Thursday, October 16, 2008



Environment and Wildlife Travelling Film Festival
Coimbatore: It's an encore for the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) VATAVARAN in Coimbatore, as it travels to the city for the second time to spread the message of green earth, with its CMS VATAVARAN 2008 - 3rd Environment and Wildlife Travelling Film Festival.

Situated on the banks of river Noyyal and popularly known as the Manchester of South India, Coimbatore will play host to the CMS festival from 17 – 19 October, 2008, at the Kalairangam Auditorium, R.S. Puram. Twenty five award winning and internationally acclaimed films will be screened over a period of three days from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm, daily at the Kalaiarangam Auditorium. The State Forest Service College, R.S. Puram, will be the second venue of the festival where seminar on climate change will be organized on the 18
th October followed by a Symposium on Conservation and Livelihood and Green Filmmaking workshop on October 19. There is no entry fee to participate in the festival. CMS is a national research and advocacy organisation and the festival is a part of its 3rd Environment and Wildlife Travelling Film Festival series.

Tamil Nadu, rich in biodiversity, shares with other southern states, the Western Ghats — among the 25 biodiversity hotspots designated globally. Nearly 1/3rd of the total flora of India is found in Tamil Nadu. The state is also rich in medicinal plants and domesticated biodiversity. Of the 446 primary freshwater fishes known from India, 230 species are found in the Western Ghats. The Mudumalai and the Anamalai wildlife sanctuaries are home to a wide variety of animals — tigers, elephants, the sloth bear, green pigeon, pangolin and the civet cat. But the state grapples with the issue of habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution, and species introductions which are leading to the loss of biodiversity.

The CMS festival looks at these concerns and will also highlight the exemplary initiatives taken and efforts being made to conserve this unique biodiversity.

The festival will be inaugurated on October 17 at 11.00 am at the Kalaiarangam Auditorium by the Shri R. Venkatachalam, Mayor, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation. Noted actor and director Ms. Revathy Menon and acclaimed conservation filmmakers K.P. Sasi and Suresh Elamon will also grace the inaugural ceremony.

The Coimbatore CMS VATAVARAN initiative is being co-organized by the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) Coimbatore. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India is the India Principal Partner, supporting the festival in eight cities — Agartala, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Leh, Lucknow, Pune and Ranchi.

The theme for the festival is "Climate Change", in consonance with UNEP's theme of the World Environment Day, i.e. CO2 Kick the Habit: Towards a Low Carbon Economy. CMS VATAVARAN will have special sections dedicated to International Year of the Reef, International Year of Planet Earth and other environmentally significant days, as declared by UNEP.

"CMS VATAVARAN is not just celebrating the cinematic art of the films but focusing more on using the films as a tool and catalyst for change", says Dr. N. Bhaskara Rao, Chairman, CMS.

Earlier on October 12, some 41 people from the age group 4-70 years participated in an Ecotour to Kotagiri-Kodanad, about 100 kms from the city. A painting completion was also organized for children on October 12 on the theme Climate Change. Some 65 children from different schools in the city participated in the competition organized at the GD Matriculation Higher Secondary School. These paintings will be put on display at the Kalaiarangam Auditorium from Oct 17-19. The other attraction of the festival is an exclusive poster Exhibition on Climate Change.

The festival will be a free-for-public event aimed at drawing people of all ages and streams from across the city to be part of the CMS movement to conserve the state's natural riches. Further details about the festival can be had from the festival website
For participation or any other details, please contact:
Dr. P. Pramod, Nature Education Officer, SACON, 94431 67773,
Ashwini Sinha, Festival Manager, CMS VATAVARAN, 09899 046542,

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