Water, water, not a drop to drink - 'Voices from the Waters' film festival

— by Parmita Borah | Bangalore
Children participating at the Voices from the Waters, Bangalore
Taps have dried up, lakes and reservoirs are emptying every single day. To many, a glass of clean drinking water is a luxury. To many, non-toxic water is nectar for their dying crops. And to many, it’s a just a loch ness monster.

The alarming rate at which our world is losing safe water is no news to anyone. We all know about it. Someone of us don’t bother, some of us makes jokes about it, and some of us try to use water economically.

Honestly, I was not so keen on going to a documentary film festival about water wastage and scarcity. Why should I listen to a bunch of pretentious activists who would in all possibility only make me feel guilty of everything I do, including breathing? I already know about water scarcity and have been doing my bit to avoid it. ‘Voices from the Waters’ had me questioning myself – is that enough?

Inauguration of  Voices From The Waters film festival
(photo: Jim Ankan Deka)
In its 9th edition, ‘Voices from the Waters’ an outreach initiative of Bangalore Film Society, and Deep Focus Cinema along with Bird Habitat Observers addressed that very thought. Aimed at highlighting issues like potable water for household needs, agriculture, and industry, this international travel film festival presented a repertoire of 95 films from 38 countries that deal with very pertinent water related snags. Apart from films, the other avenues of engagement at the festival included painting and photo exhibition, art installations, water songs, lectures, roundtables, eco-conscious product bazaar, and interaction with film directors, water activists and water scholars.

So on September 11th, I along with two of my fellow bloggers from music malt reached National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bangalore, after a last minute decision and an hour long battle with traffic. We made it in time for the inauguration, and believe you me, it was far from disappointing. A line up of very forceful addresses flanked by music and dance delighted a packed auditorium while simultaneously stimulating their thoughts. I was enthralled by a mime act by a group of young students from TVS School, Tumkur where they depicted the kind of abuses Mother Nature has endured from mankind, and the ramifications of those actions.

The international traveling film festival on water was inaugurated by the acclaimed and multi award winning film director and actor T.S. Nagabharana along with other film directors and dignitaries from around the world.

Chief guests being felicitated at Voices From The Waters
film fest (photo: Jim Ankan Deka)
I was also perplexed when one of the speakers said, “We talk about conserving water, yet despite living in a country full of sunshine, we have gathered inside an auditorium with many lights which requires electricity, which again is produced from water.”

“It is a necessary evil”, I tell myself. “What is purpose of the film festival after all?” I wonder.

The answer was simple, but very very compelling – to motivate people like me to learn, discuss, and most importantly pass on as much information as we can about the dire consequence of water wastage. In a simple and straightforward manner ‘Voices from the Waters’ taught me, and hopefully many more the greater roles that we can play in paving way for a sustainable posterity.

Click Here for the inauguration photos.