"Elephants in the Coffee" was named Best Documentary at the DC South Asian Film Festival this past weekend.
It was quite an honor considering the competition, and the cap to a great weekend for the film in Washington, D.C.
We met for an hour with representatives of the international arm of the Humane Society International. It was a very valuable meeting, demonstrating the widespread concern about human-elephant conflict in India. We hope to work with the Humane Society in the future because they are willing to share their good ideas. For instance, here's a story by the Humane Society about reducing fence breaching by elephants in Africa through non-lethal intervention called "tusk bracing."
We also enjoyed a radio interview with wtop.com/WTOP, the top news station in Washington, DC. That story should air this week.
And an executive fromwww.logostech.net/ Logos Technologies showed up to watch "Elephants in the Coffee" at the festival. We hope to work with Logos to test aerial surveillance of elephants to follow their movements and warn people before deadly encounters occur.
The DC festival featured wonderful documentaries by two professors in the DC area. Dr. Harjant Gill, a professor at Towson University, produced "Sent Away Boys" about what happens to Indian villages when all the young men move away to find work. You can see it here. And Dr. Indira Somani, a professor at Howard University, produced a documentary about the boatmen in the holy city of Varanasi called "Life on the Ganges." I'm proud to have our work shown in the same theater with their films.
Then today, a new article came about about "Elephants in the Coffee" by Lori Bell in Lady Freethinker.
She writes, "When you pour yourself a cup of piping hot coffee in the morning, you might not be thinking about where it comes from. However, a lot goes into making that morning pick-me-up. At the source of production, the politics of coffee are more complex.
"A new documentary, Elephants in the Coffee, examines the tension between coffee farmers and elephants in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which produces 70 percent of the country’s coffee. Over the years, expanding coffee plantations have put pressure on elephants and their natural environment, leading to violent human-elephant encounters."
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College