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One of Exodus’ projects, the Donkey Sanctuary, Leh, has hit the big time after being featured in Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. Indian filmmaker, Dev Aggarwal, was so inspired by his visit to the sanctuary that he made a short film which he called ‘Moved by Love‘.

Meeting the donkeysMeeting the donkeys

Cannes Film Festival

His film was screened at Cannes Film Festival this month, in the short film category. Here’s what the co-founder, Joanna, had to say:

“The donkeys of Leh got their day on the red carpet in Cannes. When Bollywood Director Dev Argarwal stumbled upon the Donkey Sanctuary in Leh two years ago, he was moved to tears – and inspired to produce a short film about the plight of donkeys in the region and to showcase the sanctuary in a DVD to aid fundraising efforts for the remote sanctuary.

The short film titled ‘Moved By Love’ was also accepted into the 2015 Cannes Film festival and while the donkeys didn’t win any orange carrots on the red carpet, they showcased their story to the enthusiastic public, inspiring a more compassionate world for animals, especially those forgotten donkeys in Northern India.

A special word of sincere thanks to Valerie Parkinson and the team at Exodus for their unwavering support of the Sanctuary in Leh. Without their generosity, efforts such as these would never be sustainable and therefore remain both humbled and most grateful for all the support.” – Joanne Lefson (co-founder of The Donkey Sanctuary and Producer, ‘Moved By Love’)

To see a snippet of the full movie, an official excerpt is available on youtube.

The Donkey Sanctuary at Cannes Film Festival“Be kind to animals” poster

The Donkey Sanctuary

There are many working donkeys in Ladakh, northern India, most spending their lives harvesting crops or carrying heavy loads.

When a donkey becomes too old to work, or injured, it becomes expensive to keep – especially in the harsh winters when food is scarce. Often, these old or injured donkeys are simply let out onto the streets of Leh to fend for themselves.

Some are hit by cars. Set up a few years back by Joanna Lefson and Stany Wangchuk, the sanctuary provides a safe, welcoming home for these abandoned animals to live in peace, well-fed and cared for. A vet visits regularly to check on their health.

Valerie visiting the sanctuaryValerie visiting the sanctuary

Exodus’ Contribution

The Donkey Sanctuary helps look after old, injured or unwanted donkeys and Exodus has been supporting since 2013. Exodus has been helping the sanctuary, providing food and even sponsoring two donkeys – named Exodus and Stok Kangri. I often take my groups to visit the sanctuary, making sure we bring lots of carrots which the donkeys love.

With one of the sponsored donkeysWith one of the sponsored donkeys

See our trips to Ladakh below and pay a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary in Leh.