About Elephants Never Forget
Our Indiegogo campaign is completed but our fund-raising for Elephants Never Forget continues! For more information about Elephants Never Forget and our fund-raising please visit our website http://elephantsneverforget.ca
Elephants Never Forget investigates the critical issues threatening elephants through the story of a young man and his young elephant who share a life that leads them to very different fates. From the city streets of Bangkok to the tropical forests of rural Thailand their story reveals the controversial world of the “elephant business” and the poaching, illegal trade, exploitation, and habitat loss that threaten their survival. Hopeful solutions unfold when the opportunity comes to release the young elephant to the wild. Can an elephant who has only known a life of street-begging adapt to a free life in the forest with other elephants? What will happen to the young man who must now make challenging choices for his new way of life? How their respective lives progress bring into focus the urgent plight of the endangered Asian elephant and the people who are trying to protect them in a world that is rapidly losing its wilderness and its traditions.
About the Filmmakers
Award-winning filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark (“Sharkwater”) have been making documentaries together for over fifteen years. Both have long, professional track records in nature and wildlife filmmaking, television and feature film productions. Four years ago they began to work on Elephants Never Forget to bring awareness to the escalating plight that elephants are facing. In August 2012 they released Return to the Forest, a 30-minute documentary narrated by Hollywood actor William Shatner about returning captive elephants to the wild (see Project Background below).
Why We Need Your Help
When we began working on this film we learned very quickly that the issues affecting elephants are complex, and impact many stakeholders. Most importantly, we wanted to find solutions. As experienced, independent filmmakers we knew that in order for us to respond quickly to the issues and story we were following we had to be nimble - and that meant being self-funded.
Elephants Never Forget has been completely funded by us and we have put our hearts and souls into making this film. Right now, we’re at a critical stage with the project and we have gone as far as we can go. We’ve shot the film and we need to complete the editing. This is a very important and creative part of the documentary filmmaking process because it is when the film and story comes together.
We are reaching out to you now, our audience, to help us to complete this film. By showing your support in any way that you can - either by contributing to our funding and/or by sharing our project with others - you will be helping us build audience and awareness not only for Elephants Never Forget the movie, but also for the issues that are threatening elephants. Our intention is to make a film that will enlighten people about the plight of elephants in a moving and entertaining way, and inspire people to support the protection of elephants in any way that they can.
Why This Film is Important
Elephants Never Forget is an elephant advocacy film at a time in history when it hasn’t been worse for elephants. Many elephant experts believe that in twenty years there will not be any wild elephants left on the planet. Endangered Asian elephant populations are decreasing each year due to loss of habitat, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity, and poaching for use in the tourist trade. Tens of thousands of African elephants are being slaughtered to supply an insatiable demand for ivory in Asian consumer markets. Many of these consumers do not know that most ivory comes from elephants in Africa who have been killed by poachers. Ivory poaching is illegal and the smuggling and international trade of ivory is a crime. There are few laws that protect elephants in the wild, and in captivity. Educating people about these issues is critical. Films and media are one of the most powerful ways to do this.
What's In It For You?
Aside from the incentives we are offering here on Indiegogo, you'll be an important part of completing the Elephants Never Forget film. Your generosity will be helping to spread awareness about the elephants' plight. You'll be part of our international community of supporters who are helping to enlighten people about the complex issues that affect elephants, and the solutions that can help protect them. You'll be part of making a great film that will reach audiences worldwide and help make a difference. We will be eternally grateful to you no matter how much you can contribute, or how many times you share this campaign with others. Every little bit will help.
What Happens if We Don't Reach our Funding Goal?
If we don’t reach the funds we are asking for in this campaign, we will not be able to advance the editing process to complete the film as quickly. It will take longer for us to release the film to the world. This would be unfortunate for us and the project, and we really hope this doesn’t happen.
What Happens if We Exceed our Funding Goal?
If we exceed our funding goal we will be able to move forward quickly into the final stages of completion, which include the music scoring, final color correction, and mix. This will enable us to release the film more expediently to various distribution outlets, which include film festivals, theatres, internet, VOD, DVD - and directly to you!
When completed, Elephants Never Forget will be a powerful medium to communicate the plight of the world’s elephants and our fragile relationship with them - with solutions that provide hope for their future survival.
How to Share this with the World
The best ways to help us share the campaign is by sharing it with your family, friends, and coworkers.
On Facebook. Click the "Like" button directly below the video at the top of the screen. Or paste the URL straight onto your page with a message.
On Twitter. You can also tweet out the video by clicking the button under the video or simply sharing the direct URL for this page.
A short email. Think about the people in your life that may benefit from this message (or appreciate helping to spread the message). Write a short note to them in an email.
Old fashioned word-of-mouth. Tell your friends and family about the campaign and encourage them to share about it too.
Send Us a Cheque
For those of you who would prefer to donate by cheque, please send cheques payable to Canazwest Pictures in US or Canadian dollar funds to:
Canazwest Pictures Inc.
Attention: Elephants Never Forget
P.O. Box 20075, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, V8L2X4
Get a Hold of Us - We'd Love to Hear From You
If you have any questions about the Elephants Never Forget project or would like more information please contact us.
Patricia Sims (Producer/ Director): firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Melsted (Social Media Coordinator): email@example.com
Message us on Twitter: @elephantmovie
There are many people who have supported my colleague Michael and I throughout the course of this project, either by contribution or by donating their time to help us along. Even though we're not finished yet we want to take this opportunity to thank you - you all know who you are!
The Elephants Never Forget production crew: Keri Rice, Tewan Chatdamrong, Brent Lewin, Manwe Darcy, Nancy Songtaweesin, and Kattika Tanjad have all been awesome.
The Web and Social Media team: Ashley Melsted, Tomo Hayashi, Alisa Kerr, Shane Robinson have all worked tirelessly to help us get this campaign ready.
A special thank you to Jami Sieber, who has inspired us with her brilliant music and whose track Surrender from the CD Lush Mechanique is featured in the campaign video.
And of course, thank you to the elephants who have so much to teach us. Let's hope we can save them so they can.
Om Gum Ganesha Namaha
Return to the Forest
During the course of filming Elephants Never Forget we were introduced to the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, a unique Thai non-profit organization that releases captive elephants back to the wild in Thailand. The young street-begging elephant whose life we had been following in the city was going to be released by the Foundation in one of their vast forest sanctuaries. This was wonderful news and we were able to follow her on her journey back to the wild.
Working with the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation provided us exclusive access to three vast, protected forest habitats within Thailand where the Foundation operates its elephant release program in conjunction with the Royal Forestry Department. These areas are not for tourism and have been established to regenerate forest habitat, and the dwindling Asian elephant population. Over several months we filmed within these areas and documented amazing moments of free-roaming elephants who were once captive readapt to a life in the wild. The highlight of our filming came early one morning when a baby elephant was born in the forest to previously captive elephants that were released and had naturally mated in the wild. It was a momentous event for us as filmmakers, and an important testament to the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation’s efforts of elephant conservation. The early days of this baby elephant's life are a symbol of hope for the future of the endangered Asian elephant and also an important reminder for us that time and space is running out for this magnificent creature with whom we share this planet.
In August 2012 we released the 30-minute documentary Return to the Forest, which tells the story of the remarkable work of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation. We approached famed Hollywood actor William Shatner (“Star Trek”) about the project and he generously agreed to narrate Return to the Forest as his contribution to the cause.
But our work is not done. After four years of filming and investigating the multi-faceted and complex issues that threaten the future for elephants in Thailand and everywhere, it is now time for us to finish Elephants Never Forget to tell the deeper story about the fragile fate elephants are facing, and to get this story out to the world.
Media Coverage of the Campaign
Shaw TV, Go! Island South http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HoTFOSfcgM#
Village 365 http://blog.village365.com/the-village/4255/
Media Coverage of Return to the Forest and World Elephant Day
CBC Radio Interview http://www.cbc.ca/allpointswest/2012/08/13/ruturn-to-the-forest/
Huffington Post http://huff.to/XZsJnZ
Media Coverage of Return to the Forest in the Festivals
Times Colonist http://bit.ly/VJSn1z
Team on This Campaign:
Social Media Coordinator
Digital Media Coordinator