Private Project

The Woods Are Calling

Metha, along with other tribal hunters in a Khonoma, in Nagaland, gives up hunting so as to save the forest and an endangered bird “Blyth’s Tragopan”.

Nagaland has long been known for its pristine rainforests spread over mountains protected and inhabited by various tribes.
Khonoma is a small village where mostly Angamis live and they have been hunting for food and later to pay their children’s fees.
The problem began in eighties with the introduction of guns, people took on rampant hunting and soon the forest became bare.

Tsilie Sakhrie, a village man was touched with this scenario. He proposed a ban on hunting before the village. After a lot of resistance, villagers agreed to ban hunting. After training and education from various fellowmen living in neighboring villages and with the help of the forest department, Metha one of the ace hunters along with other hunters, learnt to save the forest and practice agriculture. Metha gave up hunting. With time passing by, he started practicing agriculture called “Jhum Cultivation”.

After farming on one patch of land, it is left untouched to restore its fertility for two to five years. Only the branches of the trees are cut so to be used for timber but the trunk is kept intact so that it germinates in the rainy season.
Khonoma has been declared a Green Village. Roads have been built to access it. The threat languishes over the forest as neither Metha nor the village want to be left behind in Development as Metha strives for a better living standard. Tragopan loses it natural habitat and pays the price to be a bird along with other living beings.

  • Teenaa Kaur
    Director
    1984, When the Sun didn't Rise, The deer, tree and me
  • Teenaa Kaur
    Writer
    1984, When the Sun didn't Rise
  • Rajiv Mehrotra
    Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    India
  • Country of Filming:
    India
  • Language:
    Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    High Definition
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Dhaka International Film festival
    Dhaka
    Bangladesh
    September 27, 2018
    Asian Premiere
    Official selection- Competitiion
  • Yerevan
    Armenia
    September 27, 2018
    World Premiere
    Official selection Competition
  • Sunchild film festival
    Yerevan
    Armenia
    September 6, 2017
    World Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Teenaa Kaur
    Country: India
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Teenaa Kaur

Teenaa has been extensively involved in documentaries and screenwriting. Her debut independent documentary
‘1984,When the Sun didn’t Rise’ received Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Network and Documentary fund “AND” Fund in 2015. It has been selected for Work in Progress Lab of “DOC WOK” of Doc Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animated Films, Germany in 2014 and the trailer was pitched in DOCEDGE, Kolkata in 2012.
www.WhentheSundidntRise.wordpress.com

In 2013-14 she was awarded a fellowship by Time Warner Foundation supported Asia Society, New York, for her first feature film screenplay ‘The Red Autumn’.

‘The deer, tree and me’ is a creative documentary, which was nominated for Best Documentary in Mumbai Intl. Film festival, 2016. It premiered in SIGNS Intl film festival, Kochi 2015 and also screened in Kolkata International Film Festival 2015, Int. Association for women in Radio and Television film festival, 2016. It is the story of a chinkara and a man who fights the hunters to save the chinkara.
Thedeertreeandme.strikingly.com

Her upcoming documentary has been received a grant from PSBT. “The Woods are Calling” is on an endangered bird called Blyth’s Tragopan and how a community of hunters in Nagaland have transformed to farmers to conserve the Tragopan and their forest.

‘In Symphony with Earth!’ is a documentary based on the communities in India growing natural fiber and a living sustainable life in tune with nature, and was broadcast on National Geographic and Fox History (2012-13).
Her debut documentary film on a martial art form celebration named as ‘Hola! The Mighty Colors’ was a part of Sikh International Film Festival in Asia Society and Museum, New York, 2012.

Teenaa is a Production and Industrial Engineering Graduate from M.B.M. Engg. College, Jodhpur. She has worked Zee TV as a Promo Director but soon quit it to pursue her dream in independent filmmaking dedicatedly since 2010. She completed her PG in Mass Communication from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan; New Delhi 2003.She has studied Film Appreciation and Basic Videography from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in 2012. www.greenearthpictures.in

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I wanted to know who are the people who live in tune with Nature. Where are those communities and its people? This lead to a lot of research wherein I discovered one such community that lives in the northeast of India in a state called Nagaland, which is the home to more than 200 tribes. One of these tribes is Angamis who are warriors and have been practicing hunting since ages. They’ve grown up hunting and spending half their life in the woods and they did something miraculous.
I got to know about the man who initiated this called Tsilie Sakhrie who was now eighty years old.
He realized that hunting was majorly causing the disappearance of many wild animals and birds. One such bird that was endangered is 'Tragopan'.

Now to abruptly put an end to all these activities was a great change one can’t quickly accustom to, so there was resistance. But Khonoma, one of the oldest Angamis Villages has shown the way for others to follow. Angamis in Khonoma village in Nagaland had introduced a ban on logging 1996 and after a lot of resistance and struggle ban on hunting was also done. Tsilie Sakhrie, one of the leaders of the village initiated discussions about the decreasing Tragopan population in their village. The discussions in the village council and subsequently in the youth organizations led to the formation of Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan sanctuary. I sent him a postcard since I only had his address and not the phone number. He responded warmly.

In a Naga society where people are still very dependent on nature, it is a brave step to be adopted by the village council and followed by the people till date. The initiatives of banning, logging, and hunting lead to regeneration of the natural resources. They have clubbed the efforts of conservation with rich culture and history of Khonoma, leading to the village being titled as “Green Village”.
The sanctuary was set up with the theme, ‘Care for nature’. The sanctuary is one of the few community-conserved areas in India. Though the 70 sq. km sanctuary is known to harbor lots of animals and birds it is best known for the Blyth’s Tragopan birds.
The film is a visual essay of conservation of natural resources done by the community of Angamis living in the cluster of villages in Khonoma village of Nagaland.
The narrative follows the hunter Metha who was a hunter earlier and later embraced the change and turned to farming. This is the story of Khonoma seen through the eyes and experiences of Metha.
It tells the story of conservation of the environment and how awareness can lead to the transformation of communities. The background music and sounds will be composed by the Nagas and with the indigenous instruments.
The Angamis are one of the communities that live with perfect sync with the ecosystems setting an example for people to follow. However, the next threat is so-called Development in which construction is still leading to the loss of habitat in the area.