On February 24, we hit our goal with time to spare! Thank you! Because of all your support, we're so excited to be able to offer new rewards and begin to work towards our stretch goal of $100,000. Another 50k will get the film crew to China to film the kidnapped baby elephants and produce a sample reel to secure additional funding.
Why make a film about elephant extinction? People say it’s been done and the issue feels overwhelming…
This is a question I often hear and yet it is my belief that if everyone takes action to make a difference, we can make the world a better place. That’s why I’m making this film and I ask you to join me on this journey.
In the last three years 100,000 African elephants have been killed for their ivory tusks. That’s 1 every 15 minutes. If killing continues at this rate conservationists estimate that elephants could be extinct in the wild by 2025.
Unlike many films in this genre DO Elephants Go To Heaven? (DEGTH) will not focus on the horrors of poaching. Working with safari guides and elephants whisperers, we will tell the stories of elephants living in the wild and orphaned elephants now being cared for in sanctuaries. Finally we will have a chance of getting elephants' point of view and experiences through animal communication. We will also follow the tragic journey of Zimbabwe’s kidnapped baby elephants, destined for zoos in China and UAE, and 70 years of misery in captivity.
Your support and a successful raise of $50,000 (or even better, reaching our $100,000 stretch goal) will allow Dream Out Loud Films to continue production on this important film. DO something to help save elephants by joining us on this journey. Donate now!
Dream Out Loud Productions is a 501(c)(3) EIN 05-058165. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Elephants are extraordinarily emotional beings.
They are conscious of themselves as individuals. They feel joy, experience sadness, pain, pleasure and grief. There are many examples of elephants showing compassion and coming to the aid of other species in danger.
Our animation shows a true story of elephant compassion as witnessed by safari guide Louis Locke in Botswana, Africa.
Elephant stories that need to be told.
We will follow the story of dozens of baby elephants captured from the wild in Zimbabwe in November 2014. These baby elephants, aged between 2 and 5 years old, were stolen from their families in the wild and are destined for sale to zoos in China, and UAE. One of the elephants has already died. Reportedly, there are plans to capture hundreds more babies for export.
Our team will work with renowned Animal Communicator Danielle MacKinnon and internationally recognised Anti-Poaching Trainer Rory Young of Chengeta Wildlife to document the many struggles these magnificent animals face to survive: poaching, displacement, habitat destruction, human ignorance and greed, and forced separation from family.
In the video below Danielle MacKinnon communicates with three elephants at Woodland Park Zoo.
Addressing rural poverty by creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods is a critical element in turning the tide on wildlife poaching.
Following the filming of Angels in the Dust, Dream Out Loud Films’ Director Louise founded the DO Ubuntu Orphan Campaign, creating employment for 80 crafters in South Africa. This income helps the women provide food, clothing and shelter for their children. Profits from sales of bracelets support two orphanages and two safe houses.
After the release of the film Louise plans to replicate the success of the Orphan Bracelet Campaign by creating employment for villagers living in high-poaching areas. One way to stop poaching is to show how living elephants play an important role in local economies. It is estimated that elephants are worth 76 times more alive than dead. We plan to establish a poo paper business, in partnership with an elephant orphanage, to train the locals in the fine art of making paper from elephant dung. We will also be making elephant "hair" (grass) bracelets. This will generate income from both tourism and sales and allow us to pay living wages to local employees and provide care to orphaned elephants. (Read our blog post on poo paper).
The crafters we employ are some of the poorest in Africa; we quickly learned it was almost impossible to open bank accounts for our crafters. Only after we formed the women into co-ops, an expensive and time consuming process, was it possible to open bank accounts and pay their salaries. We hope to pay the next generation of crafters with digital currency. This process will be documented step by step; women creating bracelets and poo products, receiving their wages via a digital wallet, shopping at local stores and entering the new digital age in rural Africa.
Kickstarter fundraising is “all or nothing”.
All Kickstarter fundraising projects work this way:
- Project creators establish a financial goal and a specific time-frame to reach that goal.
- If the financial goal is reached within that time-frame, the creators collect all donor pledges minus the 8% fees payable to Kickstarter and Amazon.
- All donations exceeding the financial goal go to the project creator.
- If our goal of $50,000 is not reached within 30-days the project receives no funding and donations are returned to backers.
- If we reach our stretch goal of $100,000 we will be able to film in additional locations, potentially following the trail of the kidnapped baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China and Europe, and produce a sample reel.
You can make a difference.
Unless humans change their hearts, minds and actions, elephants could be extinct by 2025, only ten years away. Between the ivory trade, habitat loss, and the orphaning of baby elephants, which has grave consequences on the social fabric of the herd, the future for elephants is dire.
We believe that by exposing the plight of the elephants, from the elephants’ perspectives as interpreted by an elephant whisperer, people will be compelled to help save elephants from extinction.
..will be subtitled in Mandarin because China is the largest importer and consumer of ivory (the US is #2). This will allow us to reach the world's single largest population and market for most of the world's illegally poached elephant tusks. By translating the film into Mandarin and engaging Chinese bloggers, media and other social influencers, we can fight the unfortunate and devastating myth that prevails: ivory sellers tell customers that elephant tusks are teeth that fall out and grow back.
Some close up shots of the great rewards we are giving our backers:
Share on Social Media (Look for the SHARE BUTTON at the top of our campaign page to share)
Email the campaign to friends, family and colleagues and tell them how you are saving elephants
Subscribe to our email newsletter (No spam, but there might be elephant poo!)
Alert the media or share with your favourite blogger
Do you work in the field of elephant conservation, animal communication or filmmaking? Let's collaborate! Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change your Facebook Profile Photo and Header photo to the photos below to show your support of the film!
Dream Out Loud Productions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, created to use documentary film as a means of increasing public awareness about critical social issues. Hogarth is best known for hard-hitting documentaries which tackle controversial subjects. She believes in the power of film to raise awareness, change hearts and change lives:
- The Panama Deception, an Academy Award Winner
- The Gift, whose look at HIV/AIDS sent shockwaves through its worldwide audience
- Angels in the Dust, a film that lead to a social venture which continues to support hundreds of orphans in Africa
Our strategic distribution and outreach programs reflect the issues portrayed in our films and we make active use of media to communicate our messages to the places where they will have the greatest impact. Our films have helped to raise awareness of, and direct funding to, many organizations. For example, the Botshabelo Orphanage featured in Angels in the Dust received hundreds of thousands for orphan support as a direct result of our outreach and distribution.
Angels in the Dust was screened in 25 countries. As a result of making the film, Louise Hogarth was inspired to DO something and so founded the DO Ubuntu Orphan Bracelet Campaign. She hired 80 rural crafters to handcraft the DO Ubuntu bracelets. The funds from the sale of bracelets today support an additional two orphanages and two safe houses.
More films can be viewed on our website.
Saving elephants from extinction is a HUGE task but one that we believe is DO-able with the generosity of many. Making this documentary will take a whole herd of incredible partners. An elephant-sized thank you to our partners and sponsors (at the time this was created):
- Elephant Orphanage Project, Zambia
- Rory Young, Director of Chengeta Wildlife
- Danielle MacKinnon, Soul Contract Consultant, Animal Intuitive and Intuitive Coach
- DO Ubuntu: Orphan Bracelet Campaign
- Amanda Nedham: Artist
- Pieter Raisin: Wildlife Photographer
- Niklas Szuhodovszky: Artist
Risks and challenges
We will be using the newest camera technology on the ground in Africa (and in the air) to capture visually stunning results from the cost-effective combination of DSLRs, drones and lightweight camera equipment.
Shooting in Africa is difficult but incredibly rewarding. Louise has filmed in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Lesotho and Swaziland and understands how Africa works. Although the making of this documentary will present challenges the team are confident, based on their shared experiences in Africa, that capturing this footage is doable.
We do not foresee any challenges in delivering our rewards but if we meet with any we will keep all backers updated comprehensively via email.
- (30 days)