From The Hindu:

Documentary filmmaker Puja Aparna Kolluru shares the experience of capturing inspiring facets of the life of American biologist ‘Canopy Meg’ in her first project A woman who climbs trees

A week before her graduation in Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota (Florida) in the US, she had no inkling about her next step. In a random occurrence, she met Margaret D. Lowman, popular as ‘Canopy Meg’, an American biologist, educator, ecologist, writer and explorer whose expertise involves canopy ecology, canopy plant-insect relationship and constructing canopy walkways.

“I could not believe I was face-to-face with the ‘Einstein of the treetops’ who pioneered the science of canopy ecology and is also known as the ‘mother of canopy research”, says Puja Aparna Kolluru, a documentary filmmaker from city.

Puja Aparna Kolluru during a photo session in Vijayawada.
Photo: arranged

“I met Ms. Lowman at a talk organised by an NGO called Tree Foundation in Sarasota. She said she loves trees and I said I love making films. A few hours later I got an email from her to join her in her next expedition in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. I was excited and with the help of a few generous individuals I garnered enough funding to go and film Meg in her natural habitat-the canopy walkways. Her path-breaking inventions, her strengths that always managed to conquer a few weaknesses were a life-changing experience,” she recounts.

Meg’s is a fascinating story, she says, explaining how she spent her life climbing trees; wearing a helmet and harness, she would often scale 200 feet about the ground, exploring the canopies of trees where she says half the planet’s biodiversity lives. “She’s been doing this work for decades. Growing up in the 1960s, she was often the only girl in science class and later, one of the few working scientists brought her children on research expeditions,” says Puja, adding “A lot has been written about the phenomenal work of Meg. I decided to focus on the hurdles she encountered as a single mother and how she encourages women around the world to pursue careers in science.”

“The project — a 60-minute documentary film — is in post-production stage and will be ready by mid-July after which it will be screened in educational institutions in the US. We also intend to showcase it in film festivals at Tribeca, Toronto and Los Angeles,” she says.

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