The story of the Film
Director Annick van Wijk was first introduced to the story of Ivo, when she was researching a script during the IDFA Workshop 2005. She found herself fascinated by the way visitors of the Amsterdam Zoo Artis spoke about the silverback Ivo. They told her all about his past in Germany, Spain and his life in Amsterdam. When Annick observed how Ivo connected with people, she knew she was looking at the star of her first documentary.

Despite his growing popularity in Amsterdam, Ivo had to go. In two years he failed to produce any offspring. The European Breeding Programme for Gorilla’s (the EEP) decided to move him to another zoo. 
So while Annick was developing the script, her main subject was moved to the Berlin Zoo. At first this appeared to be quite devastating to the proces of the film.  But the move also enriched Ivo’s story. The new keeper Reimon Opitz was very open to let Annick into the daily life of Ivo. And new storylines could be developed thanks to the cooperation at Berlin Zoo. In the end: Ivo’s life in Berlin together with the stories of Barbel, Madelon, Iris, Gisela, Anneke, Liesbeth and Rossi give a beautifull insight into the love people can feel for an individual animal.

From the start Annick van Wijk wanted to make an independent film. So when she got some funding from the Thuiskopie foundation, she ganged up with a filmcrew, consisting of Rogier Timmermans and Marco van Zelst. With a minimal budget, this enthousiastic crew, started filming. Producer Saskia Kluit, researcher Elies Kousemaker and advisor Steven Albers joined. Along the way other financiers kicked in, and the NCRV showed their trust in the makers, by buying the film for broadcasting on the dutch television.

Two years after starting the film is now completed. Together with editor Peter van Houten and sound designer Jeroen Goeijers, a beautifull portrait of a zoo gorilla was made.

The film is showed at the IDFA 2007. For other screenings and broadcasting, look regular at