Film southasia

"Festival of southasian documentries"

I Cannot Give You my Forest (Dongar Dei Paribi Nahin)

Directed by Kavita Bahl | |



India is in the news for the fratricidal conflicts between the government and the citizens. Today, monochromatic paradigms of development that have long shed the veneer of being people-centric, are being forced on a billion-plus citizens.  Eyeing the timber and the minerals, the government is uprooting forest-dwelling communities. They choose to ignore the critical importance of the Forest for food security and the indigenous food eco-systems of these communities. A way of life is under threat.

‘I cannot give you my Forest’ is a poetic window into the relationship of the Kondh Adivasis with the Forest. Against the backdrop of the rape and plunder of community resources by venal Corporations and the Government, the Forest becomes a metaphor for their sovereignty.

The film unfolds at the pace of their lilting melodies and unhurried conversations. The narrative is theirs; the meta-narrative is also theirs. Filmed in the jungles and villages at Niyamgiri, in southern Odisha, the story is a parable of our times – that rings true for all countries that have forests and people.

[director]Nandan Saxena & Kavita Bahl are the recipients of the National Award for Best Investigative Film for ‘Cotton for my shroud’ (2011), a special mention for ‘Candles in the wind’ at the 61st National Film Awards (2013) and the National Award for Best Film on Environment including Agriculture for their film ‘I cannot give you my Forest’ (2014).

Two decades into filmmaking, their oeuvre spans the domains of ecology, livelihoods, development and human rights. Their first Feature Script is looking for a sensitive Producer. Seven-years of journalism formed the bedrock of their decision to make documentaries. Top Quark Films was born in 1996. They love to share their knowledge with inquisitive minds. As media-trainers, they offer workshops to initiate inquisitive minds into filmmaking and photography under the banner- Top Quark Workshops.  They have been visiting faculty at the Department of Culture and Media Studies, Central University of Rajasthan, where they taught Photography and Video-Production. Nandan is also an avid photographer. In 2009, he had a 30-day solo exhibition of his photographs at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.[/director]


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