Community Spotlight

Dr Anantha Krishna Pillai

Community Spotlight

Tampa Resident Earns 63rd Indian National Film Award
Tampa Resident Earns 63rd Indian National Film Award Long time Tampa resident, Dr. A.K.Pillai, won the prestigious 63rd Indian National Film Award in the category “Environment Conservation/ Preservation” for the movie Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (Birds with Large Wings). He received this honor from the Honorable Indian President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at a star-studded function in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on May 3, 2016.

This is one among the list of honors received by Dr A.K. Pillai (Producer) and Mrs. Padma Pillai (Co-Producer). Their film won the World Humanitarian Award at the World Humanitarian Event, Jakarta, Indonesia, in September 2015. The film was also screened  at the United Nations Environment Programme in  Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2015, among many other International Film Festivals around the world. This film has become a talking point through the numerous awards earned as well as due to the themes discussed.

Dr. AK.Pillai’s passion for making realistic and meaningful movies led to joining forces with internationally renowned contemporary artistic filmmaker, Dr. Biju, to create this movie. The film portrays the struggles of villagers in Kasargod, Kerala, as they face many health issues due to misuse of endosulfan pesticide in cashew plantations. This affected the people as well as the environment continually for two and a half decades.

This brave venture to bring attention to a social issue has won the heart of those impacted families. We are proud to have a role model in the community and a mentor for local movie lovers.

Dr Anantha Krishna Pillai

About the Movie

Valiya Chirakula Pakshikal (Birds with Large Wings) is a 2015 Malayalam/English/French partly fictionalized presentation of the great tragedy that occurred in Kasaragod District of Kerala in India, where endosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide was aerially sprayed on cashew plantations owned by the Plantation Corporation or Kerala government. The spraying affected the people as well as the environment continually for two and a half decades.

This produced disastrous health effects especially among children, who were born with birth defects. The land, water, flora and fauna became toxic and continues to impact human health even today, despite the discontinued use of the spray for the past two decades. The film depicts the aftereffects of the pesticide spraying through the eyes of a photographer. Endosulfan induced misery gained worldwide attention through this exposure. In 2011, the Stockholm Summit of UN on Persistent Organic Pollutants recommended a total ban on endosulfan.

Birds with Large WIngs