Film-maker brings honour to Bengal

Film-maker brings honour to Bengal

July 19, 2014

There are so few kakapo parrots left on Earth today that all of them have names.

And one name is world-famous – Sirocco. A bird so famous that the government of New Zealand has assigned him with an administrative job and a representative for the country as a spokesperson for conservation.

A film made on the rare kakapo bird, titled Sirocco – How a dud became a stud has been nominated for Panda Award, dubbed the ‘Green Oscars’, at the Wildscreen Film Festival and it’s a privilege to say that the film-maker Ashwika Kapur hails from the City of Joy, Kolkata.  

Sirocco - How a dud became a stud

Currently pursuing natural history film-making from Otago University, New Zealand, the film-maker grips the audience as she unfolds the story of this bizarre parrot catapulted by a strange chain of events to stardom. Today this bird has his own PR team that manages his public image. He has a social media following that has surpassed that of many human celebrities. He even gets his own seat in the airplane that flies him on official tours.

Brought up in the city of Kolkata, Ashwika is the youngest Indian woman nominated for the Green Oscars award, in the category of Best Newcomer. Soon to be announced in Bristol this October, hers is a movie selected out of 488 entries from 42 countries. An animal lover since childhood, Kapur turned her home into a mini zoo enduring her generosity and kindness towards creatures without a voice. Her education at La Martiniere for Girls and St Xavier’s College, Kolkata helped put together her passion for two favourite things – animals and English literature to ambit her calling.

Not to anyone’s surprise this is not the only milestone in her career as a film-maker. She has previously filmed and directed a complete documentary for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, India, made a short wildlife documentary under NHU, South Africa (Wildlife Film Academy), filmed a documentary for a Birds of Prey Workshop in Masai Mara, Kenya, freelanced with NEWS (Nature Environment & Wildlife Society) on a number of conservation and community-related projects in West Bengal, and has had her photographs published in official Indian government brochures’.

Ashwika Kapur - Youngest Indian woman nominated for a Green Oscar

Ashwika’s formative days saw her as a TV show anchor for the annual Durga Puja special programme on the channel Tara News in Kolkata. She co-anchored a youth programme, Tero Theke Teish with sports journalist Debashish Datta on CTVN. She has also acted in numerous telefilms, advertisements and serials including ones directed by legendary Indian personalities like Aparna Sen, Rituparna Ghosh, Naseeruddin Shah and other well-known people and production companies.

Kapur not only honours the name of her family but also brings immense joy to the city of Kolkata and her country, India. Her achievements have set a benchmark for the youth of Bengal and the country – to attain such admiration at such a young age and thus bring about a wave of development and encouragement at their place of origin.  
Watch the official trailer of Sirocco – How a dud became a stud here: 

Written by Ankita Bose for Team

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Comments (2)
Anamika Reply
July 29, 2014
Congratulations to Shikha Kapur! You've done Kolkata, and certainly India, proud.
Shikha Reply
July 29, 2014
This is a great achievement, getting nominated in the first try itself.
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