Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker helmer Kathryn Bigelow, in collaboration with Annapurna Pictures and WildAid, has directed a short animated PSA titled “Last Days” designed to educate the public on the worldwide threat of elephant poaching. You can watch the short in the player below, but please be aware that it does contain some graphic content.
“An elephant disappears every 15 minutes,” says the Academy Award-winning director. “It is our hope that this film helps to bring an activist into existence at least that often.”
“Last Days” aims not only to prevent animal cruelty, but also to make the general public aware of its very direct threat to mankind.
“Last year I was made aware of the very real connection between elephant poaching and terrorism,” Bigelow continues. “For me it represented the diabolical intersection of two problems that are of great concern – species extinction and global terrorism. Both involve the loss of innocent life, and both require urgent action. To make a feature film about such a topic would likely take years during which more elephants would die, so instead I approached a team of fellow filmmakers and we made ‘Last Days’ as an animated piece, which we thought would give it a broader audience (besides, the internet is filled with graphic images of slaughtered elephants and yet the killing continues.) There are real things we can all do to stop wild elephants from disappearing from our world while cutting off funding for some of the world’s most notorious terrorist networks.”
“Last Days” was written by Scott Z. Burns and made in collaboration with concept designer Samuel Michlap, head of layout Lorenzo Martinez and Duncan Studio. It takes the viewer, in reverse chronology, through every step in the blood-curdling process, and, at its most disturbing, identifies the sale of ivory as a funding source for terrorist organizations like Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army and al-Shabab.
The short is being distributed globally in partnership with WildAid, which focuses on reducing demand for endangered species products, and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Additional information — including how you can help — is available at the just launched LastDaysofIvory.com.