experience that covers the entire 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 and co-productions, and now to producing and directing her own films. Akanksha’s films have seen first-broadcast on networks like the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Channel 4, NHK and many more. Akanksha has won three National Film Awards, a Wildscreen nomination, a UN Film Award, and recently, the World’s Emerging Documentarian Award.
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. Raghu was also a member of the teaching faculty of the Wildlife Institute of India. He 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 also made into an award-winning wildlife documentary film by BBC/Animal Planet.
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. She presently lives in Madhya Pradesh where she co-runs a small eco-lodge and is active in sustainable tourism fields and local nature projects.
Founder, Drishyam Films
Manish Mundra is a film producer and the founder of Drishyam Films. After a chance interaction with Rajat Kapoor on Twitter in 2013, Manish turned his lifelong passion for films into reality by coming on board to produce Ankhon Dekhi. The film went on to win three Filmfare Awards and three Screen Awards, and there has been no looking back for this corporate leader-turned-film producer. Drishyam Films is a global motion-picture studio that has produced international award-winning films such as Masaan, Umrika, Waiting, Dhanak and Newton. He has established the Drishyam–Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab (2015-2016) for aspiring Indian screenwriters.
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.