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Here’s what to expect at the environment-themed film fest ALT EFF in Mumbai this weekend

Updated on: 28 November,2023 07:34 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devanshi Doshi |

As the fourth edition of ALT EFF kicks off this weekend, here’s what to expect, and our top picks from the environment-themed film fest

Here’s what to expect at the environment-themed film fest ALT EFF in Mumbai this weekend

The Egret River is an animated movie that revolves around the spiritual connections between humans and nature. This will be screened at Alliance Française in Mumbai on December 2

The most recent, known and studied mass extinction, which is a phenomenon that the planet has witnessed a handful of times, was one where we lost creatures that still continue to star in and inspire our thriller movies — dinosaurs. While this was about 65 million years ago; for the subjects of the next mass extinction, all the wise eyes are on humans. But unlike the many species washed away from the face of earth, we are aware about what will presumably bring us to the brink of extinction — an asteroid strike, another nuclear war, or climate change.

Kunal Khanna
Kunal Khanna

Bringing stories from those on the forefront of the human battle against climate change is one of the country’s largest environment cinema-based festivals, All Living Things Environmental Film Festival (ALT EFF) from December 1 to December 10. “The motive behind founding ALT EFF was to drive awareness at scale about the most pressing issue of our times — the environmental crises we are in today. We are doing so by using the most powerful medium of storytelling, which is films. The festival will showcase some of the best environmental films from around the globe that will be freely accessible on our virtual platform as well as through in-person events across the country. This year, we will be hosting over 50 screening events across 22 states of India,” says founder Kunal Khanna.

Programme director Anaka Kaundinya shares that this year witnessed over 400 submissions. They selected 65, of which 40 are Indian premieres. “These are films that put light on the effect of climate change on gender relations, labour, politics, land rights, and other relevant topics. Movies like Razing Liberty Square could be a challenge for some audiences because it requires them to engage with convoluted policies that have marginalised an already oppressed people. But it’s an immensely valuable narrative and helps to develop our critical lens when thinking about systems here in India as well.”

Khanna hopes to highlight the omnipresence of the climate crisis via this dual model (of online and offline screening), “We believe that awareness, to drive action should be widespread so solutions can emerge and adopted by people everywhere.” He signs off on a positive note, “In terms of the audiences that have experienced ALT EFF, our research shows that 83% of those who attended the fest in 2022, made a change in their behaviour or approach to certain issues after watching films at the festival.”

Deep in Siberia

A still from Pleistocene Park. Pics Courtesy/Youtube
A still from Pleistocene Park. Pics Courtesy/Youtube

The opening night film will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Luke Griswold-Tergis and protagonist Nikita Zimov, who have flown down from Siberia for the launch at Carnival Cinemas Liberty. This movie is highly recommended by Kaundinya and Khanna.

Pleistocene Park

Russian geophysicist Sergey Zimov and his son Nikita have been working on a project called Pleistocene Park in Siberia. The goal is to restore the Ice Age mammoth steppe ecosystem and avoid a catastrophic feedback loop leading to runaway global warming. Fifteen years ago, Sergey’s research showed that frozen arctic soils contain twice as much carbon as the earth’s atmosphere. These soils are now starting to melt. Can two Russian scientists stave off a worst-case scenario of global environmental catastrophe and reshape humanity’s relationship with the natural world?

On: December 1; 6.30 pm  
At: Carnival Cinemas Liberty, Marine Lines. 
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Cost: Rs 499

Online picks

Patrick And The Whale: Follow Patrick as he travels to Dominica again to find this special whale he named, ‘Dolores’, so she can help him show us the hidden world of her species.

Patrick and the Whale
Patrick and the Whale

Feeling The Apocalypse: A psychotherapist struggling with climate anxiety explores what it means to live in a dying world.

Fight With Care: The film brings forward two major themes — the rising pressures of development, such as encroachments and industrial pollution on the coastal wetlands of Chennai, and the care-work offered by women of indigenous communities that has facilitated life on the wetland for generations, and offers an alternative way to understand and value the wetland ecosystem.

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Suggested by: Anaka Kaundinya

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