eOne Films International head Charlotte Mickie is introducing buyers here to the $5m Elephant, an ambitious feature constructed from documentary elements about a herd in the Indian province of Assam.

James Mitchell’s Soho Moon Pictures is producing with Cologne-based Taglicht Media and Bafta nominated director Tom Roberts expects to kick off a 15-month shoot this autumn.

Roberts said the storyline would be emotional and epic in tone, echoing The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven in the dovetailing storylines of a herd struggling for survival and a villager who plans to travel across the sub-continent to seek protection for his community.

Using 4K high definition cameras and a pioneering 2K infra-red camera, Roberts plans to get up close and personal with the beasts.

“We are employing a unique approach by using domesticated elephants who will live with the herd for the production period and be our personal entrant directly into the heart of the herd on a daily basis,” said Roberts.

The founder of October Films has directed an extensive roster of documentaries that include Afghanistan’s Dirty War and Ghosts Of The 7th Cavalry.