‘Chhu Med Na Yul Med’ which is the India episode of the ten part series called ‘Voices from the Roof of The World’ had its Indian Premiere under Indian Panorama Non-Feature category at the 53rd International Film Festival of India.
Speaking at an interaction with the media and festival delegates organised by PIB at IFFI 53 in Goa today, the Director Munmun Dhalaria explained her vision and mission behind the film and how climate change is an issue that effects everyone across the globe.
The film’s title means ‘No Water, No Village’ in Ladakhi language. Through the film, the director traces the water challenges faced by the agricultural villages of Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and Zanskar in Ladakh.
Elucidating on her inspiration, Director Munmun Dhalaria stated that she is a wild life film maker and has been obsessed with the communities of the Upper Himalayas. She said “I come from Himachal Pradesh myself and from the last 7 years I have been going back to the Spiti valley and this idea began with the quaintness of lives of women who live in minus 20 degrees.
“As soon as I started going to Spiti and living with the community, I realised that climate change is the real story.” She has been focussing on erratic snowfall and melting glaciers and how they affect the farming communities of upper high altitude villages in India.
Further elaborating, the director said “I was approached by Andrew who lives in Europe and is the executive producer of this series called ‘Voices from the Roof of the World’ which is a 10 part series and this is the India episode of the series.
The producer could not be here because he is deep in the production of the second series. We have been doing national broadcasts across other countries because climate change doesn’t see national borders. We have been showing films in Russia Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and I would really like the film to be watched by Indian Audiences especially people in Himachal, Uttarakhand and Delhi all the upper areas that are affected directly by climate change issues”.
Talking about her plan going forward, the director said “We would like to produce Season 3 also solely based in India because we have so many stories and so many other story tellers”. Munmun Dhalaria is an award-winning documentary filmmaker known for documentaries on wildlife conservation, gender and human rights.
Her films have screened on National Geographic, Hotstar and Vice World News.The film highlights how from the Pamirs in Central Asia to the Karakoram and Himalayas of South Asia which is called the Roof of the World - with earth’s largest repository of ice outside the poles - is melting at an ever increasing rate due to climate change.
The director exhibits through the film how increasingly frequent natural disasters in these high altitude areas have put millions of lives at risk. A large section of humanity is dependent on these mountains and on some of Asia’s mightiest rivers that originate here.