Acclaimed Filmmaker Carlos Carvalho Killed by Giraffe During South Africa Shoot

Cinematographer Carlos Carvalho was killed by a giraffe while filming a feature.
Carlos Carvalho was on location when the attack occurred. CallaCrew

Award-winning cinematographer Carlos Carvalho has died after he was head-butted by a giraffe during a shoot in South Africa. 

Carvalho, 47, was part of a crew at the Glen Africa Country Lodge when a bull giraffe swung its head, striking the filmmaker and knocking him unconscious.

The married father of two was flown to a hospital in Johannesburg, where he died Wednesday from brain injuries.

The giraffe, named George, will not be euthanized, Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge, told The Telegraph.

"When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swing its head at Carlos," Brooker said. "Gerald will remain at the lodge. He did nothing wrong."

George the giraffe did nothing wrong, said a safari lodge spokesman.
Glen Afric Country Lodge/Facebook

The wild animal was threatened by the close proximity of the crew and reacted as male giraffes do when perceiving danger, Brooker said. 

Crew member Drikus Van Der Merwe said he was next to Carvalho when the giraffe attacked. The animal was chasing another member of the film team, "but we didn't feel threatened because he just seemed to be inquisitive. We started shooting close-ups of its body and feet. Then while Carlos was looking through the camera eyepiece, Gerald swung his neck and hit him against the head."

The cinematographer never saw what him, his colleague said.

Carvalho directed "The Forgotten Kingdom," the first feature film produced Lesotho and won a best cinematography award at New York's Woodstock Film Festival in 2014. He also won a Silver Lion trophy at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.

Jan Bowden, CEO at CallaCrew in Johannesburg, noted on Facebook the passing of "one of our favorite DOPs."

"Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Africa and had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set," Bowden said.

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