Filmed in one of India’s last great wild places, Ranthambore National Park, In the Spirit of Laxmi chronicles amazing rehabilitation of a leopard cub.
The position of hotel general manager is certainly one of the most difficult jobs in the hospitality industry, with multiple responsibilities ranging from handling special guest requests to overseeing a property’s profitability. Something you don’t normally see on a GM’s to-do list is “raise baby leopard.”
While he was the GM of Aman-i-Khas, a luxe wilderness resort in Rajasthan India, that’s exactly what fate had in store for Gerhard Wiehahn. When he discovered an injured and weakened leopard cub on the outskirts of the region’s Ranthambore National Park, little did he know the encounter would lead to a 16-month journey together, culminating in the release of the grown female – named Laxmi after the Hindu goddess of beauty and prosperity — into the wilds of India. The strong bond that formed between the two also became the inspiration for a 30-minute documentary chronicling Laxmi’s journey from a fragile and weakened cub to a powerful predator ready to take her place in the tall grasses of Ranthambore National Park. One of just 60 films chosen from 3,000 to screen at New York’s high-profile Tribeca Film Festival (April 20 – May 1, 2011), In the Spirit of Laxmi will screen as part of the festival’s “One For All” documentary series. The film captures incredible footage where Wiehahn must role-play as Laxmi’s mother, carrying the cub in his mouth and teaching her to hunt and stalk, all of which meant spending weeks out in the wild with her. The 30-minute short was directed by Meghan Shea and Michael Rogers and executive produced by Trina Dingler-Ebert, Executive Director of Amanresorts. (Click here for a sneak peak at the In The Spirit of Laxmi trailer).
Screening times at the Tribeca Film Festival include:
- Friday, April 22, 2011 at 6:30pm at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas (260 West 23rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues)
- Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 3:45pm at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas
- Friday, April 29, 2011 at 3:30pm at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas
- Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 4pm at Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street at Laight Street)
- Special Press Screening: Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 10:30am at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas