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Kalyan Varma – a Bangalore based Natural history filmmaker, photographer and conservationist

He currently freelances with the BBC Natural History, Netflix, Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel (India).


Kalyan Varma

Kalyan studied mechanical engineering from P.E.S. Institute of Technology, Bangalore South Campus and right after joined Yahoo!in 2001.

Kalyan studied mechanical engineering from P.E.S. Institute of Technology, Bangalore South Campus and right after joined Yahoo!in 2001. He headed the security division of Yahoo and at that time was active in open-source software and Linux communities in India and was active in pushing these technologies in the society. He was one of the core members of the annual conference FOSS.IN. He won the superstar award in Yahoo, given to ten employees globally each year. At the end of 2004 he quit his job in order to pursue nature photography. He worked in Biligiriranga Hills for more than a year before he took up full time wildlife photography and filmmaking as a profession.

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Community initiatives

Kalyan is involved in fostering community among photographers and wildlife conservationists since his early years. 

In 2004 he, along with a team of photographers, founded India Nature watch, an online community which now has become the largest platform for wildlife photographers in Asia. This community was involved in pushing conservation of wildlife in India via visual media. 

In 2015, he co-founded the slow-journalism initiative the Peepli project, which delves deep into the unreported, under-reported, themes that public discourse currently abdicates. Kalyan undertook a year long project to document human-elephant conflict in Karnataka.

He is one of the co-founders of Nature InFocus, an annual festival, portal, contest and a documentary production company which is one of the largest in the world, focussed on nature photography and conservation.

Kalyan is best known for directing and producing the film Wild Karnataka which was the first nature film to be released in Cinema in India and was produced by a team of natural history filmmakers.

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Wildlife documentaries

Kalyan has in the last decade dedicated himself to make wildlife documentaries. He has made various wildlife documentaries for the BBC and National Geographic Channel.

Awards

  • 2015 Sanctuary Asia – Wildlife photographer of the year 
  • 2013 NHM photographer of the year – Biological Realms 
  • 2015 Asferico international nature photography contest  
  • 2015 Por el Planeta – First place in Animal Behaviour 
  • 2017 Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation award
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