‘Documentary on Chilika lake will be an eye-opener’

Nature lovers and environmentalists can enjoy the beauty of Chilika lake in Odisha and the bird life there in a 20-minute documentary film, made by Chennai-based Wildlife Filmmaker Shekar Dattatri.

Normally one gets to watch documentaries on wetlands or wildlife only on television channels such as National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet. But Mr. Dattatri, who produced the film for the Chilika Development Authority, Odisha, has obtained a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification and made the film available on the Internet at www.conservationindia.org

Sharing his experience on filming the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia with The Hindu, Mr. Dattatri said the lake, spread over 1,165 sq km,was considered a weed-infested, dying one till the 1990s. After the restoration by the CDA, biodiversity in the lake has turned vibrant. The lake also serves as source of livelihood to nearly 2 lakh people. Mr Dattatri said, “For many, Chilika is still a dying lake and very little is known about it. The film will be an eye-opener. It will also serve as an inspiring example of how degraded habitats can be restored with political will and scientific approach. It will remind the local communities of the treasure they have inherited and motivate them to take better care of it.”

The project period was 18 months and filming took place over 50 days, spread over two weeks each in January, February and October 2012.