Filmmaker Vikramaditya Singh talks about BAFTA Breakthrough win
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts expanded its reach to India for the first time with BAFTA Breakthrough, selecting a total of 10 upcoming talents from the world of film, games and television. Delhi-based independent filmmaker Vikramaditya Singh is one of the 10 talents to win for his 2020 documentary Elephants in My Backyard, which captures the man-animal conflict in South India. Singh believes that this recognition will give his vision more power.
How does this recognition by BAFTA Breakthrough add to your cause?
The principal reason I applied for BAFTA Breakthrough was to expand my craft, make some good connections and more than anything else, get mentored by filmmakers and other professionals in the television and film world who are a part of the BAFTA network.
What got you interested in the subject of man-animal conflict related to elephants?
My father is a veterinary doctor and hence since a young age, I developed a passion for animals and was drawn to stories that have a strong environmental and wildlife angle. These have important human stories in them too. In India there is a unique co-existence of humans and animals that got the filmmaker in me curious. There are challenges and conflicts but we have not wiped out the big animals like in Europe and the US and other parts of the world. I was drawn to that idea.
How impactful has your film been?
It has had quite a positive impact in terms of changing attitudes. People have realised that it’s a complex issue that has different sides to it and calling out for the removal of elephants from the area is, in fact, brutal. The film has been broadcast internationally and I have also submitted it to quite a few wildlife film festivals.
What is your next project?
I am working on a film which is about nomads and their lives. I am working with the nomads from the western part of Gujarat and looking at the relationship between camel herders and nomadic tribes. The documentary will touch upon other topics as well, including development, whom the land belongs to and many other related relevant questions.