River Terns of Bhadra seeks to showcase the beauty and fragility of nature in the forest reserve

The River Terns of Bhadra, says its director and cameraman Amoghavarsha, is a film that captures the extraordinary period when lakhs of river terns come to nest in the little islands that spring up during the summer months in the river dam.

“They are local birds, which come and stay for five months just before the monsoons every year. We filmed them to promote awareness about such places. The film is also an attempt to make a high-quality film that showcases the beauty of some lesser-known parts of Karnataka,” says Amogh. The film has been commissioned by the Jungle Lodges and Resorts.

“This is the first time the lives of these birds are being captured and it took us five months to do it. It’s as much a research project on their behaviour. At the end of five months, we had 200 hours of footage which we had to bring down to over 23 minutes.”

The lives of the birds have been captured using high definition cameras, hidden camera traps, underwater cameras and high speed cameras, for high-quality imagery.

“We did not miss a single stage,” he smiles. “But the birds in the film are meant to be anchors to show how fragile the ecosystem is. For instance, two years ago when the dam gates didn’t open on time, the birds did not come. If the rains come early, the birds die. The film is also connected to life on the forest reserve.”

River Terns of Bhadra is, according to Amogh, India's first wildlife film to be licensed under creative commons, which means that the film is free to be screened and shared for non-commercial purposes.

The idea is to encourage people to share the film everywhere. It will also be available online.

“What we want is for people to show the film as widely as possible. I was inspired by a BBC documentary and I hope that films like this inspire the next generation,” explains Amogh.

“I also believe that there are two ways of promoting awareness on conservation, one is by creating a good feeling and the other is by showing gory details. I subscribe to the first method, in which I show them how beautiful the planet is and automatically people will see the need to conserve.”

River Terns of Bhadra will premiere on October 6 at the UB city amphitheatre at 7 p.m. For details, contact 9901044344.