Announcing our 2023 DocedgeKolkata Bursary Winner

Following another great year at DocedgeKolkata, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, we are delighted to announce that the 2023 winner of our Whicker Docedge Bursary Award is Vikramaditya Singh for his project, Camels of the Sea.

Camels of the Sea tells the story of Adam Abdrehman, one of the last people to herd a rare breed of sea-going camels in Western India. As unchecked industrial expansion chokes the coast and cuts off access to the mangroves, Adam must decide whether to fight against the tide – or give up the camels and his nomadic life.

Vikramaditya Singh is an independent filmmaker and journalist based in New Delhi. Over the past 14 years, his documentary work has been commissioned by news organisations including Al Jazeera, The New York Times and Arte. His main areas of interest include conservation and environmental issues, with a special focus on human-animal conflict and co-existence. He’s also the founder of a film production company called Elefant which produces documentaries for international broadcasters. In 2021, Vikram was selected as a BAFTA Breakthrough Directing Talent from India. Recent completed projects include Dead Lakes Alive, a film about reviving polluted lakes in Bangalore and Elephants in My Backyard, a film about human elephant conflict in Southern India.

Jane Ray, Artistic Director of The Whickers said: “Kolkata was indeed the ‘City of Joy’ this week. There were 17 first time documentary feature directors for us to choose from. The standard was the highest I have ever seen in all my years of attending this inspiring festival and mentorship programme. Inevitably, there was heartache in making the decision. There had to be just one winner and in the end it went to Vikramaditya Singh, a young director from New Delhi, and his Executive Producer, Mandakini Gahlot. Vikram impressed us with his articulation and passion for a story that is both unique and universal. He has an exceptional eye for the minutiae of daily life and an ear for the political machinations governing the unfolding story of India AND his work brings joy and camels to our screens!”

Vikram’s win formed part of an emotionally charged and beautiful awards ceremony, in which moderator Paul Pauwels was thanked for coming out of retirement to host this year’s proceedings after very many years of supporting Docedge from its beginnings. Paul quipped that he was “sitting on a bed of nails” to prevent him showing his emotions, but we were delighted to note that it didn’t work.

DocedgeKolkata Awards Ceremony featuring moderator Paul Pauwels and Vikram Singh of Elefant productions’ tattoo. Who can spot the elephant?


We also wish to extend our congratulations to the other award winners at this year’s DocedgeKolkata:

Dhaka DocLab Award
Selection & Participation, travel support and accommodation | Dhaka DocLab 2023.
Awarded to Dear Cinema | Balaji Maheshwar

Sunny Side of the Doc
Two complimentary registrations to Sunny Side of the Doc for the project team.
Awarded to Dancing in the Fire | Lubdhak Chatterjee | Soumya

DMZ Industry Award
Selection, participation, travel support and accommodation | DMZ Industry 2023.
Awarded to Camels of the Sea | Vikramaditya Singh | Mandakini Gahlot

Docs by the Sea
Selection, participation, travel support and accommodation | Docs by the Sea Lab and Forum 2023.
Awarded to Downhill Kargil | Nupur Agrawal | Shivajee Biswanath

Tokyo Docs Award
Selection, participation, travel support and accommodation | Tokyo Docs 2023.
Awarded to Amma | Malati Rao | Shobhna S Kumar

Global Film and Media Institute Award
Cash award of EURO 2000 as Development/ Production support.
Awarded to Undying tales from Kashmir | Surya Balakrishnan

DocedgeKolkata Lumiere Award
A Cash award of INR 1,00,000 to a promising first-time filmmaker supported by Sunil Doshi
Awarded to About My Father (Original Title | Unknown, The Silence Within) |
Sumit Sisodiya

DocedgeKolkata Jury Special Mention
Year-round mentorship support by Documentary Resource Initiative
Awarded to Pleiades | Aban Khodarahmi | Mahnaz Tafaghi