2017 | Documentary | 26 min. | Russia
The main character in this captivating story is a young leopard named Leo80M, an inhabitant of the Ussuri taiga. Although arrogant and confident in his own power and dexterity, he falls into a poacher's trap. Russian border guards eventually find the weak and exhausted leopard and discover its paw is heavily injured. Scientists and vets struggle to save his life. Throughout the movie, we watch the specialists prepare the leopard for its release back into wild nature and restore his hunting skills step by step. It is the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our hero.
The idea behind the movie is to tell the story of the main character, a wild beast, and present it as a humane animal with its own thoughts and feelings. This was a difficult task because no one knows its personality or its relation to gamekeepers and caretakers. The character had to be made up from scratch; I came up with a new and original form to make the story clear to viewers of all ages. The encounter of the main character with other characters in the movie takes the film to another level, and the dialog becomes more meaningful. What we ended up with is a fairy-tale with a dramatic plot based on real events. We had to "learn" to climb trees, walk along logs and jump over streams. And we couldn’t have done it without some additional tools, like leopard-paw gloves, which we had to put under the camera. The weather plays an important role in transmitting drama in the movie. When the character’s upset, it is raining, for instance. The weather supports and empathizes with the dying leopard. For me, it was important to make people feel a certain emotion and bring it over into their own lives. For me, this is an emotion tied to paying attention to the world around us and being kind.
English srt subs
Director: Guram Gabunia
Producers: Ekaterina Fedorova and Anna Korchagina
Studios: “TV-Port” Ltd. and Autonomous noncommercial organization «Leopards»