It was a national news when 7 elephants were mowed down by a high speed goods train on the 23rd of September 2010 in the 'Elephant Corridors' of North Bengal. Three female, three calves and one tusker was killed. A lactating mother was dragged on the tracks for more than three hundred meters before the train finally came to a halt !! This was the foundation of a voice which was determined to shout back at the system to stop and listen. But this was easier said than done. Film making is an expensive art form and finding funds was a huge task specially for an untrained film maker like me. Hence, no funds. I pestered my dad to get me a camera. I'm thankful to him that he trusted my abilities and got me one. Armed with the device I began shaping up the voice of 'God On The Edge'. The pre-production work had to be very strong as we had limited resources for permissions to shoot in Wildlife Sanctuaries. It was a short two schedule shoot with lot of challenges thrown in. But it provided a huge learning experience for a first time film maker like me. Today the film having won an award, 'Best Film On Environment' at the 10th IDPA Excellence Award, Mumbai; and officially being selected in Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, New York, it seems the effort was worthwhile. The response the film has got from various Nature & Environment Organizations is really very encouraging. Hope the voice reaches to as many elephant lovers as possible. GOD ON THE EDGE - DIRECTOR'S PROFILE Born in 1978 Ashok Patel was brought up in the proximity of nature by his forester father and housewife mother. He did his schooling from St. Joseph's School, Darjeeling, The Queen of hill stations. He had to move to Bangalore for his college, but nature always stayed with him. Given a chance I would set off on wild trek and travel choosing over pubs and parties. Moving to Mumbai was a tough decision his family had to deal with. They wanted the safety net of a regular job while he wanted to explore the world, dream for a living and tell stories through his camera lens. Eventually he won and moved to Mumbai only to be hugely disillusioned. It wasn't easy there. With a lot of odd jobs and acting in theaters he finally ended up as an associate Film Editor with Mr. Mahesh Bhatt's production house, Vishesh Films. Things looked brighter from there. But it was short lived as his editor boss had to leave Mumbai to be with his family to attend some important matters. He was unemployed again. This was the time when this accident took place in 2010 where 7 wild elephants were mowed down by a goods train. His love for nature and adventure inspired him to go ahead and make this film even with practically zero experience in film making. Working on 'God On The Edge' has been a tough but learning and satisfying journey so far for him. Guwahati Cine Club has arranged special screening of the film on August 24 in Guwahati where Ashok Patel will be present.
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