Apple has acquired the worldwide rights to documentary The Elephant Queen.
From veteran wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble, the film follows a majestic female elephant who leads her herd in search of a new place to call home.
Earning the respect of her extended family by ruling with loving practicality, Athena knows that the fate of her herd is on her shoulders — a responsibility she does not take lightly. The challenges faced by one newborn, Mimi, remind us how fragile life can be in an unforgiving climate, and just how much herd members rely on one another.
The film was shot over four years, as Deeble and Stone embedded themselves in the herd. The end result is narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave, Doctor Strange) and had its premiere this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival. Now, in a deal with Endeavor Content and Mister Smith Entertainment, Apple TV has snapped up the project wholesale for distribution on its upcoming video platform.
The film joins Apple’s growing slate of original projects, which mostly involve TV series. However, Apple is also steadily building a feature film library to boot: the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year marked a seven-figure deal by Apple to release Songwriter, a new documentary about Ed Sheeran. Apple isn’t the only streaming service out in force at Toronto, with YouTube Premium snapping up Gael Garcia Bernal thriller Museo and Netflix acquiring Nigerian film Lionheart.