Machli, The Ruler of Ranthambore Brought Alive

Manchli, the tigress of Ranthambore  - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: The fascinating story of Machli, the tiger queen of Ranthambhore National Park who lived to an extraordinary age of 20 years and won the hearts of tiger fans like no other feline did, has been captured on celluloid.

“Meet Machli: World's Most Famous Tiger”, directed by National Award-winning filmmaker S Nallamuthu and produced by Natural History Unit India for National Geographic channel, is a homage to the legendary tigress who was known for her fierce determination, bravery and confidence. The 60-minute documentary, which was recently screened in the national capital, has exclusive footage of never-captured sequences.

Nallamuthu filmed Machli for more than nine years. And all these years, he was able to capture some priceless moments like Machli catching her prey, how she established herself as the ruler of Ranthambore, how she gradually lost her say to her daughters and sons, and also her final moments. The filmmaker has his own way of promoting conservation - through his films.

“These have had great impact. But I feel a different kind of impact when people actually see tigers as sentient, mindful beings and bond with them. That is why I show people why you should save tigers by creating a human connect,” he says. Nallamuthu says he has been making films with own funding, many a times borrowing.

His documentary “Tiger Dynasty”, tracing the journey of translocated tigers in India and shown in Britain as part of a special BBC series on endangered wildlife, won him National Film Awards for best environment movie and cinematography in 2012.

He has also worked on some of the country's premier television shows - “Living on the Edge”, “The Great Escape”, “Off the Beaten Path” and “Wheels”. He is now working on a documentary on Machli's daughter Krishna, who is now the ruling feline in Ranthambore. “I don't finish a film unless I get a good story, because I am passionate about filmmaking and wildlife. And I want the audience to connect with the animals,” he says.

“I could get a much higher profit margin and my life would be definitely a lot easier by churning out films every six months than focusing on one film every two years. Perhaps that is why there are not many wildlife filmmakers in the country,” he adds. Nallamuthu feels each tiger has a story waiting to be told, some more fascinating than the others.

“There is something very intuitive and instinctive about making documentaries and telling stories. You marry your observations with what you feel that place and characters have to say and what the viewer needs to know. These tiger films are my way of promoting - tiger conservation,” he says. (PTI)

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