The inuaguration of the Festival is tomorrow, by Saifudin Soz, Union Minister for Water Resources, at the India Habitat Centre in the Capital, will also witness the conferring of the prestigious Prithvi Ratna award, the festival's highest recognition, on wildlife filmmaker-turned producer Shekher Dattatri for his outstanding dedication to the cause of environement and wildlife filming. The filmmaker will be given the award by Union Minister for Environment and Forests Namo Narayan Meena.
The festival, a result of the visionary initiative by the Centre for Media Studies, wil get underway with screening of 'The Fridge' ('Lednice'), a Czech film directed by Lucie Stamfestovea and 'Cherub On the Mist' by renowned envionmental filmmaker Naresh Bedi.
Krishnendu Bose's Tiger-The Death Chronicles', a film which unravels the reasons for the crisis reloted to Tiger conservation in India, will be the opening film on September 13.
Organised by the Centre for Media Studies with support from the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests, 72 films-- 48 in the Indian section and 24 in the International section-- will be showcased at the five day film festival. ''The Indian films to be screened at the festival focus on a range of environmental issues like decimation of Tiger reserves like Sariska, Puna and Buza, illegal trade of freshwater turtles, melting glariers in Ladakh, Mumbai mega floods, pesticides in bottled waters, underground fires and destruction of coastal life,'' Ms Tomar said.
The festival will culminate on September 16 with the conferring of the CMS Vatavaran awards. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will present the 'Delhi Chief Minister's Award' for the Best film in Environment conservation category.
''With 72 nominations, 275 film entries, 18 categories, 25 CMS Vatavaran awards and Rs 12,50,000 award money, there are big cash awards at stake,'' festival Director Alka Tomar says. The festival jury for Indian films is headed by veteran filmmaker and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner for 2005 Shyam Benegal and comprises professor of the endongerad species management department of the Wildlife Institute of India B C Choudhry, cinematographer Alphanso Roy, South Indian filmmalker Revathy Menon and emeritus scientist C R Babu.
A unique feature of this year's festival, which has Climate Change as its theme, is showcasing a panorama of films on Climate Change--Happy Feet,' The Day afte tomorrow and the inconvenient Truth''.