Best Sound Design Japan Wildlife Film Festival

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We are very chuffed to have won Best Sound Design at The Japan Wildlife Film Festival for our work on Mahout:The Great Elephant Walk. This is the second award for the feature length documentary produced and directed by James Dartnall and Jack Wylson. In 2014 the film won Best Film at The London Independent Film Festival.

Narrated by Stephen Fry the film follows the extraordinary story of a London banker who swaps life in the city for running a wildlife lodge in Nepal. When his father – a pioneer of ecotourism and founder of the lodge – dies unexpectedly, Tim finds himself leading a party of elephants and their mahouts on an epic journey. When James Dartnall heard about the story of the elephants needing to be walked half way across the country on foot, he had the idea to photograph and film the journey. In September 2012, James Dartnall and Jack Wylson set off with Tim and the elephants, and began to document this remarkable story. Filmed over 5 gruelling weeks, they faced incredibly challenging conditions, from monsoon rain to intense heat and dust. A project that the entire team has taken to their hearts.

To involve the viewer in the journey, the sound was kept very natural and realistic to enhance the viewer’s perception of being surrounded by the amazing sounds of the jungle and the Elephants and their Mahouts. A lot of research was done to ensure that any additional sounds were indigenous to Nepal, right down to the correct bird calls and the make and model of the millions of mopeds in and around the cities. The overall soundscape envelopes the viewer and allows them to think they are riding on the elephants back, crashing through the jungle and navigating the incredibly noisy and busy cities.

With a stunning sound track by Kevin Pollard the whole film feels like one coherent journey.


Production Company: Pink Banana Studios
Director/Producer: James Dartnall
Director/Producer: Jack Wylson
Sound Designer: Rich Evans
Composer: Kev Pollard

Best Sound Design Japan Wildlife Film Festival