A rare filming spectacle, Inspiring to publicize that much acclaimed green documentary film by renowned Kashmiri filmmaker Jalal Jeelani on Billa’s Wular Lake(Saving The Saviour) is scheduled to be telecasted on world’s premier TV Network,National Geographic Channel on Saturday, 19th September 2020 at 10 AM on WorldCleanup Day. Slogan; Plastic or Planet by National Geographic Network Green filmmaker Jalal’s film will be the first ever-indigenous and independentenvironmental documentary film from Kashmir to reach the NGC’s quality level.
Film isproduced and directed by the filmmaker Jalal Jeelani as Guerilla filmmaker. Saving TheSaviour, features a 13-year-old boy Billa (Bilal Ahmad Dar) from Lahawaghat Bandipora,who scavenges Wular water for plastic trash for his livelihood. Billa became the Brand Ambassador of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Srinagar in 2016 after Prime Minister ofIndia Shari Narendra Modi hailed Billa’s efforts in Mann Ki Baat (Swachh Bharat Mission) on All India Radio address to the nation on 24 September 2017. Since then Bilal is associated and employed (contractual) with the corporation.Film captures the Wular environs, existential threat to its life from plastic and polythene trash, encroachments, loot and plunder.
Through Billa’s struggles, narrative and how the boy turns the savior of sorts for the lake waters, film has emerged as a world envoy andcommunicator at world stage; film was screened as an inaugural film at World Water Forum on 23 March 2018 at Brasilia, Brazil and in Europe in June 2018 at We Are Water,
Madrid Spain, which changed the world opinion towards Wular Lake, its plight,conservation and protection. Besides national awards, the film has won the accoladesfrom across the globe in Brazil, USA, Spain, China, France, and Bangladesh. Film hasgathered a huge support among conservational organizations and international NGO,UNESCO, UN environmental bodies, CMS Vatavaran, Ministry of Environment & Climate
Change, Govt. of India to concentrate on environmental degradation in Kashmir region in particular towards Wular Lake.National Geographic Channel has added a new lease of life to ecological discourse of Kashmir, by adopting and telecasting the film “Saving The Saviour” on its incredible and unparalleled network and the spread is going to have a huge impact and meaningful outcome in times to come.
Broadcast can deliver the mass awareness to the grassroots to become saviors in one-way or the other sway to save the environmental marvels of Kashmir. Hopefully film telecast and adaptation by NGC will turn as a symbol of CHANGE and retrospection…Billa lost his father to a life threatening disease. Orphaned at the tender age of 9, Billa never saw life in its beautiful form. For him it was all about pain and responsibilities greater than his age. He had to leave school and his studies to support his family.
Although his mother tried her best she just couldn’t make the ends meet. Billa keeps collecting plastic and polythene garbage from the Wular banks and marshy lands, which he finds in abundance for his livelihood. But what’s job for him might just be the only hope left for the struggling Wular. Billa scavenges the lake daily on his boat for plastic and trash. He sells whatever collects and feeds his family. It’s ironic how the plastic that pollutes and chokes the Wular turn into a savior for Billa. A symbiotic relationship.
Billa’s story is spark to ignite the debate and therein an effort to invigorate the peoples resolves to come together to save the planet from plastic pollution. Tune into National Geographic’s “Saving The Saviour”, A Jalal Jeelani film on September 19 at 10 AM.
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