Nature inFocus, a production house specializing in stories from the natural world, announced the launch of its documentary film, Project Tiger, today. This documentary, set to debut on November 4, 2023, is an unprecedented account of India’s flagship conservation initiative, ‘Project Tiger’, which has become the largest and most ambitious conservation project in history.
Backed by The Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Limited, Discovery Village and Rainmatter Foundation, the documentary reveals the hidden story of this remarkable endeavour, showcasing a narrative filled with scandal, intrigue, and political and social conflict at the heart of India’s democracy. It takes you behind the scenes and offers an intimate look into the world of tigers and the ancient forests where they thrive while uncovering the shocking truths behind multinational wildlife crime networks as they weave a mesmerising tale behind Project Tiger, the planet’s greatest conservation success story.
Kalyan Varma, Filmmaker, Nature inFocus also added, “This documentary is a testament to the legacy of India, a narrative that instils a sense of national pride, and fosters the values of hope and resilience intertwined with the profound connection between humanity and the wilderness. However, the road to the success of India’s mission to save tigers has been anything but easy. This documentary is a humbling tribute to the unwavering dedication of the individuals, some perhaps left with no alternative, who played a pivotal role in catalyzing this transformative journey. As one of the largest communities of wildlife photographers, filmmakers and conservationists, we believe that awareness is the first step towards meaningful change. This documentary is our attempt to make that happen.”
Rohit Varma, Filmmaker, Nature inFocus, said, “This documentary is close to our hearts, and as a production house, we take pride in the fact this is an Indian story of the largest and most ambitious conservation project in the world and must be shared worldwide. India harbours more than 70% of the global wild tiger population. Their increased presence through Project Tiger has redefined the landscape of conservation in our nation and serves as a beacon of inspiration globally. So far, the full story has remained out of the public eye. With our documentary, we aspire to showcase the legacy of this transformative project to audiences worldwide, where through the tiger we saved something more valuable — its habitat — and restored the natural ecosystem around it. Ultimately it’s a story of hope. A story of Indian conservation told by Indian people, in a country where their deep-rooted connection with nature has manifested into a single movement. This is the essential conservation narrative for our times.”
The film features a group of contributors, including Belinda Wright, Emmy award-winning Indian filmmaker and conservationist, and Debbie Banks, a leading big cat conservationist with extensive experience in tackling wildlife crime networks. Bittu Sahgal, the founder of Sanctuary Nature Foundation adds his insights alongside Dr Rajesh Gopal, Secretary General, of Global Tiger Forum; Deep Contractor, Field Director, of BRT Tiger Reserve; Dr K Ullas Karanth, tiger expert; Mahesh Rangarajan, and environmental historian with expertise in British and contemporary India; Valmik Thapar, tiger conservationist; and Sita Jamra, a forest officer with over 15 years of experience on the frontlines of conservation. They dig deep into their experience to throw light on the real cost of conservation in human terms and its impact. Indian Ocean, the pioneering Indian folk fusion rock band, has composed the theme song ‘Baagh Aayo’ and the entire background score for the film.
The documentary delves into the past to understand why and how we reached a state where the majestic tiger became almost extinct. It elaborates on how India rallied its people to support the cause to save this global iconic species from extinction, overcome several challenges and in turn saved not just the tiger but the larger ecosystem. From almost losing all our tigers to becoming the only country to run a project like this for the past 50 years and counting, this documentary captures the complete story and is a compelling call to action.
The film will be premiered in Bengaluru on 4th Nov 2023 at Marakata, Chamara Vajra, Jayamahal, Bengaluru. The premier will be followed by a live performance by Indian Ocean.