A majestic female elephant leads her herd in search of a new place to call home, in this empowering and breathtaking documentary from veteran wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble.

TIFF Docs

The Elephant Queen

Victoria Stone, Mark Deeble

The human world is, even to this day, remiss in its acceptance of female leadership but the animal kingdom has forged ahead. Enter Athena, a charismatic giant tusker with an unmistakable attitude.

Earning the respect of her extended family by ruling with loving practicality, Athena knows that the fate of her herd is on her shoulders — a responsibility she does not take lightly. The challenges faced by one newborn, Mimi, remind us how fragile life can be in an unforgiving climate, and just how much herd members rely on one another.

When faced with a drought, Athena must weigh whether to lead her family from the water hole they call home out into the badlands in search of food and water, knowing that the smallest elephants may not be strong enough to complete the trip.

Filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone immersed themselves with their subjects, living up close and personal with Athena and her herd for over four years. Truly earning their reputations as gentle giants, these majestic creatures are captured in the most intimate moments — highlighting the striking similarities between elephants and people.

This harrowing journey through a magnificent landscape is a touching tribute to a vanishing species. The Elephant Queen is a compelling story of unbreakable familial bonds and an unwillingness to give up.

JENNIFER BARKIN

Recommended for ages 7+ Content Advisory: Circle of life depicted.

This film is TIFF Kids–approved! Entertaining and illuminating stories from around the world for the whole family.

Sat 08

Bell Lightbox 2

Regular
12:45pm
Sun 09

Scotiabank 8

Press
8:45am
Tue 11

Scotiabank 9

Press
8:45am
Wed 12

Bell Lightbox 2

Regular
9:15am
Sun 16

Scotiabank 2

Regular
3:30pm