Top honours for Suma Josson’s documentary In Search of our Lost Rice Seeds

The documentary In Search of our Lost Rice Seeds, directed by Suma Josson, has won the main prize in the People and Earth/Ecological Success Stories category at the EKOTOPFILM Film Festival held in Bratislava, Slovakia, recently. The award is given to ‘films about individuals/groups who have had significant impact on environment protection and eco solutions’.

“This documentary travels through the work of some of the traditional paddy seed savers in the three states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Through their voices, and the voices of scientists, farmers and environmentalists, the film traces the destruction of the agro-biodiversity as well as knowledge systems that has eventually led to the crisis faced by farmers in India,” said Suma, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer, in a statement.

The documentary profiles farmers such as Raman Cheruvayal and Haridas from Wayanad, Boregowda from Mysore, Jayaram and Karikalan from Tamil Nadu and Nandish from Karnataka whose sustained efforts have been able to preserve many indigenous rice varieties. Nisha Josson edited the work, K.G. Jayan cranked the camera.

The documentary was made as part of ‘Save Our Rice’ campaign, a nation-wide network to sustain rice cultivation supported by Thanal in Kerala and the Pesticide Action Network-Asia. Save Our Rice Campaign is an umbrella organisation of groups such as Thanal, Create (Tamil Nadu), Sahaja Samrudha (Karnataka) and others.