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Films on Nagaland tribes stir debate on hunting

IANS | Kohima |

A cluster of films based on the biodiversity-rich Nagaland, showcased at the seventh National Science Film Festival, have kick-up a debate on hunting practices and conservation in northeast India's tribal communities.

Revolving around the Yimchunger tribe of Nagaland in the state's remote Fakim village, the 30-minute film "Point and Shoot" clinched three awards at the fest that concluded on Saturday.

"It explores the relationship of the hunting community with animals and birds found in the forests around Fakim. My film documents the pros and cons of hunting versus conservation. It is debate for you to figure out what you would choose," director Harsimran Kaur Anand told IANS.

Set in the same village, Savyasachi Anju Prabir's "Miilelam Miiyoh" captures a "perceptive account of the changes in the tribe's relationship with nature".

In the same vein, Sesino Yhoshu's award-winning "The Pangti Story" is about the Pangti village's residents who transformed from hunting Amur Falcons to saving them.

Amur Falcons, the longest travelling raptors in the world, fly from Siberia every fall to roost in Pangti, a small village in Nagaland. In 2012, Nagaland made global news when thousands of these raptors were mercilessly hunted.

The film explores the "transition of an entire village from one that slaughtered hundreds and thousands of the winged visitors to their most fervent preservationist".

The festival-competition was organised by Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology (DST) and and National Council of Science Museums. A total of 67 films were screened.

According to DST officials, the aim is to help India make a mark in the global science film festival scenario by encouraging students and enthusiasts to develop acumen for science films.