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Filming in the wilderness

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SHOWCASING WILDLIFE: The Red Panda
SHOWCASING WILDLIFE: The Red Panda

Mandira Nayar

NEW DELHI: They might sound like a group of pop singers but the Bedi Brothers -- Vijay and Ajay -- are famous for wilder stuff. Award-winning wildlife filmmakers, their latest film "Cherub of the Mist'' is a finalist for the Panda award which is popularly known as Green Oscars. The film will be screened on October 15 for the award function.

Set in the misty mountains of the Himalayas, "Cherub of the Mist'' is a rare romantic film. Starring the elusive Red Panda, the film follows the life and love of two zoo-bred pandas, Mini and Sweety, who were released into wilds of the Singalila National Park.

With footage of the dating rituals of the Red Panda, the film is a must-see for those even remotely interested in the animal kingdom.

From the courtship to rearing of the newborn cubs, the film gives viewers a brief glimpse into the story of this mysterious animal.

The story of Mini and Sweety might be the first of its kind, but it was far from easy to shoot. It was only after a two-year-long chase in the freezing cold of the Himalayas and misty mornings that the crew finally managed to get 100 hours of material.

"The most challenging sequences to film were the mating of the Red Pandas, nesting and giving birth. The courting and mating takes place during the winter months of January and February in sub-zero temperatures. It makes it extremely difficult and hazardous tracking pandas in such conditions. Moreover, the camera team has to be lucky to be present at the right place at the right moment. The timing is crucial, as females are receptive only for a single day in a year,'' says filmmaker Vijay Bedi.

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