Screening of ‘Love & Bananas’ at Hackney Picturehouse in London
On 4 November 2018 we hosted the UK premiere of Love & Bananas – An Elephant Story at the Hackney Picturehouse in London. As well as having the honour of premiering the film in the UK, we were thrilled to have with us at both screenings Lek Chailert, world-renowned founder of Elephant Nature Park, who held a Q&A session after the screening.
Attendees included representatives from the travel and tourism sectors and NGOs, and we were also pleased to welcome a representative from the Thai Embassy.
‘Love & Bananas’ tells the true story of an elephant rescue in Thailand. Led by Lek Chailert, the daring mission across 480 miles to rescue a 70-year-old partially blind elephant from a trekking camp and bring her to freedom is a gripping account, and also sheds light on the terrible plight of captive Asian elephants. All screenings of the film were in aid of Lek’s Save Elephant Foundation, which is pioneering ‘saddle-off’ programmes to convert elephant activities that involve brutal treatment, such as trekking and performing, to ethical ventures where elephants are treated humanely. This movement is changing the face of elephant tourism across Thailand, as elephant owners see for themselves the success of camps that have converted to the saddle-off model, and choose to make the same change. Save Elephant Foundationis there to help and support them in making the transition.
The special screenings gave tourism reps the opportunity to learn about the saddle-off programme and to meet and talk to its inspirational founder. We hope these attendees left the event with a deeper understanding of the issues and a commitment to promote and sell only ethical experiences.
Due to the overwhelming response to the first screening, we added a second screening in London and additional screenings in Liverpool, Manchester, and Exeter. All the money raised from our ticket sales went to help ENP’s work to bring food to starving elephants during Covid-19.