Gotham goes apes for orangutans

'Born to Be Wild' preem takes safari theme

The Gotham premiere of Warner Bros./Imax’ “Born to Be Wild 3D” was not your typical documentary affair.

Guests at AMC Lincoln Square were greeted by two women decked out in safari gear. While waiting for the film to begin, the crowd was entertained by a trio of shirtless men playing drums. Warners distrib head Dan Fellman’s son, Drew, wrote and produced docu, which centers on orphaned baby orangutans and elephants receiving a second chance at life in the wild, thanks to primatologist Birute Galdikas in Borneo and elephant authority Daphne Sheldrick.

“For us the biggest challenge was that we only had 40 minutes to tell this story,” Drew said. “So we didn’t have time to go into detail on any one thing, but we hoped to create this emotional experience that would overcome that and that would really fill in the blanks in an emotional way.”

Drew came up with the idea of a film about orphaned orangutans on a 1994 hiking trip through Borneo, where he met Galdikas.

“I was completely amazed at what I had seen there, so I pitched the idea to Greg Foster at Imax and he said, ‘This reminds me of this piece I saw on “60 Minutes” about Sheldrick.’ I thought it would be an amazing thing to combine the two stories.”

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