Gods in Shackles is a 92-minute documentary film that explores the use of Asian elephants in India’s cultural festivals and temples. It was nominated at the United Nations & Jacksonhole Film Festival in New York March 3rd, and has won six international film festival awards within the first three months in 2016.
The emotional story unfolds against a stunning backdrop in Kerala, Karnataka and Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India. To amplify the beat of this film, the team gathered approximately 200 hours of powerful footage. Gods in Shackles is a story that has never been told before.
The team followed the lives of four celebrity elephants for a year – three male festival elephants, and the only female temple elephant named Lakshmi, featured in this film. A fifth male elephant named “Sundar” who made international headlines has also been featured. Sundar gives hope to thousands of temple elephants across Asia. His story is covered from capture to his release into a wildlife sanctuary – the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Karnataka.
Here is the sneak peak of film
Gods in Shackles aims to touch the hearts of people and empower them with knowledge, hope and confidence that will propel them to take positive actions and protect the endangered Asian elephants.
More than twelve people, including Kerala’s most revered priest Akkeramon Kalidasan Battathirippad, Kerala’s beloved poet laureate, Smt. Sugadha Kumari, Karnataka’s Presidential Award winner for Women Empowerment Smt. Suparna Ganguly, and world renowned elephant scientist, Dr. Raman Sukumar of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, veterinarians, activists, animal welfare groups, and even owners and mahouts have been interviewed in an effort to provide balanced perspectives.
Gods in Shackles was produced within two years, and has been approved by the Central Board of Film Censorship certification, ready for public screening in India. Gods in Shackles was nominated by the prestigious International Elephant Film Festival at the United Nations General assembly and has won seven international film festival awards, including the Los Angeles Cinefest Award, Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Festival Award, The IMPACT Docs – Award of Merit, Golden Award at the World Documentary Awards.
Let Us Publish request Ministry of Environment and Forests to look into such issue seriously.
Thanks to Sangita Iyer who is the Director of the documentary for taking this great initiative.
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