‘The Last Mahout' is a cinematic short film produced and shot by Panasonic ambassador and wildlife filmmaker Tania Esteban about Vee & Mae - two that share an unbreakable bond built on love and trust. Vee, an 80-year-old Mahout, has been with Mae Mahn since she was born over 27 years ago - and ONLY uses his VOICE to guide her. A non-riding, no chains, non-stick wielding way forward into the 21st century. Mahn is a matriarch Asian elephant in her prime, and so the MandaLao and WWF Laos team are looking at the incredible Nam Phouy national park as a potential release site to allow individuals like her to breed in the wild as well as rescue elephants. Mae is one of the lucky ones... join them for a day in the life of a modern Mahout. Set in the remote mountain forests of Laos, this beautiful country was once known as the Land of a Million Elephants.' However, with only 400 wild elephants remaining, this new modern method of teaching them to be wild again might be the last hope to save their declining population. Vee fears for the future of his beloved elephant as he isn't getting any younger - who will take on his role as her protector?
Tania: “I cannot thank the amazing people who helped me out on location at the Mandalo Conservation Sanctuary enough, they do such remarkable and revolutionary work to help mistreated and dwindling populations of wild elephants – a first of their kind in the country. I especially want to thank Michael Vogler (founder of Mandalao), Prasop Tipprasert (director of MandaLao), Khamkhoun Khounboline (from WWF Laos), Gregorio Rojas & Keum Houngduangchanh (guide/translator), and of course the superstars themselves – the effervescent Vee and Mae Mahn. And a huge thanks to Richard Collins who made the characters and essence of the forest come to life with his magical music and original score, as well as Panasonic for giving me the opportunity to create the film.
Really hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did filming and piecing this story together!"
For more information on the incredible work by MandaLao Elephant Conservation please visit: mandalaotours.com/
About the film and producer: treproductions.co.uk
And the beautiful music by the very talented Richard Collins: richardcollinsmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-mahout-original-soundtrack
Tania Rose Esteban - Producer/Director/Camera/Editor
Richard Collins – Original Score
Panasonic & TRE Productions – Sponsors
Michael Vogler - Founder of MandaLao
Chanthip Santi - Fixer
Gregorio Rojas, Keum Houngduangchanh (guide/translators)
Blackmagic Design (Davinci Resolve) - Colour Grading software
- EVA 1
- 15mm f1.7
Zhiyune crane V2 + remote + handle bars
- Phantom 4 Pro + filters, Mavic Air
- Atomos Ninja Inferno (HDR/UHD/4K) external
- H5 Zoom recorder (stereo)
- Sennheiser radio microphones
- Manfrotto tripod
- 3 axis motion slider kit
- GoPro Hero 5 + accessories
- Davinci Resolve Micro Panel (colour grading -