One Lucky Elephant
One Lucky Elephant
Documentary Competition
(USA, 2010, 83 mins, HDCam Frame Rate 29.97)
World Premiere
Directed By: Lisa Leeman
Writers: Cristina Colissimo, Lisa Leeman
Producers: Cristina Colissimo, Jordana Glick-Franzheim
Co-Producer: Miriam Cutler
Executive Producers: Elizabeth Zox Friedman, Greg Little
Cinematographers: Sandra Chandler, Neil Brown, Shana Hagen, Cristina Colissimo
Editors: Kate Amend, Tchavdar Georgiev
Cast: Flora the elephant, David Balding, Carol Buckley, Laura Balding, Willie Theison
What happens to a circus elephant when it’s time to retire? After 16 years in the spotlight, Flora, an African elephant living in St. Louis, must find a new home, and David, the circus owner who has cared for her all these years, must say goodbye to the animal he thinks of as a “daughter.” The road to Flora’s retirement, however, is a difficult and emotional one. While David finds himself drawn into the current debate in the animal rights community over the ethical treatment of elephants, Flora must adjust to living among other elephants for the first time ever.

Ten years in the making, One Lucky Elephant is a remarkable achievement. Eschewing easy sentimentality, the film beautifully captures the delicate love between David and Flora, but it also doesn’t shy away from examining the problems and mysteries posed by keeping wild animals in captivity. It’s a complicated, fascinating issue, and there are no clear answers for anyone involved, least of all David and Flora, two extraordinary individuals you’ll never forget.

Doug Jones
A post-screening Q&A and extended conversation to explore the timely issues raised by the film will follow the screening on June 19.

Moderated by Charles Siebert, acclaimed New York Times journalist and author of An Elephant Crack UpAngus, and The Wauchula Woods Accord, with guests Ron Kagan (Director, Detroit Zoo), Dr. Toni Frohoff (behavioral and wildlife biologist; TED Global 2010 conference speaker), Laura Balding (Equestrian Advisor and Co-Founder, Therapeutic Horsemanship), and filmmakers Lisa Leeman (director) and Cristina Colissimo (producer and co-founder of Ahali Elephants).  Additional special guests to be announced.

Screening Schedule
Sat, Jun 19th 6:30pm
Regal 11
Fri, Jun 25th 5:00pm
Regal 8
Sat, Jun 26th 1:45pm
Regal 8

Hosted by
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