Rajani Mani

456 Views

Rajani Mani

/ Director

My Story

Rajani Mani

STORY & DIRECTION

In 2015, I moved into a high-rise apartment in Whitefield, a suburban area in Bangalore. What caught my eye immediately were these massive 3 feet by 4 feet beehives on the balconies and ledges of the upper floors. Clearly these bees were unwanted and were removed by spraying pesticides or using the services of “bee-removers” who used fire and smoke to chase the bees away, often burning the hive’s surface in the process. What started as an effort to learn about these bees, to share the information with my neighbours, catapulted me into filming this story of great magnitude and urgency.

“Colonies in Conflict” is a local story with global consequences. Already the number of beehives that I saw in my community 7 years ago has reduced by less than a quarter. My intention with “Colonies in Conflict” was to understand what was happening to these wild bees, and also to share the world of these bees that live in urban spaces. I found Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee, or as they are popularly called – Rockbees, to be very fascinating creatures. They are unlike anything that is generally known of honeybees (mostly from the western honeybees reared by beekeepers). I want the spectator to understand how human interference is playing out in the insect world, starting with my own neighbourhood, and the impact it would have on local eco-system and the world at large.

Rajani Mani

STORY & DIRECTION

In 2015, I moved into a high-rise apartment in Whitefield, a suburban area in Bangalore. What caught my eye immediately were these massive 3 feet by 4 feet beehives on the balconies and ledges of the upper floors. Clearly these bees were unwanted and were removed by spraying pesticides or using the services of “bee-removers” who used fire and smoke to chase the bees away, often burning the hive’s surface in the process.

What started as an effort to learn about these bees, to share the information with my neighbours, catapulted me into filming this story of great magnitude and urgency.

“Colonies in Conflict” is a local story with global consequences. Already the number of beehives that I saw in my community 7 years ago has reduced by less than a quarter. My intention with “Colonies in Conflict” was to understand what was happening to these wild bees, and also to share the world of these bees that live in urban spaces. I found Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee, or as they are popularly called – Rockbees, to be very fascinating creatures. They are unlike anything that is generally known of honeybees (mostly from the western honeybees reared by beekeepers). I want the spectator to understand how human interference is playing out in the insect world, starting with my own neighbourhood, and the impact it would have on local eco-system and the world at large.

BIOGRAPHY

Rajani Mani was born in 1974, in Allahabad, into a military family. She spent her childhood close to nature in cantonments all across India. She completed her Masters in Mass Communication from AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia. In 2002, she co-founded Elephant Corridor Films as a collective space for meaningful and fearless narratives on human activities and the natural world. Rajani is also a climate warrior and is associated in her community and beyond in creating a habitable planet for future generations.

My Filmography

  • Year Film Title Description
  • 2000 Food? Health? Hope?
  • 2002 In God’s Own Country
  • 2004 Miles to Go
  • 2022 Colonies in Conflict

My Award

  • Year Film Title Award(s)