The natural world in motion: local wildlife documentaries on our radar

The natural world in motion: local wildlife documentaries on our radar

The global climate has been in decline for decades now. The natural calamities that are increasing in number and frequency are clear proof of this. Countries around the world are facing the real threats of climate change. Take Pakistan for example; since June this year it has been inundated with rain and in August more than a third of the country was under water according to their climate change minister. The floods also followed an intense record-breaking heat wave in March, very similar to India, showing just how tumultuous and unpredictable nature can become if left unchecked. And climate change has been consistently ignored.

Humans are not the only ones to suffer the damage. Natural calamities permanently destroy the ecosystem and directly affect wildlife. The animals losing their habitats and more and more species being threatened with extinction on a daily basis is truly tragic, whether it is because of the massacre of tigers, leopards, elephants and black bears killed in India, or human-wildlife conflict that increases as the human population increases. leaving few resources for wildlife

With the damage escalating, there is also a need for social responsibility.

Therefore, many filmmakers are taking it upon themselves to raise awareness of the pressing problem of dwindling wildlife.

Here is a list of 5 Indian documentaries that draw attention to the wildlife crisis and explore the effects of climate change on different species in our landscapes:

I. On the edge of the abyss.

This is a documentary series about different species of animals across India never before seen on TV. Season 1 of the series features local conservationists, conservationists, scientists, and biologists talking about wildlife in their communities and the various methods they use to protect endangered species.

In Season 2, explorer Malaika Vaz travels the subcontinent immersing herself in the country’s remarkable landscapes and habitats. She encounters some of the rarest animals that live here and delves into the stresses climate change has placed on their lives.

The documentary series is directed by Akanksha Sood Singh who is an avid natural history filmmaker. She has won three National Film Awards from the President of India, a Wildscreen (Green Oscar) nomination, a UN Film Award, a Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival nomination and recently, the World’s Emerging Documentarian Award.

You can look On the edge on Disney+Hotstar

II. The secret life of frogs

Directed by brothers Ajay and Vijay Bedi, this is a documentary about the ecosystem and lifestyle of frogs. It deals with a variety of species found in the western ghats and the threat of endangerment faced by some species like the purple tree frog.

The filmmakers captured the fascinating story of these colorful amphibians over a 3-year period deep in the Indian rainforests. They beautifully captured behavioral facts previously unknown to science, documenting for the first time the complete life cycle of the rare and highly endangered purple frog that emerges from underground on a single day of the year to breed.

Ajay and Vijay Bedi are third generation filmmakers in the family. They not only contributed to the research community by writing a scientific paper which is still used to study amphibians but also submitted a proposal to the state of Kerala to make the purple frog a state frog which would help in strengthen its preservation.

The film screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival and the Woodpecker International Film Festival. It earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Editing in a Documentary. It also won the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film and the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film: Cinematography.

You can look The secret life of frogs on Discovery+

III. Jujurana’s Kingdom

This documentary is a journey into the kingdom of Jujurana, one of the most vulnerable pheasants on our planet, residing in a context of extreme socio-political pressures exerted on a magnificent temperate and subalpine forest landscape. The red-faced, blue-horned, horned male of the species is a magnificent pheasant, mesmerizing females with his breathtaking courtship dance. The documentary about the filmmaker’s trip to the kingdom of Jujurana sheds light on what it takes to protect this species at a time when India is rapidly losing its biodiversity.

Filmmaker Munmun Dhalaria is an independent filmmaker and National Geographic Storytelling Explorer, focusing on wildlife conservation, gender and science communication.

Jujurana’s Kingdom was voted Best Film: Mountain Wildlife at the 4th IMF Mountain Film Festival, 2020.

You can watch this documentary on Youtube.

IV. Gaur in my garden

The documentary examines the human-animal interactions and conflicts that arise in Kotagiri, Nilgiris – a key biodiversity hotspot in India, through the experiences of residents of the Keystone Foundation campus with the Gaur or Indian bison, a species threatened and endangered.

It is directed by curatorial filmmaker Rita Banerji. Under its Dusty Foot Productions banner, it has produced several award-winning films, including a Green Oscar winner at Wildscreen, UK. In 2015, she founded The Green Hub – a youth and community community for video documentation in North East India, for work related to the environment and indigenous knowledge.

This documentary was screened at festivals in Kathmandu and Thiruvanathapuram

You can watch it here.

V. Wild Karnataka

This is a top notch 1×60 natural history film produced by Icon Films and Mudskipper for Karnataka Forest Department and ITV Global Entertainment. It documents the natural and wildlife history of Karnataka which is also the state with the highest number of tigers and elephants.

It was directed by Amoghavarsha, an Indian filmmaker and wildlife photographer. He has worked with National Geographic and BBC in the past. His films have won awards such as the 67th National Film Awards, the Impactdocs Award of Merit and the Australia India Youth Dialogue Alumni Scholarship for the year 2015.

It won the National Film Award for Best Exploration/Adventure and the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Narrative/Voiceover in 2021.

You can watch it here.

If you enjoyed reading this article, we also suggest:

5 Indian documentaries that draw our attention to the often overlooked environmental crisis.

5 Lesser Known Mangrove Forests in India Every Nature Lover Must Visit

Stop Adani: Understanding the human rights crisis and environmental damage caused by the conglomerate


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