• Thursday, June 20, 2024


High time we tell stories about climate change: Nila Madhab Panda on ‘The Jengaburu Curse’

The 49-year-old director has made his streaming debut with climate fiction series The Jengaburu Curse.

Nila Madhab Panda (Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for RFF)

By: Mohnish Singh

Filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda, known for acclaimed films like Kalira Atita and Kadvi Hawa, believes it’s his “responsibility” to create awareness about climate change by telling stories about the relationship between nature and humans.

The 49-year-old director, who made his streaming debut with climate fiction series The Jengaburu Curse, said he consciously explores stories that highlight the consequences of environmental crises, which he has witnessed both in India and throughout the world.

“I think more than a fascination with (this kind of) storytelling, it is also a responsibility and I would consider myself to be a responsible person and creator. I grew up in a certain environment in a humble village (in Orissa) and became a globetrotter, I saw the world is changing too fast.

“I believe it is high time we need to tell these stories (of environment and climate change) to people,” Panda told PTI in an interview.

The I Am Kalam filmmaker is baffled why issues related to the environment and climate change are not depicted frequently in cinema. “It’s very simple when the underworld was affecting Bombay, there were blasts, the drug mafia was there, and makers were making films on that. When it was 75 years of India’s independence, there were films being made on that.

“I’m surprised people ask me, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I’m surprised people haven’t done it because the environment is affecting you every day. If it is affecting us so much, then why can’t we tell these stories?”

In The Jengaburu Curse, currently streaming on SonyLIV, the director looks at the impact of mining on humans and nature. The show, written by Mayank Tewari, is billed as India’s first climate fiction thriller series.

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