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Reel call of the wild

After the tremendous response to the first Wildlife Film Festival held last year, Aranyak is back with another formidable package of films for the second edition, starting February 3.

The four-day festival, organised in association with the forest department, includes a photography exhibition and three interactive talks. Over 40 films will be screened at Nandan, with passes available for free at the venue. The films have been sourced from National Geographic Society, Discovery Channel, Bedi Films, Rhomulus Whittaker and others. Richard Brock's Life of Earth series will also be screened, as part of a retrospective on the noted wildlife film-maker and BBC producer's work.

Apart from creating awareness amongst the student community, the festival aims to provide a platform for film-makers and NGOs and officials for conservation efforts.

The event will be inaugurated on Thursday, at 5.30 pm, by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, followed by the screening of Living with Giants by Ashish and Shanti Chandola.

There is a sizeable section for children, with A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo and Brother Bear lined up to get them hooked. Rhino and Ankur Maina Aur Kabootar, the Land of the Tiger series, Spunky Monkey, Neel Akasher Niche and Chasing Butterflies are other titles in the kiddies' section.

The selection from Indian directors includes Mike Pandey's Kalpavriksh ' The Legacy of Forests and Ajay and Vijay Bedi's Policing Langur. Another segment is devoted to award-winning films from the Vatavaran Film Festival, like Freedom and Buddha Weeps and Jadugora.

A total of 150 wildlife photographs from 25 lensmen will be on display in a competition organised by Aranyak for school and college students.

The first of the interactive sessions will be on wetland and wildlife conservation on Friday, followed by Saturday's talk on the reintroduction of wild species in Bengal and eco-tourism on the concluding day. Two slide-shows on the state's wildlife will be made on Saturday and Sunday at Sisir Mancha.

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