This week we feature Ms P N Vasanti, Director General of CMS in an interview on the CMS VATAVARAN team’s preparation for the festival. Ms Vasanti has taken an active role this year and is now steering the team towards the 8th CMS VATAVARAN. In this interview, she gives us a glimpse of what is in store this year at the festival, happening from October 9-12, 2015 in New Delhi.
1. How has your experience been with CMS VATAVARAN while playing an active role in the festival’s preparation?
Personally, I have played a strategic role in guiding this festival since its inception. More recently also contributed in developing partnerships and promotional component of CMS VATAVARAN. This is the first time that I am directly overseeing the entire festival and I am excited about the mix of young and dynamic professionals who bring both freshness and lots of energy to this team. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming festival in October as I’m expecting that the film festival will be able to reach out to all our stakeholders and create a visible impact.
2. How has the response been on the film entries?
I’m very happy with the films that have been entered for this year’s competitive edition. Every entry – both national and international, that has been received is brilliant. Our focus is on quality and not quantity of films. Each of the entry this year has great potential for influencing our perception and actions as they are really powerful films. The ongoing peer review of all the films received in 11 categories has brought out this.
3. What is in the pipeline in the festival this year?
Every festival that we have organized is different, as we have walked a new path and experimented quite a bit in terms of its format and criteria. It’s utmost important to remember that CMS VATAVARAN is not just another film festival, but a festival with a purpose !
This year, in the 8th competitive festival, we are focusing on water and will be curating interesting programmes around the theme and other hot topics concerning our environment. Innovation this year is our attempt to undertake unique on-ground and online promotional activities to excite our stakeholders.
Exciting is also our emerging global networks as we collaborate with international and Indian film festivals such as Dominican Republic Film Festival, PSBT Open Frame Festival, TiNai Eco Film Festival to name a few. We are in the process of finalizing our partnerships with film festivals in Brazil, Peru and Canada.
4. What are some of the challenges you face as a not-for- profit organization in organizing such events?
When we adopted this festival route to advocate for environment issues, we did realize that there are both pros and cons. We (CMS) bring along with us good experience of environment sector, development research and experience of communication for behavior and social change. Our work and credibility was able to engage and build strong network of Indian and International filmmakers, policymakers, academicians, research think tanks and environmentalists.
The challenge is mostly related to the capital required for the scale and stature of CMS VATAVARAN. As a not for profit organization, CMS spends a considerable amount of its own resources in organizing the events. However, we are still compelled look for funding from diverse organisations in the country. Nevertheless, the support from all our partners goes a long way in helping our green movement that we have started to impact perception, policy and practice.