Press Release  | Moving Waters Film Festival, Pondicherry 2019



The earth is more than two-thirds water, yet we know very little beyond the edge of land. Some of these areas, frozen and impassable for centuries, are suddenly being opened up by climate change and global warming; they are also being overfished and overwhelmed with plastic and other pollutants like never before. While lakes are being trashed and encroached, our rivers are being dammed and diverted and no longer allowed to flow free to the sea. Poorly understood, highly threatened – this is the story of the other two-thirds.


The Moving Waters Film Festival (MWFF) explores all that makes ours a blue planet  — the rivers, lakes and oceans and the life they support. For the third year, in succession, we will engage with conservationists, researchers, activists, artists and citizens on issues that affect the aquatic environment.

MWFF presents a selection of visually-appealing, hard-hitting films and expert talks to help our audience navigate these tricky waters. We believe these films and talks will kindle awe and curiosity, and inspire an informed citizenry. This is a call-to-arms to stop the destruction of our rivers, lakes and oceans.


The 2019 Pondicherry edition (February 16th & 17th) is hosted by Alliance Francaise de Pondichery`


The 2019 shortlist features, amongst others, Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Coral, a story about a team of divers, photographers and scientists on an adventure to understand the decline of coral reefs around the world and to reveal the underwater mysteries to the world; NRS films The Coast and Cascada about the love for the perfect wave, the perfect waterfall and the places that they still survive in – this is a perfect mix of adventure and natural beauty; DamNation, by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel about the state of dams across America and the changing attitudes towards them – that our own future is bound to the life and health of our free-flowing rivers. These films along with the rest in the line-up makes for a rivetting watch, and are a moving elegy to our natural world – rivers and oceans.

The full screening list will be updated in the week leading up to the festival.


The speakers for this event include acclaimed nature and conservation film-maker Shekar Dattatri. Shekar is a Rolex Award for Enterprise and a recipient of the prestigious Edberg Award for his conservation film-making. He is one of the pioneers of nature and wildlife filmmaking in India and has assisted numerous grassroots conservation efforts in bringing an end to environmentally destructive practices such as mining. He is the co-founder of Conservation India, an online for conservation awareness and action.

Chaitanya Krishna from InSeason Fish. Chaitanya is a Wipro Sustainability Seeding Fellow and along with Divya Karnad they are on a mission to network small-scale fishermen to responsible seafood consumers- this talk is for all of us, for those seafood consumers who want to enjoy seafood responsible, and for those of us who would like to understand the scale of the problem and alternatives to it.

Aurofilio Schiavina is a Pondicherry native – is an avid swimmer, diver, surfer, and wind-surfer, he decided to combine this love for the sea with his higher education and received a masters in Tropical Coastal management at Newcastle University. He is one of the founder members of PondyCAN and has actively worked towards restoring Pondicherry’s damaged coastline by engaging with the Puducherry government.

Suneha Jagannathan has been passionate about animals and wildlife conservation since childhood and this eventually led her to intern with various conservation organisations like Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network. After completing her postgraduate degree in Tropical biodiversity and Ecosystems from the prestigious Erasmus Mundus program, she joined hands with Temple Adventures to start the Temple Reef Foundation in 2017.

Past Events

Earlier editions of MWFF in Bangalore (2016, 2017, 2018) and Chennai (2017) were well-received and attended by more than 1200 people. These events featured over 75 Indian and international, award-winning films, including premieres, and covered a range of issues — from highly-diverse coral reefs, and marine noise pollution affecting whales and dolphins, to examining Bangalore’s depleted and mismanaged urban rivers, to celebrating the uniqueness of the free-flowing Aghanashini River in the Western Ghats. The event in Chennai also featured a turtle walk (w/ SSTCN) and storytelling session for kids (w/ Ever After Learning). From highlighting complex issues of oceanic governance to celebrating the conservation successes, the festival showed how the water we drink, the fish we consume, the electricity we use, and sand we build with can impact the health of our rivers, lakes and oceans. The 2018 Bangalore edition featured a workshop on “Underwater Photography” by Ritesh Nanda another storytelling session for kids.


Very recently MWFF was also in collaboration with Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF) screening the Best of MWFF from the past 3 major events and covering more than 50% of the films screened at the 13th annual KVIFF. MWFF also screened educational short films for college students at Symbiosis, D.Y.Patil and other major institutes at Pune.
Venue: Alliance Francaise de Pondichery

Address: 58, rue Suffren, Pondicherry – 605 001

Dates/Time: Sep 16th and 17th, 2018 from 2 PM to 9 PM

Entry: FREE and open to the public

Website and Registration :


Find us on:





  1. Alliance Francaise, Pondicherry
  2. Temple Adventures
  3. Temple Reef Foundation
  4. Grand Serenaa
  5. French Town 360


* 20 films, 4 speakers, film introductions and Q&A sessions.


Google drive links with images and other material:

Posters, Banners and more info:


For more information on films and speakers, please contact


For clarifications, please contact:

Abhi:         +91 9902058989

Lena:          +91 9886144025

Hari:           +91 9566582021