Wild Karnataka is a 2019 Indian ultra-HD natural history documentary on the Indian state of Karnataka's rich biodiversity, most of which is still unknown to the general public. The film was produced by award-winning film-makers Amoghavarsha J S and Kalyan Varma in collaboration with Icon Films and Mudskipper. The film was narrated by Sir David Attenborough with theme music composed by Grammy-winning composer and music-producer, Ricky Kej.
|Directed by||Amoghavarsha J S, Kalyan Varma, Sharath Champati, Vijay Mohan Raj|
|Music by||Ricky Kej|
|Edited by||Adam Kirby|
|Budget||INR 50,000,000 (estimated)|
The film trailer released on 18 February and the movie premiered on the 3 March 2019 to an audience of 3000 at an open-air theatre at Palace Grounds in Bangalore, India.
Karnataka is India's 8th largest state of which has a recorded forest area of 38720 km2 which constitutes 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state. Its ecosystem supports different kinds of forests, ranging from the wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, to deciduous forests of the Mysore district to thorn scrub forests and rocky outcrops of Ramnagar and Daroji, extending to the riverine and marine ecosystems, all found in this one state of Karnataka. These forests support 25% of the elephant population and 20% of the tiger population of India, making it home to the largest population of tigers and Asiatic elephants on the planet. This 52 minute film took 1500 days of production with 15000 hours on the field resulting in 2400 minutes of footage from 20 cameras and 50 sequences all shot with an intention to spread awareness, love and respect for the state's majestic and beautiful natural history and heritage. Yet all of this was shot at locations that were only a 7-hour drive from the capital district of the state, Bengaluru.
Wild Karnataka displays the varied habitats and species across Karnataka. The film is story driven. Subjects include tigers and elephants, along with lesser-known species like the Lion-tailed Macaque, Hornbills, amphibians and reptiles. Wild Karnataka was the first film in India to be narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The music for the film was composed by Grammy award-winning music composer and producer Ricky Kej.
The documentary took about 4 years to produce from more than 400 hours of footage.
The film was shot using cutting edge technology and cameras with 4k broadcast quality. No wildlife in India has ever been seen from an aerial perspective, making the Wild Karnataka team the first to do so. Quiet air-borne cameras were used for this so as to create minimum disturbance for the wildlife around it. Using these equipments we were able to capture great footage and insight into animal behaviour as these equipments did not intrude into the natural living of the wild. This is the first wildlife film in which has an equal representation of women. As opposed to the traditional instances where women work in the production side of a film and as much on the field bringing in a different perspective.
Filmmakers and partners
The team behind the film include Prashanth S Nayaka, Praveen, Sugandhi Gadadhar, Raghunath Belur, Adarsh Raju, Pradeep Hegde, and Pooja Rathod and was headed by award-winning wildlife photographers and film-makers Amoghavarsha J S and Kalyan Varma with the unwavering support of Chief Conservator of Forests at Karnataka's Forest Department, Mr. Vijay Mohan Raj and acclaimed naturalist Sarath Champati.
Even though the theme of the documentary is forest and wilderness, the Forest Department has not made any funding and much of the film's financing has come from eco-tourism resorts and mining companies. The partners include Sandur Iron ore and Manganese Limited, Discovery Village and Jungle Lodges & Resorts.
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