National Award-winning director, Krishnendu Bhose‘s 6-part series on India’s rangers who dedicate their lives to protect our prized fauna ahead of the launch of, Heroes Of The Wild Frontiers on one of India’s top Wildlife channels – Animal Planet.
The six-part documentary series, Heroes Of The Wild Frontiers, will take viewers through the lives of the forest guards and the frontline staff manning the vast expanses of India’s forests and national parks, spotlighting their commitment and efforts to protect the biodiversity of India. Each day is spent creating the balance in our ecosystem and these frontline warriors face the danger that it entails while being on the forefront of India’s biggest sanctuaries.
We spoke to Mr Krishnendu Bhose about his passion project and here’s how the conversation went…
Congratulations on turning your dream project into a reality with Heroes Of The Wild Frontiers. What inspired you to create it?
“I’ve worked for 25 years. When you work for that long in the forests, you meet and work with the forest guards. And I’ve been incredibly awestruck with these guys because of the kind of knowledge they have along with the understanding of an animal’s behaviour. Their commitment, passion and the courage they have while standing in front of a charging Elephant or a Rhino and reacting in the right way that won’t hurt the animal. Even encountering poachers who come with sophisticated weapons and fighting them off. So, the knowledge they have about the forests, the animal behaviour, all of that I have known grown up with. It has shaped my understanding of wildlife, about behaviour. So, I dreamt that one day I will tell their story to the world and finally it all came together. Even the coming together of this series is a story by itself because I raised funds for it and then some of the world’s biggest organizations such as the WWF, the WTI and the WCT and they helped fund it. Later Discovery came onboard and they became the broadcast partner. It’s not me and the crew who have created this, it’s a combined, collective effort of the ministry, the State forest departments who came together. So, it’s a hugely collaborative effort with all of us trying to tell the stories of the forest guards.”
Bollywood celebrities like Dia Mirza, Shoojit Sircar and Randeep Hooda have also come forward to support it. Do you think that will help it reach a wider audience?
“I’ve spent too many years in this industry and my world is the conservation world, the wildlife world. The kind of work we have done with this series, Heroes of the Wild Frontiers, needs to reach a lot of other people in the world. We want it to reach people who don’t understand the wildlife conservation world. Which is why we thought of reaching out to celebrities to talk about it. The celebrities who have shown their support so far are Dia Mirza, Randeep Hooda and Shoojit Sircar. These are not just any other celebs, they are genuinely concerned about the environment and are involved in various causes. Which is why we thought they’d be a good fit for this.”
Being an experienced director, do you think has the creative process has changed with evolved technology?
“Things have become more technologically savvy. There are several young people out there using the latest technology which is not very expensive. But then again, it’s not technology that alone makes a good film, it’s the story behind it, the subject and what’s at the heart of it. For creating this series, we’ve used various kinds of cameras like the Thermal and Infra-Red cameras. It’s a mixture of many stories and some of our schedules were in the night. For instance, the turtles we’ve shot they’d come to the beach in the night. Similarly, the Elephants would come out late in the evening, graze and pass through villages. All this was happening at night and we’ve also shot underwater. So, there’s a lot of technology but eventually, it’s the story and the great characters that make a show or film what it is.”
What is the one message that you’d want viewers to take away from Heroes of the Wild Frontiers?
“Next time you see a Tiger in a reserve, click a photo of it and share it on your Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Twitter, with 2000 people saying, “wow”, think of the guy who has to take care of the tiger and stand in front of it. That’s the message I’d like people to take away.”
Here’s to all the unsung heroes of the wildlife frontiers!