Family - Completed 2016

In 1941 marksmen shot dead 23 animals at Belfast Zoo, following a government directive. During this traumatic time a woman secretly walked a young elephant from the zoo each evening to her backyard. There she cared for it as the bombs rained down. This is a true story .. and our setting for 'Zoo'

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Family
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 93 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Colin MCIVOR
    • Writer(s)
    • Colin MCIVOR
    • Producer(s)
    • Katy JACKSON, John LESLIE
    • Synopsis
    • 1941. A young boy hurtles as fast as his feet can carry him through Belfast's red-bricked cobbled streets. He careers around a corner and dashes through the heavily fortified gates of Belfast’s busy, smoky docks. He watches breathlessly as a young elephant is carefully unloaded from a cargo crate to gasps from the assembled crowd. His chest heaves with pride as the small, grey elephant with black wispy hair on its shoulders is walked by his father through the city's narrow network of streets and alleyways and finally up the slopes of Cavehill to the place that he loves best…..The Zoo.
      Although somewhat of a loner and a dreamer, without siblings or friends, ten year-old Tom leads a happy life. His free time revolves around helping out at the zoo where his admiration for his father's work and care for the animals is clear to all.
      Tom is introduced to the orphaned elephant and immediately a bond forms between the two, witnessed by all the proud zookeepers, who ask Tom to name the new arrival. Tom and 'Buster' share an idyllic summer during which Tom spends every waking moment with his new best friend. To all who observe, it is clearly touching.
      Tom's world is turned upside down when his Father is called away to war and access to his beloved zoo and particularly Buster is suddenly denied him.
      Heartbroken, Tom finds some solace at Mrs Leonard's house. Mrs Leonard is a small 54 year old, rounded lady with rosy cheeks. Having lost her darling husband during the Great War she has converted her tiny house into an Aladdin's cave, filled with all kinds of living exotica. Every surface has a cage or tank containing animals, fish or reptiles, some recovering from injury or sickness. Her living room is alive with a cacophony of scurrying and tweeting. Although entirely harmless, some of the children in the community are fearful of her slightly dotty, absent-minded appearance and her craze for all things animal. However, it is this quality that appeals to Tom in particular.
      The horror of war is brought directly into Tom's life when, in the aftermath of the first German air raids on Belfast, he witnesses the summary mass slaughter of all animals considered dangerous at the zoo following a Directive from The Ministry of Public Security. Tom is inconsolable. However, he later discovers that due to a clerical error his elephant, 'Buster', is temporarily given a stay of execution. Tom now knows he must act to save Buster...
      With the aid of his friends and fellow misfits, JANE, an abused loner, PETE, a comical chubby hanger-on and Pete's disabled brother MICKEY they set out to save Buster...
      © Wee Buns Ltd 2012
    • Partners & financing
    • Entertainment One, Piccadilly Pictures, Metro International, Northern Ireland Screen, Tourism Ireland,
    • Production schedule
    • Picture locked now in final Post Production