Again in 2014, I visited South Africa on a location scout for a brand new film I deliberate to make there.  As I toured the nation and met with animal trainers and wildlife specialists, I grew to become conscious of the severity of the elephant-poaching disaster.  The statistics relating to Africa’s elephant inhabitants have been grim- the one which stood out probably the most was that 30, 000 elephants a yr are being killed by the poachers for his or her ivory.

Throughout my go to I met a person named Sean Hensman whose household had been run off their land in Zimbabwe by President Robert Mugabe.  The household fled to South Africa, bringing their complete elephant herd with them.  These elephants have been splendidly well-trained and interacted simply with people.  I got here up with an concept: a film a couple of boy and his elephant who take down the elephant poachers collectively.

Three years later I went again to Sean Hensman’s property with a 75 individual crew, Elizabeth Hurley, and a proficient younger actor from Canada, Sam Ashe Arnold.  The film we made grew to become referred to as, “Phoenix Wilder And The Nice Elephant Journey,” an epic story of how one misplaced orphan boy varieties an unbelievable bond with an African elephant, and collectively they make an enormous distinction within the pure and human world.   The subject material is tough, however introduced in a household pleasant means so that everybody can benefit from the film.

The story is fictional after all, however the details are ripped from the headlines.  The Nice Elephant Census reported that between 2007 and 2014, Africa misplaced 144, 000 elephants.  Take into consideration that quantity: 144, 000 elephants.  Figuring out that the elephant has the longest gestational interval of any animal at 22 months, simply take into consideration how lengthy it could take to exchange 144, 000 elephants with such a low reproductive fee!

It’s attainable to win the battle towards elephant poaching and save these magnificent animals earlier than it’s too late.

I found by working with elephants for a number of weeks that they’re probably the most clever animals on the planet.  Their brains are bigger than a human’s, and so they reply in a short time when taught new expertise.  They kind extremely sturdy bonds with their fellow elephants, touring in herds lead by the highest matriarch.  They take care of each other, the mom elephant, her sisters, and the grandmas, all be a part of collectively to make sure that the infants are probably the most protected younger within the animal kingdom.  I pity the poor lion that a lot as seems to be at a child elephant!

Few will journey to Africa to see these wonderful animals within the wild; nonetheless, you possibly can see them on the large display screen on Save The Elephant Day, this Monday April 16th at a theatre close to you.  This one-time nationwide screening, has been made attainable by Fathom Occasions.  Viewers may also see an intriguing presentation on elephants by Sean Hensman himself earlier than the film rolls.  Elizabeth Hurley speaks following the movie about her dedication to elephant conservation; viewers may also hear from world well-known conservationist, Dr. Richard Leakey.

It is attainable to win the battle towards elephant poaching and save these magnificent animals earlier than it’s too late.  Conservation begins with consciousness, particularly for the brand new technology.  I hope you and your loved ones can be a part of us on the theatre for “Phoenix Wilder And The Nice Elephant Journey.”

Richard Boddington is a movie director, author, editor, cinematographer and tv producer. His function movies embrace Darkish Reprieve (2008) and the household comedy movie, The Dogfather (2010).