Sue's Zoo

Carola Gotta | Sligo

  • 0%
  • Target: €5000
  • 100%
  • €815.00
  • 0
    To go
  • 11
This project was not funded.

rewards for funding this project:

€10 +

The awareness that without your support the making of this documentary would not have been possible. Personal "Thank You" on our facebook page.

€25 +

All of the above and a Peruvian friendship bracelet (fairly traded)

€50 +

All of the above and a signed production photo.

€75 +

All of the above and the finished film on DVD.

€100 +

All of the above and a signed DVD with a personal "Thank You" card (limited edition print of a donkey drawing by a local artist).

€200 +

All of the above and an invitation to the film premiere at a venue in Co. Sligo.

€300 +

All of the above and a personal "Thank You" in the film credits.

€600 +

All of the above and one night B&B for 2 persons at the Gyreum Eco-Lodge and a guided tour of the nearby "Sathya Sai Sanctuary for Nature", Castlebaldwin, Co. Sligo.

a project by:
Carola Gotta


This documentary is a portrait of Sue Paling who has been running a donkey sanctuary in South Sligo for the past 20 years. Sue, who is now in her mid-sixties, is a very charismatic and inspiring person with an unusual attitude to life. Her move to Ireland changed her life forever. Unwanted donkeys, mostly in an appaling condition, were landing one by one on the farm she had bought. Today the "Sathya Sai Sanctuary for Nature" provides a home for over 60 old, abused and unwanted donkeys and other equines.

As we observe Sue's day-to-day life at the sanctuary, we learn interesting facts about donkeys. The "ass", still very much associated with rural Ireland, played a vital role in the Irish agriculture. Many of Sue's donkeys are ex-working donkeys who have laboured for years bringing in the hay and turf, carrying milk churns to the creamery and ploughing the fields. Sue feels that these animals deserve to be put out to grass and to live out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity.

Sue sacrifices a great deal in order ot materialize her ideas. Her life style is very simple and she is not profit oriented. What motivation stands behind her work and what is her reward? How does she see her commitment in a world in which far bigger grievances exist? What makes donkeys so special to her? Sue is trying to make her own, very personal contribution to a "better world". This documentary is very much about her personal experience and the world she creates around herself.

Director's note:

It must be about 15 years ago that I met Sue Paling for the first time. Her wonderful personality and enthusiasm in combination with the beauty of the animals and the surrounding landscape impressed me deeply. Being an independent film maker with a passion for documentaries and animals, it is not surprising that I immediately felt compelled to make this film. We have filmed about ten hours of very impressive material. The post production of the actual film (approx. length 40 min.) is the next step, which we won't be able to finance with our own means.

Have a look at some Sue's Zoo footage here www.studionorthwest.tv.ie

We hope to have this documentary finished by spring 2013. It is intended for screenings at national and international film festivals. DVD's will be for sale in aid of the Sai Sanctuary. Any amount is important and deeply appreciated! And don't forget to spread the word among friends and family as this is all about networking. Please note that our rewards can only be a symbolic way to say THANK YOU, as the budget is very tight.


Carola Gotta

To find out more about Sue Paling's work go to www.donkeys.ie