Renowned Wildlife filmmaker and conservationist Mike Pandey has been honoured with the coveted Panda Award, popularly known as Green Oscars, at the Wildscreen 2004 Film Festival, on Wednesday at Bristol, UK. Pandey’s film ‘Vanishing Giants’ has been chosen for the award. This is Pandey’s third triumph in clinching the Green Oscars. He had earlier won the awards for ‘Capture at Sarguja’ and ‘Shores of Silence’.
“Vanishing Giants is a film, shot all over India, including places like Ambikapur, Midnapur, etc to capture the plight of Asian elephants. We are honoured at being conferred with this award for the third time,” said Mike Pandey.
Mike’s film ‘Vanishing Giants’ – a news feature depicting the cruel and inhuman treatment and eventual death of a captured elephant, won the Green Oscar in the news category. In fact, Mike is the first Asian to have won the Green Oscar in 1994.
Mike was also nominated for the Filmmakers for Conservation Award along with some of the world’s most experienced and prolific filmmakers like Richard Brook and Alan Root. Alan Root eventually went home with the award. The other two contenders for the award were Maria Falcon of Puerto Rico and Hardy Jones of the US.
Asked on how documentaries were doing in India, Pandey said: “India is a developing country and for the message to reach out to the masses, film is the best medium. The potential is large and our country is being recognised for the quality and content of the films.”
The production team includes Ritambra Rana, Gautam Pandey, Arjun Pandey and Doel Trivedi. Ashok Tripathi and Sanjeev Jha did the film’s editing.
On the challenges faced while shooting the film, Arjun Pandey said: “It was challenging to deal an issue like this. It was more challenging to treat it sensitively. We as filmmakers, have treated the subject very objectively and the reason why we fared well is because we did not give any value judgements.”
Two more Indian films have won awards at Wildscreen this year in different categories. ‘The 18th Elephant’ by ANMPU Media Trust won the Green Oscars in the TVE award category and ‘The Policing Langur’ by Ajay Bedi of Bedi Films bagged the Newcomer Award.
The films were screened at the awards festival in Bristol, from October 10-15 and the winners were announced at the awards ceremony held on October 13. The Wildscreen Panda Awards are the wildlife and environmental equivalent of the Hollywood Oscars. The Panda Awards are the world's most prestigious accolades for films on the natural world. Leading filmmakers from all over the world enter the competition for a chance to win the highest recognition.