by B. ARAVIND KUMAR

Slender loris

 

National film award-winner Nalla Muthu Subbiah

Chennai, March 27th: Another film-maker from Chennai bagging an award at the 62nd national film awards has gone unnoticed.

For engagingly revealing the rare and incredible biodiversity of the Western Ghats, Nalla Muthu Subbiah has bagged the Rajat Kamal award for the best exploratory film. Quite fittingly, the film is titled ‘Life Force – India’s Western Ghats’.

Interestingly, Mr. Subbiah began his career as a high-speed cameraman filming rockets in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the 1980s. “We used to film the flights of flamingos and pelicans in slow motion. The inputs were used in rocket design,” he recalls.

That is when he began blending his love for birds, science and technology. Soon, he started working in the Indian Films Division, but quit at the height of television boom to make the series ‘Living on the edge’ for Doordarshan.

Soon, he started his own production company and went into the wild, growing fond of filming tigers. For Life Force, his team filmed extensively in the Western Ghats, covering 10 endangered species like Lion-tailed Macaque, Great Indian Hornbill, Slender Loris and Purple Frog.

“Slender Loris, an elusive primate, is an astonishing species. We have shot how they carry baby cubs,” says Mr. Nalla Muthu, still captivated by the images from the night-vision cameras he used to capture this nocturnal species.

The team camped in make-shift machaans and hid itself on trees at 200-feet height to capture the Great Indian Hornbill. They waited for 40 days in the Silent Valley for the chick to come out and fly for the first time.

Mr. Subbiah has earlier bagged the national award for best cinematography and best environment film for his wildlife documentary ‘Tiger Dynasty’, which followed the life of a tigress translocated from Ranthambore to Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Now, he is following the life of world famous tigress Machili of Ranthamhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. “I have been filming Machili ’s family for the past eight years for my next film. This will be the first time people will come to know four generations of a tiger family. We plan to release it next year,” says the wildlife film-maker.

Mr. Subbiah comes from Valliyur, a small town in southern Tamil Nadu. His father was a headmaster in government school. If that doesn’t ring in anything, his elder brother is Subbiah Arunan, the project director for ISRO’s Mangalyaan.

National award-winner’s film documents 10 endangered species


Source: The Hindu