RHINO POACHING WAR FILM FUNDED BY GLOBAL COMMUNITY
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 20, 2017) – On Friday, narrative short film Sides of a Horn received full funding and is moving into pre-production. 235 passionate philanthropists and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world have contributed over $57,000, making Sides of a Horn the fifth highest funded short film of all time on Kickstarter. Launched one month ago on World Rhino Day, the campaign has been shared by tens of thousands across social media; was honored by Kickstarter with the prestigious “Project We Love” badge; and was a featured project on their homepage.
Based on actual events, the dramatic film details the rhino poaching epidemic from the perspective of the three characters most directly affected: the ranger, the poacher, and the rhino. The short film is set to begin filming on location in South Africa in early-2018, and a feature-length adaptation is to follow. It is the first film to present an unbiased narrative of South Africa’s rhino poaching war.
“The rhino poaching crisis is complex and the conversation around it must go beyond simple right and wrong,” notes the film’s writer and director Toby Wosskow. “That is why our story is crafted in a non-didactic way, exposing both sides of the struggle.”
Wildlife crime is the world’s fourth largest illegal industry, and it is at an all-time high. A single rhino horn can fetch up to three hundred thousand U.S. dollars on the black market in China and Vietnam. By weight, it is worth more than gold or cocaine, and the demand in the Far East is fueling a war on the ground in South Africa. The human death toll is rising, but it is the rhino that faces extinction.
“This is a multi-billion dollar trade run by highly-organized international crime syndicates," explains Emmanuel Castis, South African Producer and Conservationist. “But it is the communities on the ground in South Africa that are being torn apart and, for the first time, their story will be told.”
Sides of a Horn will expose the social impact of the rhino horn trade in a similar way that Blood Diamond did for the diamond trade—humanizing those on the ground, creating awareness, and catalyzing positive change. The team of U.S. and South African filmmakers are partnering with influential conservationists and global organizations to release the film around the world with a direct call to action.
“This war is primarily being fought on the African continent, but the impact is global. That is why we decided to come to a global community to raise the funds,” notes Wosskow. “The strength of the short film medium is the ability to tell vital, urgent stories and capture the public’s attention quickly on the Internet. And this story is as urgent as they come. We can stop this war and save this species, but the first step is awareness, so what better way to begin this journey than by inviting people from around the world to join our team. We want to thank everyone who has played a part in getting us to this next step. We are stronger in numbers.”
The project will be filmed in the townships impacted by the crisis and in the game reserves that combat poaching on a daily basis. Months of research, countless hours on the ground, and relationships with local community leaders aid the team in keeping authenticity at the forefront of the project.
To find out more information and to follow the film's progress, visit: www.rhinomovie.com
Charlie Hicks | 910.612.5080
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