‘21st Century is Century of the Environment’: Virendra Chitrav, Kirloskar Vasundhara Film Fest

Entertainment | December 7, 2021 | Interview

Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF) Virendra Chitrav

The 15th edition of the Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF) focused on nature, conservation and the environment will take place from 14 to 17 December 2021, virtually, on the theme ‘Nutritious food, flourishing nature and healthy society.’ Previous editions including the last one in January 2020 have been physical events.

Film ‘screenings’ will be flanked by discussions on natural heritage and biodiversity.

Speaking with EVENTFAQS Media, Festival Director Virendra Chitrav traced the origins and growth of the festival and forum.

“The festival started in a small way at an industrial exhibition in Pune and then spread to 30 cities during its fourth year. During the first year we brought in many experts from the field (of environment) to talk and experienced heavy footfalls during the seven days it was held for. Observing the response, we decided to make it a yearly event and are now in eight states across India,” says Chitrav.

The intent is to act as a bridge between experts, society and the decision makers of the time. “We noticed that the festival attracted a lot of youngsters, which make up almost 70 pc of our footfalls. Every year there were new issues to focus on, whether that be tree-cutting or another environmental issue. We believe the 21st century is the century of the environment,” he adds.

Over a 1,000 experts have been brought in for talks over the last 14 editions, says the spokesperson. Across the annual fesival and multiple events, the platform claims to have attracted 50,000 to 60,000 footfalls every year.

“We produce more than 70 percent of the films shown and this year we are proud to say that among the 70-member team which worked towards the festival, not a single person contracted the virus,” reveals the festival’s director.

The forum will retain its model of combining the online platform with on-ground events and initiatives related to nature conservation through the year. The team has worked for the restoration of Rankala lake and Sangli’s Agrani river, besides the Save the Tiger project.

On the theme for this year, Chitrav notes, “Our other themes have included global warming, smart cities, and ‘Saying no to plastic’. We will focus this year on each and every segment of society, covering famers, the middle class, and we see the corona pandemic as an opportunity to grow, instead of a problem.”

For a festival that has gone virtual for the first time, the biggest challenge was the need to ensure quality of the streaming. “In general people have been fed up of technical lags and problems. (It was about) How to adapt and use modern technology to go online,” he surmises.

More on the festival website.

For the first time, the 15th edition of the festival focused on the environment will go virtual, from 14 to 17 December 2021.

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