Published: 26th June 2019
Why Sabyasachi Patra's wildlife shots will make you fall in love with nature again
Sabyasachi Patra has conducted workshops in National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; Loyola Degree College, Bengaluru and many other educational institutions across the country
When Sabyasachi Patra was living the corporate life he not only realised the futility of the job, but how finite life is. "When my time comes, I do not want to have any regrets," he shares and tells us this is why he quit his cushy job and pursued wildlife photography and filmmaking. This was not on a whim, however, as Patra had been in love with both nature and photography since a very young age. And the ever-diminishing forests were the trigger behind him taking the plunge.
Looking up: Patra at work | (Pic: Sabyasachi Patra)
Patra's very first documentary A Call in the Rainforest about the Lion-tailed Macaque travelled to many festivals and for it, he even received an award from the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan. This was encouragement enough and he quickly quit his job in 2012. He also started IndiaWIlds, an online portal through which he showcases his work and curates newsletters too.
He has shot for corporates like Amex, Netflix, Bharti Airtel and many more
Cut to today, Patra's documentary Discovering Rann was the official selection for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival New York. "Documenting wildlife is my passion and to supplement my passion, I keep taking up corporate films and ad shoots," says Patra as he laughs while talking about his other work. Though he is usually living out of a suitcase, he calls Bhubaneswar home and is itching to shoot in Odisha. He is currently in talks about a project on primitive tribals of Odisha. "There is just so much knowledge out there where we need to document before it is lost," he sighs.
First glimpse: Poster of Patra's latest short film | (Pic: Sabyasachi Patra)
He is also working on a documentary on the cult of 64 Yogini worship and tantric traditions and is doing a lot of research to understand it. "I am exploring everything and enjoying it. I visit smaller places, talk to several people and what I discover is such a revelation to me," he says, sounding quite astounded. Talking about how Patra shoots, the filmmaker who is in his late 40s, says, "I look at a place and visualise it in my mind," he shares. He is not a fan of too many equipment and like silent surroundings while shooting. While he was working in the corporate world and developed emergency strategies and he feels that this has helped him organise his thoughts and plan his course of action well.
Their documentary Leopards: The Last Stand is being shot over the last few years
Talking about the kind of documentaries young filmmakers should be making, Patra says, "We need to change the mindset of people. Don't focus on the symptoms, focus on the core issue." As an example, he talks about how in New Delhi, winter chokes people because farmers in Punjab burn paddy and the smoke from there inundates the capital of the country. He asks youngsters to chose wisely!
Some of his captures:
For more on them, click on indiawilds.com