The Hanoi Connection
The Shuidong Connection
Walking with Elephants
The Blind Men and the Elephant
Panel Discussion TBA
The Hanoi Connection | 87 minutes
The Hanoi Connection follows the illicit trade routes that transnational organised crime uses to distribute rhino horn in South East Asia. The notorious Golden Triangle, the Kings Roman Casino, Nhi Khe, a village in Vietnam where rhino horn is fashioned into object d'arte - are some of the locations where our covert cameras have recorded the shift from Health to Wealth as the use of rhino horn is now firmly entrenched as a status symbol for Asisa's nouveau riche. Samples obtained from traditional medicine shops as well as up market botique outlets were tested in Veterinary Genetics Laboratories to support our findings. Even more disturbing is that the international endangered species trade regulation body CITES has knowledge of the transgressions and has chosen NOT to sanction countries that continue to act in violation of wildlife trafficking laws.
Walking with Elephants | 5 minutes
Film-maker and adventurer Roland Arnison had a dream of walking with a herd of wild elephants. When he met wildlife guide Ettienne in Africa, he finally had the chance. Walking with Elephants follows Roland as he searches for a family of elephants and along the way discovers just how dangerous these magnificent animals can be.
The Shuidong Connection | 6 minutes
Producers: Leo Plunket & Chris Milnes
Country: China | North America Premiere
The Shuidong Connection is the result of almost three years of undercover work during which EIA investigators infiltrated a leading ivory trafficking syndicate. Their findings reveal how a network of such syndicates operating in the obscure town of Shuidong in southern China have come to dominate the smuggling of illegal ivory. One syndicate member told undercover investigators that Shuidong is the destination for a staggering 80 per cent of all poached ivory tusks smuggled into China from Africa.
The Blind Men & The Elephant | 5 minutes
Synopsis: Based on a quote by Werner Heisenberg - "We have to remeber that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" - the film explores the hidden and often misunderstood meaning in nature, through the metaphor of the blind men and the elephant.
Once upon a time-the Savannah | 25 minutes
Masai Mara-Kenya. The sun rises and ignites the Savannah. A new day begins for all the animals who live in this habitat. The film invites you to follow a few of them over the course of the day. The birth of antelope calf, lions on the hunt, mother cheetahs and lionesses who tend to their newborns, the solidarity and bravery of buffaloes when they attempt to save one of their young from the claws of big cats are just a few of the scenes from their everyday lives that you will discover.
The Kingdom of Manaslu
Tribe versus Pride
Q&A with Fabien Lemaire
The Kingdom of Manaslu | 50 minutes
A natural gem between heaven and earth. In the heart of the Himalayas, the Nepalese region of Manaslu is a natural gem between heaven and earth. Here, Man and Nature coexist since the dawn of time. Humans and animals have learned to adapt and survive under the most extreme conditions.
These valleys - still secluded no long ago – are opening to the outside world and the local communities try, often successful, to control these unavoidable mutations and maintain their traditional lifestyle while adjusting to modernity.
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Tribe versus Pride | 50 minutes
The Maasai people of Kenya have an ancient ritual. Their young men must prove their skills and courage – by killing a wild lion.
For thousands of years, killing a lion was an essential tradition for the Maasai to celebrate the rite of passage from boy to man. To earn the respect of his brothers, a young man had to engage in direct combat with a lion. His face would be painted in traditional colours, representing Gods, enemies, and the lions they honoured – yet still needed to kill. But these times are over. Fifty years ago, an estimated 450,000 lions lived alongside the Maasai in Africa. Today, these numbers have changed dramatically. There are now two million Maasai – but only 20,000 lions left in the whole of Africa.
As a means to stop the falling lion numbers, the Maasai have decided to change one of their culture’s most defining traditions. The Maasai elders proposed a different form of this rite of passage, a big and important step for them, as culture and rituals are not changed in a heartbeat. The young men of the Maasai now compete in a different physical test – athletics. In 2008, the Maasai Olympics were founded, now taking place in Kenya biannually. The competition is organized in three levels – local, regional and ecosystem-wide competitions. Instead of killing, the young Maasai athletes are running, jumping and throwing spears. Even more important, conservation education has become blended with sports. Today, the hunt is for medals – not lions. They are trophies of a different kind, but are regarded with the same importance and approval within the communities. Bravery can still be tested and expressed, while the lion, friend and foe of the Maasai, may continue to roam the African savannas.
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The Last of the Big Tuskers
Pride of Lion
Black Mamba Anti Poaching Unit
Dehorning a Rhino in the Wild
Panel discussion with Brooke Bierhaus & other guests
The Last of the Big Tuskers | 60 minutes
"Last of the BIG Tuskers" focuses on the plight of Africa's remaining "Super-Tusker" (elephants with at least one tusk weighing at one hundred pounds or more). Only 100 years ago thousands of these animals roamed the wilds of Africa. Sadly today only an estimated 22 known individuals survive on the continent of Africa. This documentary features the life of "Isilo", the largest modern-day super tusker, who dies of natural causes in 2014. The film also features some of the other legends like "Tim", "Kamboyo", and "One Tonne" and the challenges facing these large bull elephants. If something is not done soon, our children and grand children will be hard-pressed to see a tusked elephant roaming the African continent. a sad testament to human evolution. WATCH TRAILER >
Pride of Lion | 6 minutes
Black Mamaba Anti Poaching Unit | 5 minutes
Dehorning a Rhino in the Wild | 5 minutes
The king of the beasts is going through a difficult time. His kingdom is shrinking. There have never been so few lions as there are today. The remaining wild cats are causing more and more conflicts. Even humans are being attacked. Now scientists are going down new avenues to protect the last lions together with the Maasai. But the question is: Has the king of the beasts come to the end of the road?
Boda Boda | 8 minutes
"Boda Boda" sits viewers down with former wildlife poachers in the Serengeti. The short film examines how the communities surrounding the Serengeti are being recruited to poach or to transport illegal wildlife, bushmeat, and ivory through the Western Corridor of of the Serengeti. Interviews with a Kijereshi Game Reserve Ranger, community leader, and young Boda Boda driver are weaved into the narrative.
Escape to Costa Rica: Jungle Stories
A Rainforest Reborn
To Catch a Macaw
Panel discussion Libor Spacek and Petra Dolezalova
Escape to Costa Rica: Jungle Stories | 50 minutes
The Costa Rica jungle is home to over half a million species. It hides unseen mysteries of life, only a fraction of which have ever been discovered by humans. Most of the creatures that the creators captured during their journey display exceptional abilities – basilisks that can run across the surface of water, frogs that change into leaves, sloths that live largely upside-down, and Atta leafcutter ants, whose antibiotic production would be the envy of any pharmaceutical giant. Equally worthy of attention are the feathered denizens of the jungle, such as toucans and tanagers, and macaws, which Project Ara works tirelessly to rescue and use to repopulate their territory. Costa Ricans are well aware of their extraordinary natural wealth, and they protect their treasure with an exceptional range of national parks and protected areas. The jungle can, however, be dangerous. It’s a test for anybody who wishes to explore it – the jungle will try their determination, courage, and ability to observe, listen, and blend in. The reward is unexpected self-knowledge.. WATCH TRAILER >
A Rainforest Reborn | 5 minutes
The Manu Biosphere Reserve, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. But even in this remote place, rainforest areas have been destroyed for agriculture and logging. However, in Manu's Crees Reserve, we have a story of hope, resilience and change; we have A Rainforest Reborn. After a decade of painstaking conservation work, species like the endangered spider monkey have returned to this rainforest. However, where life returns, so does the competition to survive. A Rainforest Reborn uses rare footage of these spider monkeys feeding in the clay lick of the Crees Reserve: a highly dangerous but integral feeding ritual. Through the story of a mother monkey teaching her daughter to be independent by accessing this clay alone, we see the places we've previously destroyed become wild again. In a world of conservation chaos, A Rainforest Reborn brings us hope.
Mayas | 12 minutes
Mayas focuses on orangutan conservation in Sarawak, Malaysia. We follow this conservation through the lives of the Iban tribe, whom share the Sarawak jungle alongside Orangutans. They have an ancient belief that Orangutans helped to teach their ancestors how to survive in the jungle and other vital jungle lessons such as giving birth, in return for protection. Therefore they devote their time working alongside charities to monitor orangutan populations and protect them from poaching. Another key message in the film is how the Iban’s livelihood depends on tourism. If Orangutans become extinct, it is likely that the Iban’s will also cease to exist.
To Catch a Macaw | 12 minutes
Field biologist Erica Pacífico and her team are on a mission to find endangered Lear’s macaw chicks. The task, however, is not easy. These birds nest in small natural caves on sheer sandstone cliffs, difficult to access. The Lear’s macaw is one of the rarest birds in the world, being found only in the arid Caatinga forest of Northeast Brazil. Despite their rarity, they are at great risk from the pet trade and habitat loss. Join Erica on this daring adventure to collect the vital data that will protect the future of these exquisite creatures in the wild