The Asian elephant, constantly under threat from the poachers and a fast shrinking habitat faces a more serious threat today-one that comes from its custodians.
The brutal capture, torture and subsequent death of a young tusker in a capture operation authorised by the government prompted Mike Pandey to stop filming his documentary on ‘Elephants in Crisis’ and turn it into a news feature.
The footage exposed the cruel and archaic methods of capture being used with no concern for the animal, a protected and endangered species.
The news feature was a protest and demanded the immediate cessation of capture of elephants in this brutal way and a call for policy changes if elephants are to be protected.
Within 3 days of the release of this news feature the Government of India suspended all capture of wild elephants. Individuals in charge of the botched capture operation were suspended.
The news created international outrage – International news agencies picked it and activists from all over the world joined in triggering a global signature campaign by IFAW. www.ifaw.org/ifaw_international/index.php
In India changes in policies and rules were made at a national level ensuring that all future captures take place with modern facilities and in the presence of experts to avoid trauma and cruelty after capture. Elephant welfare became top priority.
Winner of the Panda News Award at Wildscreen 2004
Exec’ Producer/Cameraman/Narrator: Mike Pandey
Directed by: Ritambra Rana
Address: C-18, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi – 110048, India
Phone: +91 11 26410684/26216508 Fax: +91 11 26216508
Websites: www.mikepandey.org & www.riverbankstudios.com/doc_vanishing_giants.htm
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Earth Matters Foundation: www.earthmattersfoundation.org
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.
Campaign film for the Animals Asia Foundation
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.