University of Hertfordshire Students’ Short Film Nabs PETA Award for Stunning CGI Elephant

For Immediate Release:

14 June 2016


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222, [email protected]


Computer-Generated Animal Shows How Unnecessary It Is to Exploit Real Animals, Points to a Progressive and Kind Future in Film Industry

Hertfordshire– Courtesy of PETA, an Innovation in Film Award is on its way to University of Hertfordshire students Zak Boxall and Chris Turner for Bertie the Elephant. The short film, made for their final-year project, shows the potential of computer-generated imagery (CGI) to capture the charm and majesty of animals – while proving that the use of abused captive animals for film is obsolete.

Boxall and Turner, both 23, say they aimed to capture “the beauty and innocence of a living elephant … without the use of a real elephant”. And they have done just that.

“Truly creative, forward-thinking directors like these young men know that the future of film lies in technical wizardry and not in beating animals into performing”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on directors and producers throughout the entertainment industry to follow in their progressive footsteps.”

Animals exploited for film and TV can experience extreme stress and weakened immune systems from travel and handling, are denied everything that is natural and important to them, and frequently end up in filthy roadside zoos or other cruel, captive environments once their fifteen minutes of “fame” are up.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that as technology progresses and filmmakers learn how animals suffer in the entertainment industry, the use of digital depictions is increasing. PETA US previously recognised the stunning CGI used in such films as Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes as well as The Jungle Book.

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