Return to the Forest is the documentary film released worldwide on www.worldelephantday.org on the first World Elephant Day, August 12, 2012. Produced by CanazWest Pictures and narrated by actor William Shatner, Return to the Forest is the story of the work of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation and its mission to save elephants in Thailand – marking its ten-year anniversary of the successful reintroductions of over 100 elephants back to a natural way of life, away from tourists and other forms of labor such as logging, performing or street-begging. The documentary brings attention to the plight of endangered Asian elephants and the vital role of elephants in the forest ecosystem, and asks us to consider our role in the protection of elephants and their habitat throughout the world.
Elephants are among the most fascinating creatures. What limits there are to their intelligence, we don’t know. What we do know is that they can communicate between each other thousands of miles which would then also mean that every elephant is linked to every other elephant in the world. Why the complexity unless there was a reason and that reason has to be intelligence. What a wonderful creature they must be.” – William Shatner
Filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark have been collaborating on international documentary productions that focus on the interrelationships between people, animals, and the environment for over 20 years. In 2009 Sims and Clark began filming elephant issues in Thailand. In 2011 to 2012 they produced “Return to the Forest” for the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, to tell the story of this organization’s mission to reintroduce elephants back to the wild. The film was released in celebration of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation’s tenth anniversary, and to initiate the first World Elephant Day on August 12, 2012.
Patricia Sims is President, Producer and Director of CanazWest Pictures Inc., a Canadian-based independent film production company. She has directed and produced numerous award-winning films for international broadcasters, sponsors, and organizations. Her films explore the conservation challenges that modern and traditional societies face through stories that expose the complexity of our relationships with animals, nature and each other.
Michael Clark is Director of Photography, Editor and Post Production Designer. He has won many international awards for his achievements and his credits range from documentaries to television series, commercial and feature film productions. One of Michael’s most notable non-fiction feature film credits is “Sharkwater”, which has won over 30 international awards by bringing awareness to shark-finning issues worldwide.
Following the success of Return to the Forest, Sims and Clark released their award-winning feature-length documentary When Elephants Were Young on World Elephant Day: August 12, 2016. The film follows the life of a young man and young elephant in Thailand, and is also narrated by actor William Shatner.
When Elephants Were Young is currently available online and theatrical screenings.