Film screening of “Chilika - Jewel of Odisha: document conservation success stories” and “India’s disappearing beaches – a wake up call” followed by Q&A session with filmmaker Shekar Dattatri

 Shekar Dattatri

Shekar Dattatri’s lifelong fascination with wildlife began at the age of 13, when he joined the famous Madras Snake Park as a student-volunteer. This led to nature photography and, subsequently, to filmmaking. His first film, ‘A Cooperative for Snake Catchers’, won the National Award in 1987 for Best Scientific Film. His next two documentaries, 'Seeds of Hope', and 'Silent Valley - An Indian Rainforest' were also National Award winners.In 1991 he was awarded an Inlaks Scholarship to spend eight months working with Oxford Scientific Films in the UK – at the time, one the foremost companies in the world producing natural history and science programmes for television.
Since then, Shekar has worked with some of the world’s leading broadcasters of wildlife programmes, including the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC Natural History Unit. Some of his films as a producer/cameraman include, ‘The Good Snake’, ‘Nagarahole – Tales from An Indian Jungle’, ‘Monsoon – India’s God of Life’, and ‘The Ridley’s Last Stand’. In 1998, the UK trade magazine, Television Business International, rated him as one of the top ten rising stars of wildlife filmmaking in the world. He made plenty of awarded documentaries in the last decades.
Moving away from television documentaries in 2000, and working closely with conservation NGOs in India, Shekar has been using his skills as a filmmaker to make hard-hitting advocacy films on conservation issues. One of these films, ‘Mindless Mining – The Tragedy of Kudremukh’, helped bring an end to extremely damaging iron ore mining within a rainforest National Park in south India.
Besides filmmaking, Shekar also writes popular articles on wildlife, conservation and filmmaking. He is the author of three children’s books, ‘The Riddle of the Ridley’, ‘Lai Lai the Baby Elephant’ and ‘Ira the Little Dolphin’.

 Chilika - Jewel of Odisha: Document Conservation Success Stories

This is the story of a dying lake that was restored to life. With a water spread of over 1000 sq km; Chilika Lake on India's East Coast is the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia. It is also the largest wintering ground for waterfowl in the Indian subcontinent; attracting migrants from Europe; Central Asia and Siberia. Chilika is home to the highly endangered Irrawaddy dolphin; and a treasure trove of other biodiversity. However; by the late 1990s it had become a weed-infested; dying lake till being restored.

 India’s Disappearing Beaches – A Wake Up Call

Unnoticed by most of us, beaches along India’s coasts are disappearing at an alarming rate. This is not due to natural causes, but directly due to man’s reckless manipulations of the coastline. This film explains the natural dynamics of sea and sand and, using Puducherry’s lost beaches as a case study, demonstrates exactly what happens when inappropriate, or improperly planned, development takes place on the seashore.

Changemakers Hall, Old Port, Pondicherry
10 September 2016
8.00 PM
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