In its efforts to bring attention to India’s lesser-known species and habitats, and build a conservation mindset, The Habitats Trust, producer of the series ‘On the Brink’ has won a National Film Award. The Directorate of Film Festivals awarded 'On the Brink (Season 2) – Bats episode’ as the Best Science and Technology Film at the 68th National Film Awards.
'On The Brink' explored species and habitats rarely seen on Indian television and witnessed the trials and tribulations of the endangered species as they were confronted with myriad threats to their survival. The episode which won the award featured Adora Thabah, a bat scientist. The story follows her as she ventures into caverns, caves in search of Wroughton’s free tailed bat. In the process, she makes a case for all bat species, largely misunderstood creatures of the night. The full episode is available on Disney+Hotstar.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Founder, The Habitats Trust added, “We are humbled with the recognition that some of our films are receiving. The episode on bats from the second season of ‘On The Brink’ is important, especially at a time when the rhetoric around bats turned negative over the last couple of years due to COVID. This episode features their habitat and the role they play in ecology and shifts the narrative about the species. This is just one of the many reasons that make visual documentation a significant outreach plan for us, because of the way it can disseminate information as a way of awareness, education, curbing misinformation while also creating wonder about our ecosystems.”
Rushikesh Chavan, Head – The Habitats Trust, added, “The visual medium for storytelling is very powerful. The idea behind these docuseries was multi-pronged i.e. to bring to the fore the plight of species that are literally ‘on the brink’, bring in the richness of natural history and set the context about the people involved around those species. All this makes for a story that is rounded, informative and entertaining.”
Chavan further added, “On The Brink is one of the many outreach films we are working on; there’s an ongoing Marathi language 100-part series bringing us bite-sized stories from Maharashtra and a series of 50-films from the Northeast. All this comes together to bring a concerted effort and impact toward conservation.”
Akanksha Sood, Founder, The Gaia People and Director of On The Brink said, “Winning the National Film Award is humbling and a huge honor. Working in this genre of natural history, recognition of this stature gives us conviction that our collective campaign around India's natural world is being noticed. On the Brink hopes to become the country's longest running series on lesser known species and a window into our natural world like we've never known before. How will we emphasize and protect anything we don't see? We have to have pride, empathy and responsibility and the first step towards it is to know what our natural world holds.”