Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Prods. has joined forces with Red Bull’s Terra Mater Film Studios to produce a feature documentary about ivory poaching, “Ivory Rising.” Terra Mater will start international sales for the film at the Cannes Film Market.
The pic’s filmmakers, who cannot be named for their own safety, are filming undercover with the support of NGOs and government agencies across Africa to gather evidence that highlights the harm caused by the ivory trade. The film attempts to raise awareness of the trade, its connections to terrorism, and the imminent threat of extinction to the African elephant.
It is the first collaboration between the two production companies, which are both committed to “making social and environmentally conscious films that drive real, measurable change.”
Carole Tomko, Vulcan’s general manager and creative director of productions, said: “Vulcan Prods. has a deep commitment to protecting endangered species, and our founder Paul G. Allen has always been especially concerned about the survival of the African elephant.”
Tomko added: “The filmmakers have achieved unprecedented access to stories that track the ivory trade. Driving awareness and disrupting ivory poaching operations in Africa is critical to both Vulcan and Terra Mater. We are truly honored to work with Terra Mater, and with the brave filmmakers in the field who are risking their own safety to change the poaching game on the ground in order to protect these beautiful creatures.”
Walter Koehler, CEO of Terra Mater, said: “We have already seen early footage from the undercover operations, and we know that we have a groundbreaking film in the making.” He added that the partnership with Vulcan “will drive an extraordinary film to have an equally extraordinary impact. It is our absolute intention to see the trade in ivory banned, and the elephant saved from extinction.”