Empowers Africa
Summer Films
August 19, 2019 | EMPOWERSAFRICA.ORG

We are thrilled to send our 2019 summer film list which consists of films recently screened at our event at The Southhampton Arts Center and the newly released, must-see documentary, Eye of the Pangolin. 

Below you'll find a recap of the films from the festival  including links to watch each, along with more details about Eye of the Pangolin, the latest Africa news, and more!

Empowers Africa Hosts World Lion & World Elephant Day Film Festival

Empowers Africa, in conjunction with the exhibition on view, National Geographic Photo Ark by Joel Satore, held a World Elephant Day and World Lion Day short film screening and panel discussion in Southampton, NY on Aug 11th, 2019. The event raised awareness for various elephant and lion-focused projects in Africa. 

Guests included Timothy Tear, Executive Director - Africa Region, Wildlife Conservation Society, who also served as master of ceremonies; James Currie, Documentary Film Maker & Brand Ambassador, Wilderness Safaris; Alexandra Hostetter, Director of Development, Big Life Foundation, and Ami Vitale (by video), Photojournalist and Documentary Film Maker. Event attendees included members of the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council including: Krista Krieger, Kim Charlton Liz Kelly, Laura Nicklas, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Catherine Howell, Nicci Young and Martha McGuinness. Purist magazine was the media sponsor for the event.

The evening included six short films about several incredible organizations devoted to conserving African wildlife and their communities including The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, Big Life Foundation, Wildlands, and Tsavo Trust.

 We hope enjoy the gallery of images from the evening below! 

World Lion & World Elephant Day Film Festival Images

Please continue reading for more information on these incredible films, along with links to watch. 


Reteti Elephant Sanctuary 

A film by Ami Vitale - 4:00 mins

The first two films of the evening by Ami Vitale chronicled Northern Kenya’s Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, the first-ever community-owned and run sanctuary in all of Africa, who rescue orphaned elephants and are looked after by local keepers from the Samburu community. Reteti operates in partnership with Conservation International who provide critical operational support and work to scale the Reteti community-centered model to create lasting impacts worldwide.

Please enjoy the films below!

Reteti Elephant Sanctuary: Community United for Elephants

Dave Matthews Visits Reteti Elephant Sanctuary 

A film by Ami Vitale - 3:40 mins

Dave Matthews Visits Reteti Elephant Sanctuary 

Maasai Olympics

Funded by Big Life Foundation / Made by Black Bean Productions - 8:07 mins

A four minute film by Big Life of the first ever Maasai Olympics, created to help eliminate lion hunting from the Maasai culture, organized and partly funded by Big Life Foundation. Featuring Guest of Honor, 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist, David Rudisha.

In 2008, the cultural “fathers” of the new warrior generation asked Maasailand Preservation Trust - now Big Life Foundation - to help them eliminate lion hunting from the Maasai culture.

In response to this, MPT/Big Life partnered with the Maasai of Amboseli/Tsavo - to conceive and raise the funding for this first-ever Maasai Olympics, part of the initiative to help to shift the attitudes of the Maasai toward a broader commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation as a preferred way of life in the 21st century.

Please enjoy the film below!

The Hunt for Medals, not Lions : The First Maasai Olympics

A Pride of Lion We Can Be Proud Of

Funded by Empowers Africa / Made by Black Bean Productions - 6:03 mins

This documentary tells the story of a pride of three lion (two female and one male) that were introduced into andBeyond Phinda back in 1992 and have flourished to the point that on regular occasions the lions have exceeded the carrying capacity of the reserve and have had to be trans-located to other reserves in South Africa.

Wild lion numbers are declining across Africa due mainly to habitat loss and poaching. It’s crucial for the future protection and conservation of the African lion that we expand and protect new range. The introduction of lion into the Somkhanda Game Reserve is a massive boost for lion conservation in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa and Africa. It will help reverse the current trend of declining lion numbers and wild lion range.

Please enjoy the film below!

A pride of lion we can be proud of

Tsavo Trust - Holistic Conservation

A Film by Tsavo Trust - 5:59 mins

This film by Tsavo Trust,  an action oriented, field-based Kenyan not-for-profit conservation organization, highlighted the organization’s holistic approach to conservation and how they work to give the wildlife and people of Tsavo the right to a future. 

This film will launch shortly, please watch this space. 

Last of the Big Tuskers

A Film by James Currie, Greg Nelson, Tom Mahamba and Johan Marais - 37:33 mins

In December of 2013 the largest elephant in the world was seen for the last time. His name in Zulu was Isilo, which means “king of kings”. Conservationists searched months on end for his body until in late March of 2014 the carcass of the giant was found in the African bush, his magnificent nine-foot tusks GONE. Tom Mahamba was one of the last people to see Isilo alive in Tembe Elephant Park, the place he calls home on the South African side of the border with Mozambique.

A big tusker elephant is an elephant with at least one tusk weighing 100 pounds or more. Only 100 years ago, thousands roamed the wilds of Africa. Sadly today only 22 remain. Last of the Big Tuskers focuses on the last of these iconic animals and what is being done to keep them safe.

Please watch the trailer below:

Pangolin.Africa's Groundbreaking new Documentary, 'Eye of the Pangolin' Available to Stream Online
A Temminck’s Ground Pangolin in the Kalahari in southern Africa, fitted with a telemetry device to help monitor his behavior and distribution range. © Eye of the Pangolin film
Eye of the Pangolin, the ground-breaking new documentary about the most trafficked mammal on earth is available to watch online.

Pangolin.Africa, an NPO dedicated to the conservation of this species and a major partner in the production of the film, is taking a unique approach to distribution of this much-anticipated film, in a bold attempt to make this the most watched wildlife documentary ever.

Says, Toby Jermyn, director of Pangolin.Africa, “We are fortunate to have secured funding for production of the film so we don’t have to sell it on to networks to recoup costs. As we are not tied to a distributor, we’re able to make it freely available as an open source film, allowing us to reach the greatest possible number of viewers in the shortest possible time. The widespread accessibility of the internet – even in remote areas - means fewer barriers to entry for viewers than if we were to screen the film in cinemas. Currently the most watched wildlife documentary on YouTube has around 10 million views and we are determined to exceed this.”
Eye of The Pangolin: A Search for An Animal on The Edge
Pangolin.Africa’s participation in the production of the film aligns strongly with one of the primary aims of the NGO which is to highlight the plight of the four African pangolin species. To ensure the greatest impact of the film the organization will be translating Eye of the Pangolin into a number of African languages and will take the film to rural schools and other educational establishments in high poaching areas across the continent through an intensive screening campaign.

The situation facing the African pangolin has reached a tipping point. A growing demand for their scales and meat used in Traditional Chinese Medicine is fueling the horrific poaching and illegal trade that is pushing this species to the edge of extinction. In April 2019 alone, two separate seizures by Singaporean customs officials resulted in more than 24 tonnes of pangolin scales being confiscated. This equates to approximately 69,000 pangolins.

The producers of Eye of the Pangolin believe that if people come to know the pangolin they will care enough to help put an end to this wildlife crime before this species disappears in our lifetime. In addition to creating widespread awareness of the species, the film will also serve as a free online tool for education in schools, wildlife colleges and environmental law enforcement agencies. 

“We are excited about the incredible potential the film has to tell people about pangolins and the urgent need to work together to save them. We are confident that embracing modern and freely available distribution channels is the most effective approach to help us quickly gain ground in the fight to save a species.” says Jermyn.

The production of Eye of the Pangolin film has been made possible with generous support from WildAid, The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, Foundation Marchig, Tanglewood Foundation, Biggestleaf Travel, and Pangolin Photo Safaris. 
 Africa News to Know
Links to The Latest News 

High Court In Pretoria, South Africa, Rules That Lion Bone Export Quota Is Unlawful & The Welfare Of The Animals Must Be Considered
World Animal News

How the New Lion King Film Could Help the Real-Life Lion Crisis
Town & Country

Interactive Exhibit Raises Awareness for Endangered Species


Inside the Heroic Mission to Save Thousands of Baby Flamingos
Discover Magazine

'Serengeti' offers stunning, emotional look at African Wildlife
New York Post
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