Chandani -
The Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer

German Film Academy Award for Best Children's Film 2011 

Chicago International Children's Film Festival - Best Documentary Film 2010


Cinema Documentary, Germany / Sri Lanka 2010, 90’, 52’ & 43’

Chandani wants to become a Mahout as her father. Her father decides to give her a chance and gives her responsibility for an elephant calf. Chandani is a girl in a male profession. Everyone doubts her abilities. The ranger Mohammed becomes her only supporter and shows her the world of elephants in the jungle. Here they save an elephant baby from its death. Strengthened by this, she makes progress in the work with her little elephant Kandula. But when Kandula is taken away from her, also her path changes.


“Straightforward, touching and never cheesy documentary for children.” Die Welt

„In fascinating images, we learn a lot about working with the animals. Also excellent: the translation – sensitively synchronized in parts but where it is not important what is said, we hear the original voices.“ Tagesspiegel

„Lovingly done, a children’s film worth watching that might appeal to girls especially and that, in the end, brings tears to the eyes of young and old viewers alike.“

Written and directed by Arne Birkenstock

DoP – Marcus Winterbauer

Editors – Felix Bach, Tim McLeish

Music – Dürbeck & Dohmen

Producers – Arne Birkenstock, Thomas Springer, Helmut G. Weber

Co-Producer – Dr. Peter Bach

Editorial Staff SWR/ARTE – Gudrun Hanke-El Ghomri, Ulrike Becker, Bernd Seidl

Editorial Staff WDR – Jutta Krug

Produced by Fruitmarket Arts & Media and Tradewind Pictures 

In co-production with SWR and WDR

In association with ARTE

Funded by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien BKM

Distributed by REAL FICTION Filmverleih.