Nature inFocus Emerging Filmmaker Grant
The Nature inFocus Emerging Filmmaker Grant will support aspiring Indian filmmakers in their endeavours to share pertinent environmental stories. We are looking for fresh perspectives and filmmakers who are interested in conservation storytelling.
These short films should shine a light on conservation measures to communicate the message to a larger audience. Visually compelling narratives that build awareness and encourage action will be the focus of this grant.
The grant will provide a unique opportunity for filmmakers to gain funding and expert mentorship that will enable them to showcase their craft at the highest level.
The grant is supported by Sandeep Mall and Vipul Gupta, who are passionate wildlife photographers, conservationists and dedicated philanthropists.
Vipul’s philanthropic journey spans over two decades of girl child education across the country, with a focus on central India. Through his work at Earth Focus, he aims to solve development challenges through a community-driven approach that creates resilient, long-lasting solutions.
Sandeep Mall is a Trustee of the Thakurdas Badrinarain Foundation Society, a family-owned registered charitable trust dedicated to nature conservation, education and health, with a distinctive feature of operating on a zero administrative cost model. Every resource the foundation receives is directly invested into its initiatives, ensuring efficiency and maximum impact.
Sandeep also leverages his network to create campaigns that support Earth Focus’s efforts to create sustainable livelihoods for those living in the buffer areas of Kanha National Park.
No. of Grants
INR 4.5 Lakhs each
Duration of the Films
Up to 10 minutes
I – Climate change mitigation
Spotlight on initiatives or individuals that work to reduce the impacts of the ongoing climate crisis.
From shining a light on a water conservation initiative or a government adopting life-saving heat action plans or a farmer cultivating climate-resilient crops, we are looking to share stories of hope and persistence in this era of climate change. While several narratives out there have delved into the complexities of the changing world, it’s time to focus on the solutions and ways to combat the issue.
II – Community-based conservation and reforestation
Spotlight on community action for conservation and collective rewilding efforts
Tell us a powerful story of community action. We are looking for stories where people unite and communities come together for a singular cause – whether it is to protect a species, rewild a patch of land or preserve a local water body. Show us that communities can make a difference and that collective action is the only way forward.
Sara is a wildlife filmmaker and the founder of Evanescence Studios and The Indian Wildlife Channel. He has worked for major networks like the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Discovery and his latest series was for Netflix. Sara started his journey as a wildlife photographer and continues to share a passion for creating images.
Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation
Rohit Varma is the founder of Nature inFocus. He hails from Balaghat, a small town bordering Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where he developed his love for the natural world. After successfully managing multiple roles over 15 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.
Producer, Director - Silverback Films
Radha Rangarajan is the Editor at Nature inFocus. She is an environmental photographer and a published writer who has a keen interest in natural history and conservation filmmaking. Radha has written and guest-edited over fifteen picture books for children.
Sandeep Mall is a wildlife photographer, fitness and lifestyle coach and a successful entrepreneur. Through his campaigns, he builds networks for Earth Focus in its interventions for sustainable livelihoods in the buffer areas of Kanha National Park.
Vipul Gupta is a passionate nature & wildlife enthusiast and also the Executive Director of Earth Focus Foundation, building on over 40 years of experience in the Central Indian landscape. Before Earth Focus, Vipul spent three decades building teams and organisations in the corporate sector, in the realm of manufacturing and distribution. He is as comfortable working with tribal communities as he is in board rooms.
- The grant will open for applications on – 5 December, 2023
- The last date for applications – 21 January, 2024
- The results will be announced on – 10 February, 2024
- Films should be delivered five months from the date of announcement – 30 June, 2024
- The grant will be open to emerging filmmakers from India only. Candidates should provide proof of prior experience in making natural history and conservation films.
- The applicant should not have more than five years of paid experience in filmmaking.
- The applicant should not have a Producer/Director/Executive Producer credit in a broadcast film.
- Only citizens of India can apply and the films should showcase stories from the country.
- Indian citizens residing in other countries can apply as long as the film features stories from India.
- The grant is open to films in their ideation stage and also films already in progress.
- Films in progress must be self-funded and not have any external financial support to be eligible for the grant.
- All applicants must provide a brief concept note/presentation of their proposed film along with their application.
- For ongoing films, the applicants must provide footage of work in progress. Both, unedited and edited footage are admissible.
- Once shortlisted, applicants must present their pitch to the jury members through a virtual session. The three grant winners will be notified via email.
- Each grantee will receive INR 4.5L to complete their film.
Allocation of Funds
The funds will be allocated in three stages as outlined below:
Team Nature inFocus will help the grantees build their stories and outline their films.
Team Nature inFocus will provide guidance and feedback on technical aspects. Feedback on footage will also be shared in a timely manner.
Team Nature inFocus will provide feedback during the post-production phase, ensuring timely quality output.
The films will be promoted on the Nature inFocus portal as well as social media channels. The films will also be showcased at the Nature inFocus Festival.
- Nature inFocus and the Funders will be the producers for these films.
- The producers should be mentioned in the end credits.
- Filmmakers must obtain requisite permissions from local authorities or forest departments. Nature inFocus will not provide any assistance in the same.
- The grantee can submit the film for awards and film festivals, with Nature inFocus and the Funders mentioned as the producers.
- The complete footage (used and unused) will belong to Nature inFocus and the Thakurdas Badrinarain Foundation Society for a period of three years.