This Indian film festival is showcasing documentaries on environment and sustainability from 33 countries

 All Living Things Environmental Film Festival showcases films like Moti Bagh, Ophir and A Viral Spiral 

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  12th October 2021 12:48 AM   |   Published :   |  12th October 2021 12:48 AM

A still from The Crab Season

Films about environment and sustainability have always been categorised as niche features at many festivals. But the All Living Things Environmental Film Festival focuses only on enviromental films that not only bring about awareness but do it in an entertaining way through engaging storylines. Co-founded by Kunal Khanna, who is also the festival director, the fest in its second edition is showcasing 44 films under ten categories such as: Drive Thru Shorts, Activision, Midnight Tails, What’s On Your Plate?, Sapling Stories (Kids Friendly), Flux & Form, A Chasm of Hope, New Voices, Deep Dive Features and Programmer’s Choice. 

Films from 31 countries are being showcased at this year's edition. "Humans are in an existential crisis and it is as a result of how we are treating all other species and ecosystems apart from ourselves, we need a fundamental and systemic shift in the way we operate. Using film as its core medium, ALT EFF is a platform and a confluence that will nurture and inspire critical thinking to address the climate emergency we are in," says Kunal.

Neha Shreshta, Kunal Khanna and Rudransh Mathur, co-founders

The festival director who has a background in environmental studies and is a permaculturist thought of initiating this last year because he felt it was critical to talk about the planet and its issues to people through an entertaining and engaging way. "I was living in Melbourne, Australia for 13 years, before coming back to India in 2018. During my time there I had the experience of working at many film festivals and art events and during that period I realised the power of entertaining videos and how they had the power to change. We see a lot of reports about the environment from around the world and we are still not exposed to such reports although these things are affecting all of us. This was one of my motivation to start a film festival to present such films that explore the enviromnet. 

This year’s edition has a new film submission category, a 'Youth Category’, along with International Feature Films, International Short Films, Indian Feature Films, and Indian Short Films. Talking about the potpourri of films that are included in this edition, Kunal says, "There is a film on the Koli community of Mumbai, there are other films that look at rural communities in places like Nepal and how road construction is impacting them, there's also a film about 21 teenagers standing up against the US government taking them to court for inaction against the climate crisis," he explains.

Originally, ALT EFF was conceived as a physical festival, but this year, in order to ensure safety for all festival goers, ALT EFF remains virtual. 

Sophy Vsivaraman, Executive Director at Indian Documentary Foundation, joins the advisory team of the festival alongside the legendary Mike Pandey, who has spent over 35 years in the environmental and filmmaking space, and Pooja Jauhari, the CEO of Glitch. The jury includes Michael Snyder, heavily awarded photojournalist and filmmaker together with Amin Hajee, Anand Patwardhan, and Sourav Sarangi. The ambassadors representing the festival include Jackie Shroff and Mrunmayee Deshpande amongst other leading figures in the industry. The founding team comprises Kunal Khanna, Neha Shreshta, and Rudransh Mathur.

Must-watch films:
Moti Bagh 

Against the forces of migration, Vidyadutt Sharma - farmer, activist and poet, chronicles the changing landscape in verses of resistance. As he and Ram Singh, his Nepali farmhand, plough the fields to keep a dream called Moti Bagh alive, we wonder if it will ever return to its old glory. 

Ophir tells the story of an extraordinary indigenous 'eco-revolution' for life, land and culture, leading up to the likely creation of the world’s newest nation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

Follows 21 young Americans suing the world’s most powerful government, to protect their constitutional rights to a stable climate. If they win, they will change the future.

Sagarputra: Offspring of the Sea
The oldest inhabitants of Mumbai - the Koli fisherfolk from the village of Trombay Koliwada, are gradually moving away from the livelihood of fishing. The reason? The toxic, plastic-filled water of the sea and being locked in by the government's infrastructure projects, on all sides.

A Viral Spiral
World-renowned artist Steve Cutts created an animated film for the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation, in which he not only visualizes the factors that cause pandemics, but also points at the urgent measures we must take, to reduce the risk of future pandemics. 

Rs. 1,499. Online. Until October 17.