Wildlife filmmaker Ashwika Kapur is making her mark in wildlife conservation
THE YOUNGEST GREEN Oscar winner, Ashwika Kapur has been inspiring generations in conserving wildlife. The filmmaker, who caught global attention with her documentary Sirocco — How A Dud Became A Stud, is unperturbed by the challenges of her field, and is giving her best to make a difference.
The La Martiniere for Girls alumnus, who was always instinctively drawn to nature and animals since childhood, dabbled in photography quite early in life. With English as a major in college, the spirited 30-year-old first learned the art of narrative. She explains, “If I am a filmmaker today, it is because I first learned the beautiful and complex art of narrative. That’s really what sets any documentary apart. It’s not just about the pretty pictures. And certainly not just about disseminating information only. It’s about how you take all of that and package it into a memorable and beautiful story.” It was an uphill climb for Ashwika when she started. She recalls, “As a young Indian girl, running around jungles, following wild animals with a camera wasn’t exactly the definition of a real, stable, secure job. And it was certainly not considered a safe option for a girl. However, over the years, I’ve allowed my work to speak for itself.” What keeps her motivated in the face of manifold challenges?
The David Attenborough fan offers, “Despite the countless challenges of being a wildlife filmmaker, the physical and mental tenacity one needs to be in this job, the incredible places I visit, the mesmerising things I see and experience are precisely what keeps me motivated and inspired to keep going. When it’s for the greater good and for a meaningful cause, every minute of that hard work is worth it.” Her greatest achievements, Ashwika points out are ‘Those moments when you know you’ve managed to move someone and make a difference.’