The Elephant Queen


Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Content Advisory: Scenes of the natural cycle of life.

The African savanna elephant is the world’s largest animal and one of the few species that live in a matriarchal society. The Elephant Queen introduces us to Athena, a 50-year-old “tusker”—a now rare elephant whose tusks grow long enough to reach the ground—who is queen of her herd. These animals live in the arid lands of Africa, where food and water are scarce and there is a precarious balance between life and death. We join them as their “green season” watering hole is drying up, and Athena is weighing the dangerous trek to the oasis that is their dry-season refuge, a precarious journey particularly for the youngest elephants. Throughout their adventure, we witness their lives, the challenges they face, and the complex ecosystem that depends on them for survival.

Featuring beautiful cinematography and honeyed narration, this glimpse into a complex animal society contextualizes how the changing, unforgiving climate and illegal poaching are substantially impacting these majestic pachyderms and ultimately the ecosystem they help maintain.

YEAR 2018

CATEGORY Sundance Kids

COUNTRY United Kingdom/Kenya

RUN TIME 96 min



PHONE (512) 294-3984


Assistant Director
Sound Design
Sound Recording

Artist Bio

Victoria Stone

Victoria Stone directed The Elephant Queen with her partner, Mark Deeble. They have worked together in Africa for three decades, filming wildlife stories that have been shown worldwide. The film joins a body of work that includes The Queen of Trees, heralded “a masterpiece” by Sir David Attenborough, and Emmy-awarded Mzima. Stone has an MA from the Royal College of Art. Her work includes cinematography, producing, directing, and editing.

Mark Deeble

Mark Deeble is a celebrated cinematographer who worked on Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time, Enchanted Kingdom 3D, and BBC’s Africa. Mark studied zoology at Imperial College. He wrote The Elephant Queen, their first theatrical feature and the culmination of eight years dedicated to telling the story of a very special elephant matriarch.