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The First Annual ‘All Living Things Environmental Film Festival’ Announces Its Virtual Edition

Apart from Indian films, the lineup for First Annual ‘All Living Things Environmental Film Festival’ includes award-winning international films from different parts of the world such as South Africa, Germany, Madagascar, UK, USA, Republic of Guinea and Mozambique

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Murtaza Ali Khan
Murtaza Ali Khan
Executive Director of Transcontinental Times, Murtaza Ali Khan is an award-winning Film & TV critic and journalist. He can be reached at murtaza.jmi@gmail.com.

INDIA: The first annual All Living Things Environmental Film Festival (ALT EFF) has announced its line-up of 33 films on social and environmental issues and 11 engaging live events.

The 2020 All Living Things Environmental Film Festival will take place from 5–13 Dec 2020.  The festival, originally conceived as a physical event in Panchgani, will be held virtually this year due to the current circumstances.

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Apart from Indian films, the program includes award-winning international films from different parts of the world such as South Africa, Germany, Madagascar, UK, USA, Republic of Guinea and Mozambique. The diverse and engaging films including 15 Indian and 18 international films (shorts as well as features) will be accompanied by 11 live events that will bring together panels of experts, and thought leaders to discuss topics including human-animal conflict, wildlife film-making, investigative journalism, sustainable tourism, and offer masterclasses on storytelling, film-making, animation and zero-waste living among others.

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The passes of complete program of films and live events are available here.

The festival jury includes filmmaker Satyanshu Singh, David Martinez, Monika Naranjo Gonzalez, Sudheer Palsane, Sophy Sivaraman and Akanksha Sood Singh will awarded the winning film in each of the following categories, Indian Short, India Feature, International Short, International Feature and Jury Special Mention.

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The advisory team of the festival includes the legendary Mike Pandey, who has spent over 35 years in the environmental and filmmaking space, and Pooja Jauhari, the CEO of Glitch.  The ambassadors representing the festival includes Jackie Shroff and Mrunmayee Deshpande amongst other leading figures in the industry. Shaan Kumar, Pooja Gupta, Gunjan Menon, Arati Kumar Rao and Gautam Pandey round off a talented group of ambassadors.

The founding team comprises Kunal Khanna, Neha Shreshta, Marie Schega and Rudransh Mathur. It is in their vision and direction that ALT EFF is able to hold a virtual festival despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Founding member and the festival director, Kunal Khanna says, “Humans are in an existential crisis and it is 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 thinking critical to address the climate emergency we are in.”

The wildlife filmmaker, Mike Pandey says, “Environmental festivals like ALT EFF, bring environmental issues to the forefront and offer viable solutions. They motivate and empower us to take the right step and attempt to make a difference to restore the beauty and sustainability of our only home, this planet we call Earth.”  He adds “Festivals like ALT EFF, play a crucial role in communicating and sensitizing people, and guide them to care for the environment through films. It is when you see the [problem], you understand and learn to respect. It is what you respect, that you love and protect.”

The actor Jackie Shroff says, “It is really exciting and I am waiting to see what type of films are in the festival, films are such a powerful medium to express your feelings for the future, for the next generation. It is a loan taken from them, [of] the soil, the water, the seeds, and we contaminate them. It is nice that so many people are thinking alike [about environmental restoration], I am very happy to be part of this team. Good luck to the team at ALT EFF and the filmmakers that will be able to showcase their feelings through their art. See you guys soon!”

The co-founder Neha Shreshta says, “Humans who are just one of all the living things on this planet actually control the fate of every living thing and the planet itself – what we do with this power, can make or break our collective future. ALT EFF is our way of bringing awareness via the powerful medium of film- no matter how much information or research there is in the world, it has no meaning unless it is presented such that people can understand it. Film does that.”

Rudransh Mathur says, “Through ALT EFF, we hope to make Panchgani a hub for eco awareness and move the town in the direction of sustainable tourism while retaining and promoting it’s natural beauty and unique geography.”

Marie Luise Schega says, “ALT EFF is as much a call to action as it is a celebration. We are motivated by a grand vision – to co-create a sustainable future – and this desire for collaboration, for diversity, for having the courage to dream big has shaped our festival program. Many of the stories told in the films we chose seem complex, some polarising, which is reflective of the environmental crises at large. Yet, as the credits roll and the screen turns black, we wish for viewers to simply look up, explore their own environments and ask themselves: Where can I make a difference in my community?”

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