SPECIAL CONSULTANT/LEAD CHARACTER
Ian Michler is a safari operator, specialist wilderness guide, consultant and environmental photojournalist. He has lived and worked across Africa for the last 25 years. His feature articles, diaries and blogs documenting the major conservation challenges facing Africa, and especially those on predator breeding and trophy hunting are well known to readers of a number of award winning publications and magazines. He is an ecotourism consultant for both private and government sectors, and currently channels his conservation work through The Conservation Action Trust (www.conservationaction.co.za).
Ian is also a member of the International League of Conservation Writers, and is author of seven natural History and travel books on various African countries. Prior to his life in the wilderness, Ian was a partner in one of South Africa’s leading stockbroking firms. He is a co-founder and owner of Invent Africa Safaris (www.inventafrica.com), a specialist safari company that runs trips to 15 countries across the continent, and is a Director of Eden to Addo (www.edentoaddo.co.za), a successful regional corridor conservation initiative.
Blood Lions is Bruce’s directorial debut. Drawn by the plight of the lions and our relationship with wild animals, this is the perfect project for Bruce to bring his storytelling skills to the fore. Prior to this, Bruce spent 10 years working as an actor in SA and the USA, appearing in Lethal Weapon 2 opposite Mel Gibson. He then worked on the production end of the business in Los Angeles for a number of years before returning to SA to co-start AFDA, SA’s biggest film and drama school. During this time he also established himself as a local screenwriter and has written scripts for a broad range of film genres and styles including feature films, television dramas, sitcoms and natural history documentaries. Highlights include head-writing on MNet’s League Of Glory, writing the script for the ROSCAR award-winning Kalahari Tails and being a member of the team that won a SAFTA writing award for the series Sokhulu & Partners.
Based out of Cape Town, South Africa with a deep love for the natural world, Nick is a Director/Cameraman with some 30 years experience in filming socio-environmental documentaries around Africa. He focuses on stories relating to wildlife, research, conservation education and community-based projects throughout Africa, working with local and international TV production companies and a variety of charities/NGOs. www.chevallierproductions.co.za
CEO WILDLANDS – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Andrew has BSc, BSc Honours and Master degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a PhD in community based conservation from the (then) University of Natal. His PhD was undertaken in and around the Kruger National Park, where he developed and implemented policies and procedures for the Park’s community conservation projects. On completing his PhD he spent the next 5 years in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (now iSimangaliso Wetland Park) working with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to develop the World Heritage site’s community based conservation strategies. He left in 2000 to become CEO of the Wildlands Trust which later merged with the KZN Conservation Trust to form the Wildlands Conservation Trust.
Under his leadership, Wildlands has grown to become one of South Africa’s most significant environmental NGO’s, employing over 1 300 full time staff; touching the lives of over 7 000 green-preneurs through the Wildlands Trees for Life, Recycling for Life and uBuntu Earth Programs; restoring over 1 000 ha and planting over 1 000 000 indigenous trees per annum through the Wildlands Greening Your Future Program; managing over 25 000 ha of formal and community conservation area through the Wildlands Farming the Wild Program; and supporting a number of conservation partnerships through the Maputoland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot Program, Conservation Capital Fund and Blue Fund.
Pippa’s career in high-end eco-tourism across Southern Africa spanned more than 20 years. After working with a number of well-known large hotel chains, she soon discovered her interest lay in smaller, privately owned game lodges and hotels. Her company – now known as Classic Portfolio – was responsible for the international positioning and branding of a select collection of high-end, privately owned properties across Southern Africa. For the next ten years following the sale of the business in 2001, she served as a Trustee on the boards of a number of conservation organisations, whilst simultaneously supporting various environmental initiatives close to her heart. In 2013 Pippa founded Regulus Vision Pty Ltd to produce the feature documentary, Blood Lions®, which premiered in July 2015. She is now actively involved in the Blood Lions Campaign which was launched immediately after the film’s release, and which is aimed at creating global awareness and to help bring an end to captive predator breeding and ‘canned’ hunting in South Africa.
One of South Africa’s leading producers, Jeremy Nathan has produced numerous features, television dramas, documentaries and short films over the last 25 years. Most recent films are Mandela’s Gun, Cuckold, Layla Fourie, and How to Steal 2 Million. He has written for numerous publications, lectured at a variety of conferences and universities, and has advised the South African government and National Film and Video Foundation on film finance. Jeremy is committed to creating commercial, challenging stories that are innovative and authentically South African. (www.Dv8.co.za)
Dave Cohen has been working in the film and communications industry for the past 10 years. He started his career at JWT, an advertising agency in Johannesburg where he worked as a client service executive. However, the desire to be more involved in the creative side of film lead him to move to a small production company, Ashes 2 Flames, where he learnt the full spectrum of film production, involving camerawork, animation and film editing. In 2012 he returned to his hometown of Cape Town, where he has been working as a freelance filmmaker. Some of his more notable projects have been short films about climate change, social development with township youths, and a series of short films about food security for the International Trade Centre.
Fabian is a highly emotive songwriter and richly talented musician who brings a theatrical and epic element to all his scoring. A much sought after creative energy in the South African film business, he has won numerous awards for his work in commercials, short films and exhibitions as composer, producer and sound engineer. In 2010, he wrote the score for the short film ‘Bomlambo. Those of the water’, for which he won “Best Fantasy Short” at the New York International Film Festival as well as “Merit Award for Best Overall Project” at the M-Net EDIT awards. In addition that year, he composed all the music for the South African exhibition at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. In 2011, he received his first feature film commission to provide the score for the South African horror movie ‘Rancid’. He won a Bronze Loerie and Campaign Silver for Kagiso, the new Nando’s CEO. He was also nominated for Best Recording Engineer at the 2011 South African Music Awards.
The NSPCA has huge animal welfare concerns for the animals exploited in the captive predator and canned hunting industry in South Africa. This industry is unregulated, uncontrolled and is responsible for untold cruelty. It is a tragedy that our wild animals are reduced to profit making machines. Coupled with this members of public are unwittingly encouraging and supporting this cruelty, so it is vital that the public are aware of the truth behind the industry so they can make informed decisions and hopefully choose not to support such an unethical industry.
Breeding magnificent wild creatures like lions in camps so that they can be slaughtered for ego and money is unconscionable and should be outlawed. Lions have the right to live in the wild and to continue playing their unique role within the ecological communities of Africa. The continued existence of the canned hunting industry is a moral outrage that diminishes us all. This important film shines a light into the dark corners of this ugly business.
Cruel, barbaric, macabre – all words used by Australian MPs about lion farming and the canned lion hunting industry in SA. Our campaign was glad to be able to assist and participate in a full length documentary that aims to expose a brutal industry whose whole business model is routine, egregious cruelty to helpless animals – for fun.
Captive lions have long been a blemish on South Africa’s wildlife and tourism landscape and their tragic story needed to be exposed before these practices negatively impacted on Brand South Africa. Congratulations to all involved in taking the time and making this happen.
“As a travel and conservation based organization, we find the “Blood Lions” documentary deeply disturbing. Despite being hard to watch, we urge people to get out there and see it. It is important to shed light on the dark and corrupt business of rearing lions for the purposes of hunting, in hopes of making a positive change. As we polled our membership, we found that individually each of our companies have chosen to stop booking all activities that contribute to this industry.”
South Africa’s failure to address the canned hunting industry has emboldened those who make a living out of the death of lions bred, raised and slaughtered on a ‘no kill, no fee’ basis. The canned hunting industry is unnatural, unethical and unacceptable. It delivers compromised animal welfare and zero education. It undermines conservation and creates a moral vacuum now inhabited by the greed and grotesque self-importance of those who derive pleasure in the taking of life.
Blood Lions lays bare the truth behind the canned hunting industry that, far from contributing to the future survival of the species, may, in fact, accelerate extinction in the wild, leaving behind a trail littered with rotting corpses of its helpless and hopeless victims.
The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, in providing support for the making of this Documentary, does so in the firm belief that it is important that the true facts behind captive lion breeding and canned lion hunting in South Africa, is brought to the attention of a global audience in order to create awareness which in turn will lead to much needed change.
This is a timely, courageous as well as a deeply disturbing documentary. It is at the same time, a voice for the wild and the voiceless … of saying “NO MORE!” to that terrible triad of financial opportunism, deceit and indifference to the non-human animal by those claiming to be conservationists.
With the constant pressure on wildlife, every effort must be made to keep our last vestiges of natural fauna and flora protected. Canned hunting of any kind, along with the related consequences, must be condemned by humanity as not only a travesty of nature but also an utterly inhumane practise. Taming lion cubs only to later hunt them is an utterly inhumane practice. It is pseudo-hunting, a complete sham and does not even qualify as hunting on a sustainable use basis. Wildlife conservation has to evolve into practices that are ethical, humanitarian and sustainable. This will not be achieved if there is not real and fair community involvement which has not been part of the hunting fraternity’s evolution.
“Canned lion ‘hunting’ is nothing less than a bargain basement opportunity for foreign hunters to engage in one of South Africa’s most sordid practices. Hunting of captive bred lions entirely dependent on human fingerprints from cub to trophy is immoral, unethical and against all animal welfare concerns. The fact that it still continues as profitable commerce is a damning statement against all of us who have not properly engaged to snuff it out. Blood Lions is a good start to bring change.”
Dr Pieter Kat – Director: LionAid
© 2015 BLOOD LIONS™