The poster of Nil Madhab Panda's film "Kadvi Hawa", which addresses the burning issue of climate change, was unveiled today by Erik Solheim, the general and executive director, United Nations Environment Programme.
Known for his issue-based films such as "I Am Kalam" and "Jalpari", the 43-year-old director's project is being touted as the first full-fledged feature film to be supported by the United Nations.
The movie is based on the environmental threats faced by the Chambal belt in the Bundelkhand region of northern India.
At the centre of the plot is a 70-year-old blind man, played by actor Sanjay Mishra, who is most affected by the water crisis in the area.
Talking about the film, which received a special mention at the 64th National Awards this year, Panda said, "The idea of the film was to tell an emotional story based on true events to people who think that climate change is an issue that does not affect them. They need to know that it's here and happening. It's everywhere."
Solheim praised Panda for his efforts in raising awareness about environmental issues through cinema.
"You are doing exactly what we need. Also, I really admire the way PM Narendra Modi has set out to tackle the issue of climate change in India," he said.
Calling the film "a mirror to the society", Mishra said he felt honoured to be a part of "Kadvi Hawa".
"You can afford to lose anything but not the climate. It is scary that we now tend to have only two seasons, summers and winters," he said.
The movie also features actors Ranvir Shorey and Tillotama Shome.
Shorey said the subject of climate change often takes a backseat in global politics when leaders push issues such as economic crisis, terrorism and job creation.
"When time comes to act, the topic is obfuscated by political leaders who end up bringing out seemingly more important topics to the forefront. As global citizens, we need to understand that climate change is as personal as our jobs," the actor, who plays a loan recovery agent in the film, said.
Shome, who was last seen in "A Death In The Gunj" along with Shorey, said climate change is a reality that the people have known for a long time.
"We have worked there on location so we have seen how bad the things really are. For my character, as Parvati, a woman, who is disenfranchised as she is, it was imperative for me to humanise this character."
Writer Nitin Dixit told the reporters that penning down the script of the film was a "painful experience".
"I was extremely unhappy while writing the script. It was painful to pen down such as a heart-wrenching story. I was writing a fiction story but it is a chilling reality."
The film is slated to release on November 24.
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