Posts Tagged ‘International Campaign to Ban Landmines’

Award-winning film brings story of elephant landmine survivors to Canada

Monday, October 1st, 2012


Mines Action Canada and D.V.A. Productions (San Francisco), in association with Indiewood Pictures, are proud to announce the Canadian Premiere of “The Eyes of Thailand” at the One World Film Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. The film will open the festival with a screening on Thursday, October 11, at 6:30pm at the Library and Archives (395 Wellington Ave) and a Q & A with Director/Producer Windy Borman will follow. Tickets can be purchased online at: or through Mines Action Canada’s donation page .

“The Eyes of Thailand” is directed/produced by Windy Borman and produced by Tim VandeSteeg. The 8-time award-winning documentary, narrated by Ashley Judd, tells the heartwarming and heroic true story of Soraida Salwala, a passionate woman who dedicated 10 years of her life to help two Asian elephants walk again after losing their legs in landmine incidents.

Judd writes, “The Eyes of Thailand is a story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats above and below the surface. I hope it will raise awareness to protect Asian Elephants—and all beings—from the terror of landmines.”

Mines Action Canada is thrilled to partner with One World Film Festival to bring “The Eyes of Thailand” to Canada during the 20th anniversary of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Paul Hannon, Executive Director said “This film demonstrates the indiscriminate nature of landmines and how in mine affected areas no one is safe until all the mines are cleared. Windy Borman graduated from our Youth Leaders training in 2010 during the filming of ‘The Eyes of Thailand’ and now that the film is finished we’re very excited to help One World Film Festival and Windy share this story with Canadians.”

Borman became involved in the landmine issue after meeting Soraida, Mosha and Motala in Thailand and seeing their journey from landmine victims to survivors. “Witnessing Mosha and Motala take their first steps on their new prostheses was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cannot wait to share it with Canada – a country known for its leadership in the movement to ban landmines. I hope the film will serve as a reminder that there is still work to be done to eradicate landmines so that all beings can walk without fear” said Borman.

“The Eyes of Thailand” was awarded the “ACE Documentary Film Grant” from The Humane Society of the United States and the “Best Documentary” Jury Award from the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. Salwala received the “Best Heroine in a Wildlife Film” Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival. The film has also garnered Humanitarian, Green, Animal Advocacy and Animation awards since its World Premiere in April 2012.

Interview opportunities exist with Director/Producer, Windy Borman on October 11, 2012.
Contact: Erin Hunt, Program Officer
Mines Action Canada
Phone: + 1 613 241-3777
Cell: + 1 613 302-3088

Film Links:

Facebook Event:



Web site:


Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Landmines

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Guest Blog by: U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

You’ve seen the devastating effects of landmines in Windy Borman’s documentary “The Eyes of Thailand.” What most people don’t realize is that landmines are still posing a threat to millions of civilians, and in Mosha and Motala’s case elephants, everyday around the globe.

Here are some little known facts about landmines:

  1. Around 4,000-5,000 people were maimed or killed by landmines last year alone
  2. There are tens of millions of landmines in the ground in 78 countries
  3. 30-40 percent of mine victims are children under 15 years old
  4. The United States has 10.4 million Anti-Personnel Landmines (APLs) stockpiled, the third largest mine arsenal in the world
  5. Landmines cost as little as $3 to produce and as much as $1,000 per mine to clear
  6. Landmines have injured and killed thousands of U.S. and allied troops in every U.S.-fought conflict since World War II, including recently in Iraq and Afghanistan
  7. U.S.-made or supplied APLs have been found in 32 countries, including Afghanistan
  8. Landmines are indiscriminate killers that target civilians long after a conflict has ended. Most kinds of landmines last forever. Mines laid during WWII are still killing and maiming civilians
  9. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly 80 per cent of landmine victims were military personnel. Today, 90 per cent of landmine victims are civilians
  10. Landmines set in motion a series of events that leads to environmental damage in the forms of soil degradation, deforestation, pollution of water resources with heavy metals and altering entire species’ populations through degrading habitats and altering food chains

Stay tuned for more in this bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

Pre-Order your Official “Eyes of Thailand” Gear

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

To help you show off your “Eyes of Thailand” spirit at our upcoming film festivals, we’ve launched a Facebook Store so you can pre-order your official “Eyes of Thailand” T-shirts and posters. The gear is in limited supply, so pre-order yours TODAY!

“Dream Big” T-Shirts: We love to see Democracy in action! Our Facebook Fans voted in August on their favorite T-shirt designs and here’s the winning look. The design features Motala and Baby Mosha on the front with our “Dream Big” slogan, and the title of the film on the back. Men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes available.


(c) Eyes of Thailand, LLC


Official Film Posters: Now you can bring home a bit of elephant history with an official poster for “The Eyes of Thailand”. Posters are unsigned and measure 24″ x 36″, exactly the same size we use at our film festival screenings!


(c) Eyes of Thailand, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • If you selected a T-shirt or poster as part of a Donation Perk, you do NOT have to pre-order your gear. We already have you factored into the headcount.
  • Posters and T-shirts will be mailed later this month.
  • If you’re coming to a festival in September, we’ll have T-shirts on hand for cash purchase.
  • Once we decide on a water bottle company, we’ll reveal the water bottle design and add them to the Facebook Store, too.


Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012



Contact Name:  Windy Borman

Phone: (415) 317-5697



Ashley Judd has joined the award-winning doc “The Eyes of Thailand” as the film’s narrator. From “Dolphin Tale” to Elephant Landmine Survivors, Judd has a special love for animals with prostheses.

Los Angeles, CA (April 3, 2012) – D.V.A. Productions, in Association with Indiewood Pictures, is proud to announce the world premiere of “The Eyes of Thailand” at the Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF). The Film will screen as an official selection Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 6:30pm at Triangle Square Cinemas (1870 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA). There will be a second screening on Tuesday, May 1st at 6:00pm. Tickets are available at <>. Special guests include Director/Producer Windy Borman and Producer Tim VandeSteeg.

“We are very excited to present the beautiful documentary, The Eyes of Thailand, at this year’s Festival!  It is quite satisfying to be able to bring important stories to our community and raise awareness”, said Erik Forssell, Director of Programming of the Newport Beach Film Festival.

“The Eyes of Thailand”, directed/produced by Windy Borman and produced by Tim VandeSteeg, tells the heart warming and heroic true story of Soraida Salwala, a passionate woman who dedicated ten years of her life to help give two Asian elephants a second chance to walk again after losing their legs from stepping on landmines.

Actress and wildlife and environmental activist Ashley Judd lends her voice to the powerful and award-winning documentary.

Judd writes, “The Eyes of Thailand is a story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats above and below the surface. I hope it will raise awareness to protect Asian Elephants—and all beings—from the terror of landmines.”

“The Eyes of Thailand” was awarded the “ACE Film Grant” from The Humane Society of the United States. Jonny Vasic, Director of the ACE program says, “The Eyes of Thailand is an inspiring and unique documentary that will open up hearts and minds about the amazing veterinary work being performed at the Asian Elephant hospital.”

The elephant stars of the film have been capturing the hearts of people worldwide and were featured in the December 2011 issue of National Geographic and Yahoo’s 2011 “Year in Review” video.

“When I met Soraida, Mosha and Motala in 2007, I knew I discovered an untold story that I needed to share with the world.  Witnessing Mosha and Motala take their first steps on their new prostheses was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cannot wait to share it with the world!,” said Director/Producer Windy Borman.

“The Eyes of Thailand” is a story that embodies heart, courage and compassion to make a real difference and improve the lives of others, no matter whatever obstacles stand in your way,” said producer Tim VandeSteeg.

The filmmakers have created a successful and loyal following through the film’s social media sites, including Facebook <> and Twitter <>, and the film’s website <>.

For further inquiries, please contact: Windy Borman

ACTION ALERT: Support Landmine Survivors, Send your Photos

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Dear Ele-Friends,

We’re helping Mines Action Canada spread the word about their Call for Photos for an upcoming video project. Now’s your chance to get your hands or feet featured in an online video to support the Mine Ban Treaty and survivors of landmines and cluster munitions.  The video will premiere in early March. Photos are due February 6th (next Monday). For more details, please read Erin’s request below:


Mines Action Canada needs your help.  We are making a video for our web site
and for the youth campaign that requires photos from our colleagues around
the world.

We are looking for photos of hands, feet, prosthetics and missing limbs
doing everyday things.  Pretty much I’m asking for photos of hands/feet or
whatever you’ve got doing whatever you normally do – walking, playing,
cleaning, writing, cooking etc.  A variety of ages and ethnicities would be
great.  They don’t have to be new photos if you already have a photo that
fits these criteria that’s great….

Photos do not have to be zoomed in too much or anything fancy but the higher
resolution the better.

If you have any photos you would like to include in the video please send
them to me at by February 6th.  The estimate is
we will need about 60 photos so feel free to send more than one.

Please send photos directly to me…so that the video
will remain a surprise for everyone….Thanks!

Take care,


Erin Hunt
Program Officer
Mines Action Canada
Mobile: +1 613 302-3088
Skype: hunt.erinlynn
Twitter: @erinlynnhunt

Thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing their video with all of you in early March.


Windy Borman

Director/Producer, “The Eyes of Thailand”

Landmine claims new elephant victim on the 10th anniversary of 9/11

Monday, September 12th, 2011


While most of the United States was busy marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, half a world away, an endangered Asian Elephant suffered a brutal reminder of the ongoing war raging in Burma (Myanmar).

San Francisco, CA – September 13, 2011 – On Sunday, September 11, 2011, the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Hospital, the World’s First Elephant Hospital, located in Lampang, Thailand, received word that PaHaePo, a Thai male elephant, stepped on a landmine across the border in Burma.

After being stranded by high tides and stuck behind fallen trees from heavy rains, PaHaePo arrived at FAE late at night on September 12, 2011. He joins four other elephant landmine victims being treated at FAE’s Elephant Hospital. All five sustained their injuries in August or September, when heavy rainfall encourages low-lying greenery to take over mountainous trails used for logging and transport between villages–and rebel camps. Burma is the only country actively using landmines in its on-going civil war and no one knows whether government or rebel forces planted the landmines.

Soraida Salwala estimates that over 90 elephants have stepped on landmines since she opened FAE in 1993. Many died before they could receive treatment, and FAE has treated 15, rehabilitating four to date. Motala and Mosha, who stepped on landmines in 1999 and 2006, respectively, are permanent residents at FAE and walk with the assistance of the world’s first elephant-sized prostheses. These amazing feats of perseverance and ingenuity are documented in the feature-length documentary, “The Eyes of Thailand” <>, Directed and Produced by Windy Borman and Produced by award-winning producer Tim VandeSteeg. “The Eyes of Thailand” is currently in the Post-production phase and scheduled to premiere in early 2012.

While filming “The Eyes of Thailand” in 2010, two new elephant landmine victims arrived at FAE. After 12 months, Boonmee’s foot is still not fully healed, but Maekapae’s has healed enough that her owner checked her out of the hospital the day after PaHaePo arrived.





Contact: Windy Borman |

Director & Producer, “The Eyes of Thailand”

How Can We Ban Landmines?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

How can we ban landmines? Sign the People's Treaty and Get the USA on board.

The two new elephant landmine victims in Sri Lanka, combined with the confirmed use of landmines in Libya, have forced me to reflect on what we need to get the remaining 39 Non-signatory countries to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

First, we need everyone who reads this blog to sign The People’s Treaty and forward the link to their friends.

Secondly, if we can get the United States of America to sign the Mine Ban Treaty, it would send a clear message to the remaining countries that all types of anti-personnel weapons (landmines, cluster bombs, etc.) are unacceptable and it would force the other countries to step up because they couldn’t hide behind the U.S. any more.

As it turns out, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) agrees with me about the importance of getting the United States on board!-)

Below is a copy of their press release:

Groups Worldwide Urge the U.S. to Ban Landmines

Geneva, 1 March 2011 – Civil society groups worldwide are calling on the United States to ban antipersonnel landmines immediately, said the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) today, as the Mine Ban Treaty turned twelve. Campaign members will meet today and throughout the month with U.S. representatives in dozens of countries to urge the U.S. to join the Mine Ban Treaty.

“It is absurd that the U.S. continues to cling to a weapon that is so horrific that only a country like Myanmar still uses it,” said Sylvie Brigot, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. “If nearly all of the United States’ closest military allies were able to remove antipersonnel mines from their arsenal without compromising their national security, we are confident the U.S. can as well.”

The Obama Administration started a comprehensive review of its landmine policy in late 2009 to determine whether to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Officials have consulted with allies, States Parties to the treaty, international organizations, civil society including landmine survivors, and former military personnel. No date for completing the review has been made public yet. By joining the Mine Ban Treaty, the U.S. would help send a clear signal that all types of antipersonnel mines are unacceptable weapons, would strengthen international security, and would spur to action some of the other 38 states still outside the treaty.

The U.S. already follows the core obligations of the Mine Ban Treaty: it has not used antipersonnel landmines since 1991, has not exported any since 1992, and has not produced since 1997. It is also the world’s largest individual donor to mine action and victim assistance programs. This should be complemented by a legal commitment to end the threat of use of antipersonnel mines.

In 2010, ICBL members undertook an array of actions calling for the policy review to result in a decision by the U.S. to join the Mine Ban Treaty:

  • In March 2010, 65 U.S.-based NGOs signed a letter to President Obama, welcoming the policy review and urging that it results in a decision to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty.
  • On 18 May 2010, 68 U.S. Senators wrote to President Obama, expressing strong support for the ban on antipersonnel mines.
  • In June 2010, landmine survivors from various regions of the world shared testimonies during a meeting with U.S. officials.
  • On 30 November 2010, sixteen Nobel Peace Prize laureates sent a letter to President Obama. Signatories included Mohamed El Baradei, Shirin Ebadi, Aung San Suu Kyi, His Holiness Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, and Jody Williams.

At the beginning of 2011, a Bush policy adopted in 2004 took effect, whereby the U.S. renounces the use of so-called “dumb” mines or “persistent” mines everywhere in the world, including on the Korean peninsula. The U.S. retains the right to use so-called “smart” mines equipped with a self-destruct or self-deactivation mechanism.

“So-called smart mines are by no means safe for civilians. While these mines are active, they cannot distinguish between a soldier and an innocent civilian. And their self-destruct mechanisms have an estimated failure rate of 1 to 10%. By retaining the right to use them, the U.S. stands completely at odds with the international norm that rejects landmine use,” said Atle Karlsen, mine clearance expert at Norwegian People’s Aid and a member of the Governance Board of the ICBL.

Adopted in 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force on 1 March 1999, just 15 months after it was negotiated – the shortest time ever for a multilateral treaty. The treaty comprehensively bans all antipersonnel mines, requires destruction of stockpiled mines within four years and destruction of mines already in the ground within 10 years, and urges extensive programs to assist the victims of landmines. The ICBL calls on all states to join the treaty. The Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty will be held from 28 November – 2 December 2011 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


More information and interviews:
Amelie Chayer, Communications Officer (in Geneva, GMT+1)
mobile: +33 6 89 55 12 81

Background & Figures

Eighty percent of the world’s countries (156 countries) have joined the Mine Ban Treaty. China, Russia, and the United States are among the 39 states that have not yet joined. But nearly all of those states are in de facto compliance with most of the treaty’s provisions. Every NATO member has foresworn the use of antipersonnel mines except for the U.S., as have other key allies, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Australia, and Japan. In the Western Hemisphere, only the U.S. and Cuba have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty.

Some 45 million antipersonnel mines have been destroyed from stockpiles since the Mine Ban Treaty was adopted; only 12 of the more than 50 countries that manufactured antipersonnel mines in the early ’90s still have a production capacity; trade in antipersonnel mines has virtually stopped; and large tracts of land have been cleared and returned to productive use. Landmines still contaminate 66 states.

The ICBL, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a global network of advocacy organizations, mine clearance operators, victim assistance organizations, and dedicated individuals, working in over 90 countries towards the goal of a mine-free world.

To find out more about the ICBL and their campaigns, please visit:

International Campaign to Ban Landmines:
Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor:

To encourage all governments to ban landmines, sign The People’s Treaty started by Mines Action Canada.

-Windy Borman

Director/Producer, The Eyes of Thailand

2 Elephants step on landmines in Sri Lanka on Int’l Landmine Awareness Day

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Today (April 4, 2011) is International Landmine Awareness Day and I wish I could report good news, such as 10 of the remaining 39 countries signed and ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.  But instead I get to report that while humans held Mine Awareness events across the globe, two new elephants in Sri Lanka have stepped on landmines. Experts estimate that up to 10 wild Asian Elephants have been injured by landmines since the government moved its conservation area to a former war zone. This was precisely our fear when we heard of the relocation in January 2011 and sadly it’s come true.If you’d like to watch a news clip of the elephants, you can view it here.

According to the wildlife officer in charge of the zone, the two elephants (aged 25-30 years old) probably sustained the landmine injuries a week ago. Veterinarian Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe treated them yesterday and treatment continues today. Soraida Salwala, the founder of FAE’s Elephant Hospital and featured in The Eyes of Thailand documentary, said via Twitter that she would reach out to wildlife NGOs in Sri Lanka. Hopefully they will be open to input from Soraida and Dr. Therdchai Jivacite, Assoc. Professor of Thailand’s Prostheses Foundation, who designed the prostheses for elephant landmine survivors Mosha and Motala.

We’ll post updates on Facebook and Twitter, so please join the conversations there.


Windy Borman

Director/Producer, The Eyes of Thailand

“The Eyes of Thailand” unveils new film trailer for Int’l Elephant Day

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Happy Elephant Day, elephant fans! In honor of everything we love about elephants, we’ve released the new trailer for “The Eyes of Thailand“.

Thanks to a gracious donation by Remedy Editorial in San Francisco, CA, we have a dramatic, thrilling new trailer featuring footage from the 2010 documentary production trip to Thailand and Laos, including interviews with Soraida Salwala (FAE), Dr. Therchai Jivacite (Prostheses Foundation), Richard Lair (TECC), Galen Garwood, Paul Hannon (Mines Action Canada) and Reth Tun (ICBL).

Special thanks to: Jeffrey Boyette and Scott Compton (Remedy Editorial), Ayumi Ashley (Color Correction), Marc Pittman (Sound Mix), and Amie Penwell (Music).

Next steps:
“The Eyes of Thailand” is currently in post-production and on March 14, 2011, Director/Producer Windy Borman heads to Los Angeles, CA to supervise the edit of the feature-length film. We hope to have a complete film ready for film festival submissions in September. You can help us by:

  1. Inviting your friends to “Like” the Facebook page.
  2. Following us on Twitter.
  3. Making a tax-deductible donation to the film, via our fiscal sponsor (the San Francisco Film Society), by clicking the Donate link on our website.
  4. Contacting Director/Producer Windy Borman if you have leads to foundations, corporate sponsors or wish to inquire about investment details.

Thank you for joining our quest to save Asian Elephants and educate the world about the on-going threat of landmines. Enjoy the trailer!

-Windy Borman
Director/Producer, “The Eyes of Thailand”

More info about the film:
D.V.A. Productions, in Association with Indiewood Pictures, is proud to present the powerful and hard-hitting feature documentary “The Eyes of Thailand”.

“The Eyes of Thailand” is the inspirational story of one woman’s quest to help two elephant landmine survivors–Motala and Baby Mosha–walk on their own four legs. Treating their wounds was only part of the journey; building elephant-sized prostheses was another. Directed and Produced by Windy Borman. Produced by Tim VandeSteeg.


New “Eyes of Thailand” Trailer Releases March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Mark your calendars! On Sunday, March 13, 2011, we will release the newly edited trailer for “The Eyes of Thailand” elephant documentary.

We gave our 1,200+ Facebook Fans an opportunity to attend an Online Sneak Peek of the newly edited film trailer on February 28, 2010. This weekend we will unveil a dramatic, thrilling, new trailer that features footage from the 2010 documentary production trip to Thailand and Laos, including interviews with Soraida Salwala (FAE), Dr. Therchai Jivacite (Prostheses Foundation), Richard Lair (TECC), Galen Garwood, Paul Hannon (Mines Action Canada) and Reth Tun (ICBL).

Be sure to check back in three days!

-Windy Borman

Director/Producer, “The Eyes of Thailand”