‘The Wishing Tree’ to bring environment conservation alive on celluloid | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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‘The Wishing Tree’ to bring environment conservation alive on celluloid

The Wishing Tree (Kalpvriksh), a film that seeks to bring environment conservation alive on celluloid and inspire people to safeguard nature, will be released on June 9 around the World Environment Day

dehradun Updated: Jun 04, 2017 18:52 IST
Neha Pant
Actor Shabana Azmi  (left) on the sets of The Wishing Tree with director Manika Sharma (right).
Actor Shabana Azmi (left) on the sets of The Wishing Tree with director Manika Sharma (right).(HT Photo)

The Wishing Tree (Kalpvriksh), a film that seeks to bring environment conservation alive on celluloid and inspire people to safeguard nature, will be released on June 9 just after the World Environment Day.

The World Environment Day is observed every year on June 5.

Directed by Dehradun girl Manika Sharma, the film is supported by the union environment and forests ministry.

The film starring veteran actor Shabana Azmi as the spirit of the environment, revolves around a 6,000-year-old Kalpvriksh or Wishing Tree and how five children emotionally connected to it, unite to protect their magical tree from destruction.

“The idea for this film came to me when I was hugging a 1,000-year-old tree in Canada. I felt a surge of energy enveloping me and I immediately felt compelled to tell this story,” said the writer-filmmaker whose parents are based in Dehradun.

“During my research, I got to know about some of the oldest living trees in the world – trees as old as 5,000 years which are still alive in parts of California - which further inspired this film,” she said.

Indian film icon Amitabh Bachchan has lent his voice to The Wishing Tree.

Besides Azmi, the film also has on board noted actors like Makarand Deshpande, Saurabh Shukla, Rajit Kapoor and Shernaz Patel. Some of the world’s best technicians have worked on its visual effects.

“It is my tribute to trees and I hope that it reconnects people, particularly children, back to Mother Nature,” said the director of the film which is also being shown on Netflix, the internet media streaming service, in over 30 subtitle languages, in most of the countries around the world.

“I’ve always believed that cinema should really be used as a medium for social change...for raising voice on environmental awareness and for all the issues that concern humanity,” said Sharma, adding that it was a “tremendous journey of faith and perseverance” to complete and release the long-drawn project.

Interestingly, the film also has another Dehradun connect – it was written here.

“I’ve always come back to Dehradun… a place that inspires me immensely, thanks to its majestic trees and lovely ambience. In fact, my parents moved to Dehradun in 2008 and since then, whenever I wanted to take writing sabbatical, I’ve always come to Dehradun,” concluded Sharma, whose next project will revolve around the journey of an assistant director through the film industry.