Carlos Carvalho, an award-winning filmmaker and director, has sadly died at the age of 47.
The director was shooting close-ups of a giraffe’s body and feet at a South African game farm when the animal, named Gerald, became “inquisitive” and headbutted him, which sent him flying 16 feet into the air and caused major head injuries.
Afterwards, Carvalho was rushed to Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital where he died on May 2 from his injuries.
Drikus van der Merwe, who was assisting with the camera, explained what happened to The Sun. “I was standing right next to Carlos when the giraffe suddenly swung its neck and hit him on his head above his ear and sent him flying about four or five metres through the air.” He added that the attack “came out of nowhere and Carlos didn’t even see it coming. He wasn’t aware of the danger.”
The announcement of his death was made via a statement on the film crew agency CallaCrew’s Facebook page: “It is with a very sad heart that we have to announce the passing of Carlos Carvalho‚ one of our favourite DOP’s. Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Afric and had a fatal run in with a giraffe on set. He was flown to Milpark Hospital but succumbed to his injuries 20:50 last night. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Carlo’s family and friends during this very sad time. He will be sorely missed.”
Prior to his tragic death, Carvalho was working on an ITV series called Wild At Heart about a British family who have set up a game lodge in South Africa, and was filming scenes at the Glen Afric Country Lodge. The filmmaker won the Silver Lion at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for a public service announcement for Childline.
He was also honored in 2014 with an African Movie Academy Cinematography Award for his work on The Forgotten Kingdom. Our hearts are with Carvalho’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.