Kolkata, Oct 25 :
Ashwika Kapur, a 26-year-old science and natural history filmmaker from West Bengal, has won the Wildscreen Panda Awards also known as the Green Oscar for her film on a Kakapo parrot named Sirocco.
Kapur won the award at a ceremony in Britain’s Bristol city Friday in the Wildscreen Festival for her 15-minute film “Sirocco – How a Dud became a Stud”.
Kakapos are critically endangered bird species native to New Zealand. It narrates the “rags-to-riches” story of Sirocco, the Kakapo parrot, so popular that the New Zealand government made it the country’s official spokesbird for conservation.
“The wondrous has happened!! I’m coming home with that Green Oscar,” Kapur posted on her Facebook page Friday.
Kapur graduated in science and natural history filmmaking from the University of Otago, New Zealand, after her schooling and college in Kolkata.
The documentary is a solo endeavour with Kapur managing the research and development of the entire project single-handedly.
She won the coveted honour in the Icon Films Newcomer Award category that had two other nominees.
The film festival received 488 entries from 42 countries this year. According to the organisers, “This category brought together different films. But in the end we chose this film (‘Sirocco’) as it had all the hallmarks of a strong storyteller.”
“There are so few Kakapo parrots surviving on earth, that all of them have names.
“And one among them is a house-hold name in New Zealand. Sirocco, a bird so popular, that he landed a government job. This is the bizarre story of his rise to stardom.”
Wildlife filmmaker and conservationist Mike Pandey, the Bedi Brothers (Ajay and Vijay) and Rita Banerji and Shilpi Sharma have won the Green Oscar earlier. Kapur is the youngest recipient from India.