Earth Reel, organized by Bichitra Pathshala, Earth Day Network, in association with iLEAD, saw its 4th edition this year. A total of 12 renowned schools of Kolkata came together to showcase their filmmaking skills as a tribute to the environmental sustenance. The theme for this year's Earth Reel were 'Upcycling' and 'Trees for Earth'.
The Chief Guest for the afternoon was Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh, a UN Global 500 Laureate. An engineer and a Ph.D. in ecology, the Kolkata based ecologist is credited with discovering and documenting the amazing resource recovery features of the East Kolkata Wetlands. He has served the role of the Chief in the Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal. Besides, he had also been a member of the National Wetland Committee and that of the Board of Trustees, Worldwide. An Ashoka fellow, he is also associated with National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, Government of India. His activities for the last four decades have essentially been towards merging the theory and practice of sustainable development aimed at subaltern well-being, with special reference to wetlands and water use. Recently, he has won the 2016 Luc Hoffmann Award conferred by the IUCN to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to conserving ecosystems.
The event started with speeches by iLEAD Chairman, Mr. Pradip Chopra and Senior Faculty Member, Ms. Subha Das Mollick, followed by screenings of students. As per the participation categories, the juniors showed their work, followed by seniors. Students from different schools like La Martiniere for Boys to Modern High School for Girls and Dhulagori Adarsha Vidyalaya sat in the Dale Carnegie Auditorium of iLEAD.
To judge and evaluate the films made, notable filmmakers and environmentalists were present- like Ms. Amrita Chatterjee, a specialist in Development Communication and Human Rights; Director, Communications, South Asian Forum for Environment and Editor of GREEN Interpreters, an international publication on global environmental economic negotiations; Ms. Anandi Ghosh, daughter of renowned film director, Gautam Ghosh and an accomplished actress and director herself and Ms. Mallika Jalan, an IICA Certified CSR Professional and Secretary of Centre for Contemporary Communication Kolkata and an experienced filmmaker.
Segments in the event like Public Service Announcements saw themes such as - Going Green, Plastic Upcycling Factories, and Afforestation in schools and parks, which reflected a touch of innovation. Even the news capsules covered critical issues like wastelands of Kolkata, forest fires and the Chipko movement, all of which were applauded for the precision in execution.
A talk by Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh on the current environmental scenario in Kolkata paved the way for discussions on respecting rag pickers and saving wastelands.
Adding to all this was 17-year old Saniya Agarwal's demonstration of beautiful arrangements, paintings, utensils and articles made from upcycling work done at her own room. The Vice-President of the Nature Club and Secretary of Art Club at Loreto House, she discovered up cycling when she converted a Ferrero Rocher box into a jewelry case six-seven years back. Currently, her passion project 'Saniya's Duniya', a slice of which she showcased on August 6 and 7 at ICCR, is a full-fledged factory in a corner of her house. Besides continuing with her work, she is no doubt a role model to many.
Prior to announcing the names of the winners, screenings of promos of two exciting film making challenges: iLEADOSCOPE and Swacch Bharat short film festival were presented by Faculties of Media Studies- Ms. Subha Das Mollick and Mr. Arkaprava Chatterjee at iLEAD.
Later, trophies were presented to Loreto Day School, Dharamtala; Modern High School and Dhulagori Adarsha Vidyalaya. A few special jury mentions were given too, from which one of them went to the beautiful presentation by Sri Sri Academy.
The parting words by the jury invited students to not only learn more about their environment but also to apply it in Earth Reel 2017.