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"One Lucky Elephant"--Sounding the Trumpet for Elephants

The Humane Society of the United States sponsors the star-studded premiere of "One Lucky Elephant"

  • Lily Tomlin was one of several celebrities who attended the One Lucky Elephant premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Gary Kaskel/HSUS

  • One Lucky Elephant director Lisa Leeman with HSUS Hollywood senior director Beverly Kaskey and writer/producer Cristina Colissimo (left to right). Gary Kaskel/HSUS

  • Detroit Zoo director Ron Kagan with HSUS Hollywood senior director Beverly Kaskey. The Detroit Zoo was one of the first in the country to close its elephant exhibit and send all of its elephants to sanctuaries. Gary Kaskel/HSUS

  • A panel discussion and question/answer session with the filmmakers and wildlife experts were held after the film. Ali Shahbazyar

On Saturday, June 19th, 2010, "One Lucky Elephant," a documentary 10 years in the making, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival to a sold out theater and rave reviews.

"One Lucky Elephant" follows the story of Flora, an orphaned African elephant adopted as a baby by St. Louis circus producer David Balding and made the star of his circus. Caught between the human and animal world, Flora epitomizes the harsh reality elephants in captivity face, and anyone who sees this documentary will be impelled to question the impact of using elephants and other wild animals for our entertainment. Through Flora and David’s story, the film raises questions about our complex relationships with animals, for which there are no easy answers. 

The premiere, sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States, drew comedienne and elephant advocate Lily Tomlin, Academy Award® winning-director Kathryn Bigelow, actress Charlotte Ross, actor/musician Dominic Scott Kay, and actress Persia White. Following the film, the audience was treated to a panel discussion that focused on the plight of elephants and other wild animals in captivity and the many issues sparked by the film.

The impressive panel featured the film’s director Lisa Leeman, its writer/producer Cristina Colissimo, Laura Balding (the wife of Flora’s ‘father’, David Balding, featured in the film), scientist Dr. Toni Frohoff (behavioral and wildlife biologist and author of “Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication”), Dr. Lorin Lindner (clinical psychologist and author of “Post-Traumatic Stress and Elephants in Captivity,”) and Ron Kagan (director, Detroit Zoo, one of the first zoos to close their elephant exhibit, relocating their elephants to sanctuaries). NY Times journalist and author Charles Siebert moderated.

Following the panel, The HSUS’s Hollywood office hosted a VIP reception at downtown L.A.’s popular BottleRock Wine Bar and Restaurant, where the filmmakers mingled with fans and celebrities alike in a packed event.

See more info about "One Lucky Elephant" here.

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