Tippi Hedren Presents Film Makers with Award for Best Documentary Short for “The Elephant Man Journeys.” Having recently been honored with the Award of Excellence as well as Best Editing at the LA Movie Awards, Chris Gallucci and his brother John Gallucci, added the honor of Best Documentary Short for “The Elephant Man Journeys” at the recent Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood, which was presented by actress and activist, Tippi Hedren.
“The Elephant Man Journeys” is about love, honor, respect, dedication, sacrifice, and a promise. A promise to an elephant 30 years ago that Chris Gallucci would stay with him until the day he died. “This not just a story about a man and an elephant. This story is about a person with no destination, a person with a huge hole through the middle of him. It took an elephant to fill that hole,” Ms. Hedren tells Highlight Hollywood exclusively.
Salvation and friendship come in many different forms, but few as strange and beautiful as that of Timbo the African bull elephant and Chris Gallucci, the Elephant Man. Their friendship spawns a lifetime's vocation, which endured for almost 30 years.
Timbo, the gigantic bull elephant, immediately fascinated Chris and when the film's elephant trainer quit, he immediately applied for the job. “Someone told me that the elephant was the largest animal that walked the earth,” Chris says. “I knew I had to have a piece of that.” To win the pachyderm's trust that first night, Chris chained himself up beside Timbo in his enclosure and threw away the key. That was the start of the 30 year long relationship; one which tamed the savage in Chris.
“My life before here was craziness,” Chris recalls, “and even if you're afraid, you can't show it. And so then, here [at Shambala], that fits like a glove. My background probably helped me in the position that I'm in now. I'm ready for anything.”
Chris and Timbo's story began to be told, in the Animal Planet cable network's documentary on Shambala, Life With Big Cats. Guests who visited the Preserve saw how he interacted with Timbo and Kura. Eventually, he and Timbo were the subject of their own documentary, The Elephant Man (aka Tusks and Tattoos), which has been shown worldwide.
Following Timbo's death in 2005, Chris has continued to work as Preserve Supervisor at the Shambala Preserve, later becoming Vice President in Charge of Operations. In October 2009, Roar Foundation President Tippi Hedren relinquished her additional title of Executive Director, and honored Chris with that position.
In June 2009, Chris kept a promise he had made to his elephant friends, journeying to Africa to lay Timbo and Kura's spirits to rest in their natural habitat. The trip enabled him to understand them in a way he never could while they were in captivity.
“The Elephant Man Journeys,” has been chosen as an exclusive official selection for screening in our 2011 ITN Distribution Film & New Media Festival in NYC.
FESTIVAL DATES: November 17th and 24th
SCREENING SCHEDULE - The schedule for the ITN Distribution Film & New Media Festival will be posted on www.itndistribution.com
SCREENING VENUE - Festival screenings will take place exclusively at Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street in Manhattan (NYC)
OPENING NIGHT KICK OFF & HONORARY CEREMONY will be held on Thursday, November 17th, and Highlight Hollywood will be there!
ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival is held in November 2011 in New York, NY. It is organized by one of the most successful independent film distribution companies in the world today helmed by Stuart Alson. In the last year, Alson has executive produced Brutal starring Peter Greene (The Mask and Pulp Fiction); and Mysteria starring Danny Glover, Billy Zane, Martin Landau and Michael Rooker.
Photograph (John Gallucci, Michael Payne( Host-Designing for the Sexes), Tippi Hedren and Chris Gallucci, John Gallucci producer and Chris Gallucci director, won Best Documentary Short as producers of "The Elephant Man Journeys") By Bill Dow, Ms. Hedren's Personal Photographer
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett