Mike Pandey is one of India’s foremost wildlife and environmental filmmakers with over 300 national and international awards. Several of his films, such as Shores of Silence, The Last Migration, Broken Wings and The Timeless Traveller, to name a few, have been directly instrumental in bringing about legislative changes to protect species such as whale sharks, elephants, vultures and horse-shoe crabs.
Mike was born in Kenya. The Nairobi National Park, which was situated at the back of the Pandey household in Kenya, proved a rich source of inspiration for both him and his brother I. C. Pandey. His dalliance with the camera started when he was barely seven when an uncle presented him a Kodak Browning Box camera on his birthday. He still owns that heirloom.
Trained and educated in the UK and US the brothers experiences have been wide and varied from training in Hollywood, USA as interns and to Director of special effects and war scenes in films like Razia Sultan, Betaab, Gazab etc. in India. But the call of the wild was strong and Mike’s passion and care for the natural world pulled him into the vortex of Indian wildlife.
In 1994, he became the first Asian producer / director to win a Wildscreen Panda Award, also known as a Green Oscar, for his film The Last Migration – Wild Elephant Capture in Sarguja.
In 2000, his film Shores of Silence – Whale Sharks in India, won a ‘Green Oscar’ for the second time. The film also led to the ban on the killing of whale sharks on Indian shores. This film has also won a National Award for Best Film in the “Exploration & Adventure” Category, 2005.
On October 2004, he did India proud once again by winning a Panda Award for the Third time for his film Vanishing Giants – a story of his passion and involvement with elephants. This film also led to the ban of cruel and outdated techniques of elephant capture in India.
And in 2009, for the fourth time, an endangered wildlife species has been given protection by the Government of India, thanks one of Mikes’ documentary films.
After persistent efforts following the film, Timeless Traveler – The horseshoe Crab, believed to be the oldest living being on earth (reportedly older than the dinosaurs), horseshoe crabs have been put under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Act. This means that it can be used for research but cannot be killed or poached by anyone including private collectors.
The prestigious United Nations International Award For Outstanding Achievement In Global Conservation, the PRITHVI RATAN or ‘Son of the Earth’ was awarded to Mike at the Vatavaran Film Festival in November 2003, for his outstanding contribution towards generating awareness, which led to the conservation of a global heritage – the Whale Shark. Mike was also presented with the Award for Cinematic Excellence by Western India’s Cinematographers Association in Mumbai, 2005.
His powerful films are living proof of the difference a film can make in bringing about changes locally, nationally and globally.
Riverbank Studios has produced some of India’s most popular programmes like Earth Matters, aired on Doordarshan, Indian national TV for 13 years, so far reaching over 800 million viewers and Khullam Khulla for children and has won scores of awards – both National and International.
In 2004 Mike had a Panda Award nomination for The Filmmaker for Conservation Award – one of the highest awards at the Wildscreen Film Festival – bringing India at par with the worlds top filmmakers and films on natural history, wildlife and environment.
Time Magazine listed him as third place in its’ list of Heroes of the Environment 2009!
To raise global concern for ecological and wildlife conservation, he established Earth Matters Foundation to promote his inspiring films. The Foundation has set up a website to introduce these valuable documentaries to the whole world.
Mikes’ films truly have made a difference with real and tangible results… Species have found themselves better protected and understood… He is a prime example of a filmmaker that has made, and continues to make, a difference!!
“Mike Pandey, one of the country’s most revered natural history documentary makers…” – Guardian, October 3, 2004, www.guardian.co.uk
“Mike Pandey, one of India’s most accomplished nature filmmakers” – Outlook Magazine, July 2004
“I use Mike’s film wherever I go… he is an iconic film-maker who has shown the world the way” – Nick Gordon, Wildlife Film-Maker
“Mike Pandey, twice winner of the Green Oscar for his films on environment, would perhaps balk at the title of a ‘crusader’, but his silent camera has done more for conservation than a thousand words” – Ranjita Biswas, Trans World Features, TWFIndia.com
“It takes special individuals to raise the levels of consciousness around them. Mike Pandey is one such person” – Shloka Nath, mid-day.com
“Pandey is a one-camera army fighting to preserve India’s wild-life heritage” – Namita Bhandare, Man’s World, April 2003
“Nature’s Guardian Angel” – the Sunday Statesman Magazine, July 2003
Address: C-18, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi – 110048, India
Phone: +91 11 26410684/26216508 Fax: +91 11 26216508
Websites: www.mikepandey.org & www.riverbankstudios.com
Earth Matters Foundation: www.earthmattersfoundation.org
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/themikepandeychannel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pandey Mike Pandey: Films For Change – See an interview with Mike in a short film about his film-making life here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_eZdacUkIg&feature=colike
A date with Mike Pandey: http://www.videosurf.com/video/a-date-with-mike-pandeypromo-107258732
Mike Pandey in the news: http://www.mikepandey.org/inthenews.htm
Mike Pandey receives Prithvi Ratan Award-Vatavaran 2003: http://www.wildlife-film.com/Wfn/wfn54.htm
Mike Pandey documentary has wildlife species protected: http://www.indiantelevision.com/aac/y2k9/aac833.php
Mike Pandey heads international jury of Brazil Film Festival http://www.mikepandey.org/ar_12.htm
Time Magazine – Heroes of the Environment 2009:http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1924149_1924152_1924199,00.html
Devoted Wildlife Conservation Filmmaker Mike Pandey: http://godsdirectcontact.org.tw/eng/news/200/bp_79.htm
By Jason Peters