MIFF 2012 opens in Mumbai, environmental filmmaker Mike Pandey gets V Shantaram Award

NEW DELHI: Veteran environmental filmmaker Mike Pandey from Delhi was today honoured with the prestigious V Shantaram Life Time Achievement Award of the Mumbai International Film Festival for shorts, documentaries and animation films – MIFF 2012 – which commenced this evening in the western metropolis.

The award carries a citation, a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 500,000. Instituted in 1996 in memory of India’s foremost film maker V Shantaram, the Life Time Achievement Award aims to recognise the multi-faceted contributions of an Indian for the documentary film movement.

The Award was presented to Pandey by Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan in the presence of Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhury Mohan Jatua, veteran film historian Vijaya Mulay and popular Marathi actor Amrutha Khanvilkar.
MIFF, which is organised by the Films Division every alternate year, will showcase more than 101 documentary, short and animation films from 37 countries.

World renowned filmmaker John Bradbury of Australia, Japanese animation director/producer Sayoko Kinoshita, Austrian
cinematographer and Director Michael Glawogger, Bulgarian filmmaker Adela Peeva, Irish filmmaker Stefanie Dinkelbach, acclaimed film maker Kumar Shahni are attending the event taking place at NCPA which will conclude on 9 February with the presentation of 22 Awards including the Golden Conch Award for best films in International Competition, Indian Competition, best fiction, and best animation films.

Mike Pandey is one of India‘s foremost wildlife and environmental filmmakers with over 300 national and international awards. Several of his films, such as Shores of Silence, The Last Migration, Broken Wings and The Timeless Traveller have been directly instrumental in bringing about legislative changes to protect species such as whale sharks, elephants, vultures and horse-shoe crabs.

The Delhi based film maker Mike Pandey was born in Kenya and trained and educated in the UK and the USA. In 1994, he became the first Asian producer / director to win a Wildscreen Panda Award, also known as the Green Oscar, for his film The Last Migration - Wild Elephant Capture in Sarguja.

In 2000, his film Shores of Silence - Whale Sharks in India, won a ‘Green Oscar‘ for the second time. The film also led to the ban on the killing of whale sharks on Indian shores. This film has also won a National Award for Best Film in the "Exploration & Adventure" Category, 2005.

On October 2004, he did India proud once again by winning a Panda Award for the Third time for his film Vanishing Giants - a story of his passion and involvement with elephants. This film also led to the ban of cruel and outdated techniques of elephant capture in India.

The prestigious United Nations International Award For Outstanding Achievement In Global Conservation, the Prthvi Ratna was awarded to Mike at the Vatavaran Film Festival in November 2003, for his outstanding contribution towards generating awareness, which led to the conservation of a global heritage - the Whale Shark.

Mike Pandey’s Riverbank Studios has produced some of India‘s most popular programmes like Earth Matters, aired on Doordarshan national network for 13 years, so far reaching over 800 million viewers.

With over three decades of filmmaking experience, Mike Pandey has produced over 600 films. His powerful films are living proof of the difference a film can make in bringing about changes locally, nationally and globally.

The Festival opened with a Bamboo Symphony – ‘Mula Paadum Ravu’ – which is a unique Indian Folklore Fusion, founded by Unnikrishna Pakkanar of Thrissur, Kerala. It is based on the principle that music has its origin in nature and hence there is a need to develop an art form that is eco-friendly.

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