New Delhi,02 December 2016: Toxics Link and India International Centre today opened Quotes from the Earth: 2016, a two-day environmental film festival on December 2 and December 3, 2016 at India International Centre, New Delhi.
The seventh edition of Quotes from the Earth, a biennial festival of films on the environment from around the world, has seen an overwhelming response. Environmentally conscious people, including school children, college students, young professionals and dignitaries have been attending the screening of films on a range of subjects from climate change to toxic chemicals, from waste management to biodiversity.
The festival was inaugurated by Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, andDaniel Ziegerer, Director of Cooperation and Counsellor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland.
Addressing the crowd, especially youngsters and school children, Dr Ajay Mathur, said, ”The film festival is one of the things that show us what we need to do for the environment. The future of the world is in our hands, and the films showcased in this festival will help us take the first step.”
This year’s festival has a number of films delivering powerful messages on the themes of bio-diversity, climate change, toxic chemicals and waste, issues which are relevant in the current scenario. The opening film of the festival, “More than Honey” directed by Academy Award-nominated Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof is a powerful documentary on the depleting bee population around the world, signaling a major environmental imbalance that could have far-reaching implications on agriculture and food. The film drives home the point how global warming, increasing use of chemical pesticides, or a combination of all mitigating factors could be responsible for the bee crisis.
Malayalam film Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (Birds with Large Wings) portrays the tragic effects of Endosulfan on people and the environment in Kerala’s Kasaragod district. Directed by Bijukumar Damodaran, the 2015 winner of the National Award for Best Film on Environmental Preservation looks at the very real and disastrous effects of the pesticide through a photographer’s lens.
Delivering such powerful messages, the films screened at the festival address important environmental issues facing us. Incessant and uncontrolled exploitation of nature has tilted the balance against us, causing immense harm to the rich biodiversity of the planet.
Lauding the initiative, Daniel Ziegerer of the Embassy of Switzerland said, “This film festival is important because it spreads the message about the dangers of chemical substances, the role our forests play and the importance of clean water in today’s time.”
Mahesh Mathai’s ‘Bhopal Express’ addresses one such pertinent issue, which is also a blot on our times. A rendition of the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy, where over 8,000 people died due to the leakage of poisonous methyl isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide factory, the film is a testament to human callousness leading to human tragedy.
Then there are films like ‘Missing’ by Krishnendu Bose, which is a multitude of voices speaking in unison of women from different parts of the country on solution to climate change challenges. In fact, all the films showcased in the festival highlight critical environmental issues that we tend to ignore.
Emphasizing the role films play, Ravi Agarwal, Director, Toxics Link said, “Through this film festival, we want to reach out to a wider audience, and raise issues on the environment; and honour filmmakers, who spend time and effort in making films on some of the most relevant issues of our time. The festival is also a platform that will go a long way in helping us understand and recognise the contradictions of the existing developmental paradigm that we have adopted,” said Ravi Agarwal, Director, Toxics Link.
A total of 17 films in various languages across the world will be screened at the film festival that is open for all. The organisers are hopeful that the messages these films seek to deliver will find resonance among the audience across all age groups.
About Toxics Link (www.toxicslink.org)
Toxics Link is an environmental research and advocacy organisation set up in 1996 by The Just Environment Charitable Trust. It lays a special emphasis on reaching out to numerous grassroots groups; community based organisations and the public at large through its empirical study-based information on Environmental issues. Toxics Link works closely with all other stakeholders who are working on similar issues and has played a seminal role in facilitating the development of several common platforms for them at the national, regional as well as international levels.
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