The Final Mile to the Harrowing Tale
KING OF BEASTS:
The Story of Lion Trophy Hunting
Launches Unique IndieGogo Campaign
Beginning in the summer of 2011, a production four years in the making will launch a final push to spread its message to the world. KING OF BEASTS: THE STORY OF LION TROPHY HUNTING is a provocative and timely documentary by award-winning directors Nadav Harel (AREA K: A POLITICAL FISHING DOCUMENTARY, ELECTRIC MIND, ABSENT GOD) and Tomer Almagor (9 FULL MOONS, SPARE), who explore the motivation and fascination behind the highly controversial industry of lion trophy hunting and the environment and economies in which hunters pursue their ultimate ambition.
With unprecedented access and unique firsthand footage to illustrate this breathtaking and complex story, KING OF BEASTS dives deep into an American hunter’s relentless pursuit of his 14th lion trophy and unveils the inner workings of an economy whose sole sustenance is provided by such hunters. This thought-provoking documentary profiles the hunter himself, as well as activists around the world who seek to secure the lion’s survival beyond this threatened generation. It throws into stark relief the question of where savagery truly lies – and who is the King of Beasts.
Co-director Nadav Harel: “KING OF BEASTS tells an unvarnished story of an inconvenient reality, laying out the powerful facts for anyone striving to revolutionize the politics of our natural treasures on a global scale. Our time filming in the wilderness of Namibia and Tanzania revealed a complex economy of conflicts, territory, food, and money.”
“It’s not romantic,” agrees Co-director Tomer Almagor. “I started this project with the intention of saving African lions. I’ve met trophy hunters, scientists, activists and even politicians. The relationship between man and nature in Africa today is far more complex and nuanced than I anticipated, but I hope that our film serves as an alarm call, and a platform for dialogue between all the different parties involved, on the way to change and conserve our wildlife for future generations.”
As public concern over lion trophy hunting has risen, through the death of Zimbabwe’s beloved Cecil the Lion in 2015 and advocacy of celebrities like Ricky Gervais, Betty White, Ian Sommerhalder, Sharon Osbourne, Debra Messing and Rose McGowan, KING OF BEASTS was shot over the course of four increasingly tense years at the blurry intersection of adventure, orientalism, economics, and Western privilege. Its primary photography wrapped and picture locked, KING OF BEASTS now seeks funding to finalize sound design, score, coloring, mastering, and branding to bring its important tale to the world.
“KING OF BEASTS has worldwide commercial appeal – to mainstream and peripheral groups alike – because of the passion its subject inspires and the timeliness of the questions it raises,” says producer Gabrielle Almagor. “The beauty and majesty of the cinematography and impeccable choice in direction reveal a phenomenon we have not yet explored in a feature-length documentary. There is no precedent to show what elimination of the top of the food chain does to ecological balance. This film allows the viewer to see all the threats facing the lions of Africa and be a part of the danger, problems, dialogue, and (we hope) the solution in a never-before-seen way.”
KING OF BEASTS: THE STORY OF LION TROPHY HUNTING fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo launches this week with an initial goal of $50,000. Visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/king-of-beasts-the-story-of-lion-trophy-hunting for more information and to make a contribution.
Producers include Gabrielle Almagor, Bryan Gambogi, Nadav Harel and Mark Steele.