The Nature inFocus Photography and Film Contest award ceremonies were announced on November 19 and 22, 2021 virtually as live events on YouTube.
Despite the pandemic, the contests have continued to see increasing participation from the world over, says Rohit Varma, one of the founders of Nature inFocus. “The Nature InFocus Photography & Film Contest is more than just a competition. It is about inspiring people to do more with their cameras. To think beyond the ordinary, to make images and films that stand out and can drive action. Even with the pandemic, year on year, we have seen a growth in the number of participants and submissions for the contest. The contest today receives entries not just from India but across the globe. It has become a truly international competition!”
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Nature inFocus Photography & Film Contest has been organised by Rohit Varma and Kalyan Varma. After successfully managing multiple roles over 16 years in companies like AMD, SanDisk and CyberMedia, Rohit hung up his corporate boots to pursue his passion for photography and wildlife – which led to the creation of Nature inFocus
Kalyan Varma is an award-winning wildlife photographer, filmmaker, naturalist and explorer specializing in environment, science and ecology in India. He is a freelancer with many of the world’s leading magazines, environmental NGOs and television networks.
Nature inFocus Photography Contest
The Nature inFocus Photography Contest honours shutterbugs documenting unique natural history moments and critical conservation issues, and generates an impressive catalogue of imaginative and artistic images every year. Submissions for this year’s awards closed on June 30 and received about 18,000 images from more than 2000 competing photographers across 40 countries.
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Andy Rouse, an award-winning wildlife photographer, who was one of the members of this year’s jury, found the whole experience very fulfilling. “I am a great fan of India and its exceptional biodiversity and was genuinely honoured when asked to judge this competition. And wow, what a great collection of images! It was so good to see the true breadth of the diversity of India’s wildlife and the incredible skill with which photographers have executed their photographs. The young photographer section, in particular, was inspiring to see. After all, they are the future of wildlife photography and our planet.”
Winners of the Nature inFocus Photography Contest included: Mohammad Murad won the Animal Portraits category, Priyanka Rahut Mitra won the Animal Behaviour category, Prathamesh Ghadekar won the Creative Nature Photography category, Lakshitha Karunarathna won the Wildscape & Animals in Habitat category and the Conservation Issues category was won by Mahisin Khan. Anagha Mohan, who is 15 years old, won the Young Photographer title.
Nature inFocus Film Contest
The Nature inFocus Film Contest is a three-category award with a bracket solely dedicated to wildlife footage captured on mobile phones. The contest invited entries from both professional and emerging filmmakers. Both Professional and Emerging Talent categories have two sub-categories in Natural History and Conservation.
Akanksha Sood Singh, one of India’s leading natural history filmmakers, a constant on the Nature inFocus jury panel, found the quality of wildlife documentaries being made in India by emerging filmmakers genuinely encouraging. “Over the last 3 years as a jury member for Nature inFocus, I have discovered that there is a lot of passion in young filmmakers to cinematically bring forth the intricacies of the natural world to the common man. They are helping bring the spotlight on lesser known species and habitats, and also exploring their own backyards – which is extremely encouraging.”
In the Professional category, the Conservation film category was won by Nikhil Talegaonkar and Sandeep Dhumal for their film ‘Khee (Dogs)’. The Natural History film category was won by Oliver Goetzl under the banners of Gulo Film Productions and Studio Hamburg DocLights for the film ‘Lost Kings Of Bioko.’
In the Emerging Talent, Jeswin Kingsly and Santhosh Krishnan won the Conservation film category for their film ‘Kaliru’, produced by the Tirupur Nature Society, Francesca Britol, and Savitha and Shubham Singh Baghel. The Natural History film category was won by Kunal Shah for his film ‘Savannah Warriors’.
The Wild Moment award for an unedited video clip shot on any device that captures an incredible moment of animal behaviour went to Swayam Thakkar for ‘An Unusual Sight’.
The event was hosted by wildlife filmmaker Sara, who is the jury curator and a member of the Nature inFocus Advisory Board. The 7-member jury was also present to talk about and explore the reasons behind the winning films.
Please find the complete list of winners of Nature InFocus Photography Contest here.
Please find the complete list of winners of Nature InFocus Film Contest here.
To access winning photographs and film posters, please click on the google folder link here.
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