The gripping and emotionally charged feature documentary film, Tyke Elephant Outlaw has been sold to Netflix. The film has been released worldwide including Australia on December 1st, 2015.
The film tells the story of Tyke, a circus elephant who went on a rampage in Honolulu in 1994, killed her trainer in front of thousands of horrified spectators and died in a hail of gunfire. Her break for freedom traumatised a city and ignited a global battle over the use of animals in the entertainment industry. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a highly intense film…cautionary and moving”.
On November 21 and 22, Tyke was enthusiastically received by audiences at three sold-out screenings at the Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu. The Hawaii premiere, attended by several State senators, took place just days before Hawaiian lawmakers voted on regulations that will make Hawaii the first US state to ban the use of wild performing animals and setting a precedent for the entire country. The filmmakers were interviewed by all four major networks affiliate stations and on public radio, and the film’s premiere along with the state-wide ban were covered by the Huffington Post and a number of local publications.
Tyke Elephant Outlaw has received awards and critical acclaim at major international film festivals in the US, UK and Australia. It has been broadcast on the prestigious BBC Storyville strand, the CBCs The Passionate Eye in Canada and will be screened by DRTV in Denmark. The film is directed and produced by leading Australian documentary filmmakers Susan Lambert and Stefan Moore, and co-produced by Megan McMurchy.
Alongside astonishing archive of Tyke’s life and death, the film features those who knew Tyke during her tragic life in the circus, witnesses to her rampage and killing on the streets of Honolulu, and animal welfare activists for whom Tyke’s death became a global rallying cry.
“Like the classic animal rebellion film King Kong”, says Susan Lambert, “Tyke is the central protagonist in a tragic but redemptive drama that combines trauma, outrage, insight and compassion.”
Tyke Elephant Outlaw was produced with the financial assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Voiceless. It is distributed by ABC Commercial and Dogwoof.