May 17, 2014 - With deep sadness, I report that David Balding has passed away. 

"Impresario, artistic director, development whiz & mainstay of Circus Flora - for David, "the circus was always a microcosm of the world, a harmonic unity of the opposites that David drew together within the grand tent...He had no children, except for Flora the elephant."   

Read David's obituary here.  

I think David would have chuckled at the New York Times headline of his obit:
"David Balding, Producer Who Adopted
an Elephant, Dies at 75"    

David, you will be sorely missed.

One Lucky Elephant DVD's available at Virgil Films

You can now own your very own holiday DVD edition of One Lucky Elephant! This is for December only! Click here to find out more!


One Lucky Elephant is coming up on Oprah's network, OWN! It will be airing on December 1st at 9 PM EST and it will be introduced by daytime show host, Rosie O'Donnell! Check it out here!

One Lucky Elephant will screen at the Dubai International Film Festival December 2011! Click here for more info!

OLE screens at Vancouver International Film Festival on October 12th, 2011. Lisa attended Q&As on Oct 1 & 2

One Lucky Elephant will be doing a one time special screening at The Guild Theatre in Sacramento on October 25th, 2011! Click here for tickets!


One Lucky Elephant was shown at the EcoFocus Film Festival in Athens, Georgia on February 15th, 2011.

One Lucky Elephant was one of the documentaries shown in several cities in Russia through the US State Dept. program - American Documentary Showcase. Standing room only! Our doc opened the Show US! Film Festival in Moscow on September 2nd and played in the Message to Man festival in St. Petersburg

One Lucky Elephant aired on the UK's Channel 4 Oct. 4, to commemorate World Animal Day.


One Lucky Elephant extended in LOS ANGELES!
Laemmle Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills, June 24 through Thursday July 7
Showtimes: Sat 2:50, 8pm, 10pm Sun 2:50, 8pm Mon 2:50, 8pm Tues-Thurs 8pm
The film team appears for Q&A after Friday, Saturday and Sunday night 8pm screenings. Special Guests for next week screenings to be announced here & on our Facebook page.

One Lucky Elephant played at Manhattan's Film Forum June 8-21

Opened in Los Angeles June 24, one week only at Laemmle Music Hall theater

"Sweet, heart-and trunk-tugging." -- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

OLE_poster"Charming" --

"A poignant documentary whose simple premise masks a substantial emotional wallop." -- Rotten Tomatoes, The Onion AV Club

"A parable, one that's less about elephants or animals than about human beings" --

"A captivating father and daughter narrative...wholly satisfying...a compelling antidote to the man vs nature narrative...illuminating" -- Sam Kressner, Film

"This superbly informative, affecting documentary about an undying bond between man and beast may well be the most moving film of 2011... Forget Garbo and Robert Taylor in Camille, or even Leo & Kate in Titanic. One Lucky Elephant reveals a love story even more heartbreaking, that between circus impresario David Balding and Flora, an African elephant he has trained since infancy to perform...clear-headed yet passionate...pulls the viewer in so powerfully that you can feel the cliffhanger-like, fraught anxiety shared by both master and beast."--David Noh, Film Journal International

"Leeman exquisitely controls the dissemination of information in "One Lucky Elephant," peeling back the layers of the story to deepen our understanding and emotional investment."-- Moving Pictures Magazine

"An emotionally charged argument for reconsidering how we treat all animals." -- Huffington Post


Directed by Lisa Leeman; Produced by Cristina Collissimo & Jordana Glick-Franzheim. Co-produced and scored by Miriam Cutler

Ten years in the making, "One Lucky Elephant" follows circus producer David Balding as he struggles to find a nurturing permanent home for Flora, the orphaned baby African elephant he lovingly raised as a "daughter" and made the star of his circus. As Flora approaches adulthood, David realizes that she is no longer happy performing and needs to be with other elephants. The road to Flora's retirement, however, is a difficult and emotional journey that tests their bond in unexpected ways.



Exciting News! One Lucky Elephant will air on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN, as part of her monthly documentary film club.