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Indian film-makers chosen for UK Environment Film Fellowships

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 8 (UNI) Seven Indian film-makers, whose works explore various aspects of environment ranging from the extinction of butterflies in the sub-continent to the torture of elephants in Kerala, were today chosen for the 2006 UK Environment Film Fellowships for wildlife crime.

Documentary film-makers Sonya V Kapoor, Gurmeet Sapal, Himanshu Malhotra, Jay Mazoomdar and Kalpana Subramanian (all from Delhi), Ashima Narain (Mumbai) and P Balan (Kerala) received the fellowships worth Rs 600,000 each.

The winners were announced this evening by British High Commission to India, Sir Michael Arthur.

Ms Kapoor has won the fellowship for her film, 'Once there was a purple butterly', which focuses on the extinction of butterflies in the sub-continent.

Mr Sapal was chosen for 'Killers of the king', which is about the threatened existence of leopards in Uttaranchal while Mr Malhotra receives the fellowship for 'Vanishing Seas', which deals with the unexplored world of marine trade.

Mr Mazoomdar won for 'The Hunted', which narrates the story of tiger trade while 'Turtles in a soup', which focuses on turtle poaching and trade in the Gangetic river basin and Kolkata markets, fetched Ms Subramanian the fellowship.

Ms Narain won for 'The Last Dance', which is about poaching and trade of the Indian sloth bear and Mr Balan for 'The Silenced Witness', the story of crimes committed on elephants in Kerala.

''Wildlife crime is an issue of grave concern for all of us today,'' said Sir Michael. ''India is home to thousands of rare flora and fauna including the tiger, the sloth bear and the musk deer amongst many other endangered species.'' All the fellowship-winning films are scheduled to be completed by December and will be aired on Discovery channel as well as screened at the Wildscreen Festival in India next January.

Last year, the fellowships, which are funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, were given to documentaries showing the impact of climate change in India.

The jury included Green Oscar-winning environment film-maker Mike Pandey and Additional Director-General-Forest (Wildlife) RPS Katwal.

UNI FZ PR VC1833

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