Imax Partners With Chinese Studio For Nature Doc 'The Elephant Odyssey'

Imax Partners With Chinese Studio For Nature Doc ‘The Elephant Odyssey’

Imax has joined production on a new nature documentary, The Odyssey of the Elephant, which chronicles the unlikely journey of 16 wild Asian elephants through China’s Yunnan province. Shot on Imax cameras and scheduled for release in the Imax cinema network in 2024, the 90-minute documentary is currently in production in China. Co-producers with Imax are Singapore-based Beach House Pictures and a Beijing-based company called China Review Studio of China International Communications Group.

The producers say the film will offer “an all-new story about mankind’s relationship with the elephant,” with a narrative built around the real-life story that unfolded in 2020 when a group of wild Asian elephants left their habitat in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in China. . The journey of the elephants was captured by drone cameras and live streamed, captivating viewers in China and elsewhere. For 18 months, the elephants traveled more than 1,000 kilometers (over 620 miles) in a wilderness journey that included “impromptu village fetes, tumultuous raids on grain stores, messy mud fights and even calving on the road.”

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“The 18-month journey of Yunnan’s elephants at the height of the pandemic was a promising antidote to the lockdowns many of us were enduring,” said John Turner, director of documentaries for Imax. “We wanted to know more about these animals and why this happened.”

The film is directed by director Alice Gu (The king of donuts) with Clair Popkin (Free solo) as cinematographer. Imax’s John Turner and Daniel Manwaring, Beach House’s Donovan Chan and Jocelyn Little, and China Review Studio’s Chen Fang are executive producers.

Added the director of China Review Studio, Chen: “The Odyssey of the Elephant it is a profound exploration that goes beyond the fascinating journey of Asian elephants as they moved from north to south, discovering previously unknown and touching stories. We look forward to bringing a distinctive Chinese story to audiences around the world, together with Imax and Beach House Pictures.”