“In 2006, I got an UK environmental film scholarship and started making a documentary at Satavaya (seven brothers), Kendrapara, Odisha. Out of seven villages in Satavaya, more than three were swallowed by the Bay of Bengal. When I started talking about climate change and its impact on these villages, barely anyone took me seriously. Fifteen years on, none of the villages could survive as the sea gobbled up Satavaya entirely. I see my films as prophetic – the incidents we discovered through our research were scary. These chiling facts were highlighted later by UN officials as well. Initiating this important conversation all over the world through my film is what I see as success,” the filmmaker told us.
Ever since Nila Madhab started making films in 2000, he has spoken about the water crisis, drought and other aspects of climate change woes. The cyclone that hit West Bengal, Odisha and other coastal lands of India has been influencing the filmmaker heavily. He regrets, that mainstream popular culture does not talk about it adequately. “A large section of people were oblivious to climate issues until Leonardo Dicaprio started talking about it. Now a lot of people take climate change seriously. In India, there are not many people who try to point out the scary picture. I live in Delhi, and every year I see people only talk about the pollution during Diwali when it skyrockets and then forget about it. Environment ke baatein kitabon mein achhi laagti hai sabko. We need to talk and get more people involved in the conversation. We need to be prepared and resilient enough to face the wrath. It’s time we tell the scary story to everyone,” he said.