'Dangar Chas'

Filmmaker: Yasar, India


Impact Award Winner Restoring Balance with Nature Earthbeat Challenge 2021

The Challenge looked for films which showcased actions on climate change, biodiversity loss and land restoration. For our Impact Award, judges looked for films with an important message which should be shared more widely to benefit both local communities and wider international audiences.  Winners received smartphone film kits and their films and projects are showcased through Earthbeat.

"Dangar Chas" tells the story of the Bonda people in the hills of the Eastern Ghats in India, showing why we need to preserve the traditional food growing knowledge of indigenous people.

Yasar Sharief (28), from Hyderabad in India, entered his 3-minute film about the food growing techniques of the indigenous Bonda people in the hills of the Eastern Ghats in India.

Indigenous people are some of the most affected by the climate and ecological emergencies, and Yasar told Earthbeat about how their knowledge, especially of traditional farming and land management, is important to help fight climate change and restore the balance with nature.

His aim is to carry out further research with local people and share this through future films.

Yasar’s words have been lightly edited for clarity

Image: Wikipedia

The project behind the film

I launched my own project called "Indigenous knowledge to tackle climate change" in 2019. During in these first two years I met different tribal groups including the Bonda people. I had  the objective of learning about and highlighting the knowledge of tribal people which is often ignored. I want to communicate what I have found out to others and spread awareness that indigenous people's knowledge is vital for tackling climate change.

Making the film

I learned about making films by watching documentaries on National Geographic and the BBC. I believe the best filmmaker is the best storyteller. As a filmmaker you need to learn to imagine things beautifully in your mind. I shot this film with my Blackberry evolve phone and used Da Vinci software to edit my film. I worked with a talented editor called Manzoor. Dangar Chas is my second film. Previously I made a documentary about a historical fort. A big thanks to team Earthbeat. They gave me a platform to showcase my filming skills on a global arena. People started recognizing me as a filmmaker. A local online news portal wrote an article on me and my film.

What next?

I am planning to meet more tribal groups in different countries to collect information and better understand their situation. I am seeking funding to support my project and take it to an international level.

Follow this project

In the media

Read more about this topic

Photo story: Odisha’s Bonda tribe hit by changing climate Mongabay, environment and conservation news platform

Indigenous Farming systems: Indigenous Peoples’ food systems hold the key to feeding humanity International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

The Impact Award is supported by Bertha Foundation.  The jury looked for stories and films which have an important message which they feel should be shared more widely to benefit both local and international communities.

Read about other Impact Award Winners