Animal Welfare Director, Dave Neal, commissioned Environment Films to produce a short film about the use of animals in entertainment across China. Dave Neal had spent many arduous months filming at zoos and safari parks and had approximately 10 hours of harrowing footage. For the film to be widely watchable, a duration of ten minutes was decided on, making the selection process challenging.
To give the animals a voice, Environment Films wrote a script and invited supporter Terry Waite CBE to read. Aside from the script Terry Waite reflected on his own experiences of captivity in Beirut (1987-1991), drawing parallels to the imprisoned animals thus strengthening the film’s sentiment of compassion. Music by Moby was also secured for the film.
The Performance and accompanying press release was released via the Animals Asia Foundation and Environment Films websites. The response within the first hour was overwhelming, from the public, current supporters, journalists, television crews and radio stations – the phone rang off the hook!
CNN News ran part of the film that night and it featured in almost every UK broadsheet newspaper the following day. Dave Neal was invited onto further television stations and radio broadcasts to speak firsthand about the campaign and the work of the Animals Asia Foundation.
Within 5 days of the film’s release it had been viewed over 7,000 times on YouTube and the numbers continue to grow.
Thousands of people have been affected by the film and have shown support by sharing it via SNS.
The Performance has since been translated into numerous languages and continues to reach out to people worldwide.
Following the Animals Asia Foundation investigation and Environment Films’ film The Performance, the Chinese ministry responsible for zoos issued (on January 18th 2011) a complete ban on the use of animals in performances in zoos and circuses across China. Politics were changed.
The film has reached the hearts of many and helped further the message of animal welfare in general.
The Performance’ was produced by Environment Films Ltd (www.environmentfilms.org) for the Animals Asia Foundation (www.animalsasia.org) to draw further attention to the plight of thousands of animals being used in circuses throughout Asia.
The film is narrated by Terry Waite CBE and its music is by Moby.
Watch the film here: http://www.environmentfilms.org/PERFORMANCE.html or http://youtu.be/HVyEg12eI78
See Press coverage here: http://www.environmentfilms.org/PERFORMANCE_PRESS.html
Read Animal Asia’s article, Animal performance ban – recommendations to zoos, 18 January 2011:http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=OCULNN9BP58
By Jason Peters