To present its activities and to offer the grand public a panoramic view of the Asian elephant, the Foundation has participated in 2004 in the filming of a series of 3 documentaries: "ELEPHAS MAXIMUS" that was shown in Europe on ARTE Television in January 2005 and again in March 2007, and on TV5 worldwide.
TELEPHAS MAXIMLUS offers a comprehensive understanding of the Asian elephant in terms of tradition, ecology and culture:
"ELEPHAS MAXIMUS" (the scientific name of the Asian elephant) evokes in the first chapter entitled, "Of Elephants and Men", the history of captures and the work practised by man with the elephants since Antiquity until now.
The second chapter, "Meetings with Remarkable Animals", explores the situation of the species, its origin and evolution (with a reconstitution in 3D of 4 extinct proboscideans), the fragmentation of its habitat and the conflict with the human population.
The third chapter, "God and the Elephant", descibes the elephant as a symbol in Hindu mythology and in the popular culture in India, and makes an attempt to explain how the perception of animal life in this culture has contributed in the preservation of this species in the course of history.
ELEPHAS MAXIMUS enjoyed a good audience at the time of television broadcast in France and in Germany. Moreover, dozens of DVDs were distributed for free to the Forest Department, agriculturists living around elephants' areas, so as to communicate a complete and positive message on the situation of the elephant and initiate a constructive dialogue on the human/elephant conflict.
In the heart of Asia's most densely populated forest in wild elephants, in southern India, near Mysore,Prajna Chowta and the filmmaker Philippe Gautier, have filmed these great animals with unprecedented proximity as part of an exceptional three part documentary series, in which Prajna is the protagonist.
5000 years of working with elephants in Asia. A brief history of the mahouts or elephant trainers, from the Mauryan Empire to the British times, until the last Mysore Kheddas or grand captures.
The Asian elephant in the wild faces the loss of its habitat, and suffers from a conflict with one of the largest human population in the world. (Includes 3D animations of the extinct species of the elephant's family.)
The elephant as a symbol in Hindu mythology and in the imagination of the Indians. How culture and belief participated in the conservation of wild life in Indian history.
Director: Philippe GAUTIER
Writers : Philippe GAUTIER and Prajna CHOWTA
Documentary: 3 x 52 minutes
Production: Les Films d'Ici, 24 images
Broadcast: Arte, TV5 Monde
International sales: Europe Images International
Trailer: www.24images.frSee the Photo Gallery about Elephas Maximus