Half a century after Born Free, Kenya's lion's are under threat...
The Born Free story began with lions, and now 50 years later, A Lion’s Tale looks at the legacy that actress turn conservationist Virginia McKenna has left and the conflicts that lions and all wildlife face in Kenya.
Set in the the original heartland of the true father of lions, we journey to Meru National Park to see the Born Free team and Kenya wildlife service rangers on the front line of conflict and education.
The world’s largest ivory burn is about to take place, as a symbol
of Kenya’s determination to help all wildlife and stop the illegal
Will the next generation take up the challenge?
Is there hope?
"To emotionally engage and raise awareness.."
For me, the purpose of making A Lion's Tale was to emotionally engage and raise awareness audiences - focusing on one of the major issues not only concerning lions, but all wildlife in Kenya. The original Born Free story captured the emotions of millions during its release in 1956, a time when our relationship with the natural world was viewed negatively. I felt it timely to produce with the upcoming Ivory burn and CITES meetings, and wanted to shoot cinematically and use the characters voices in the film for audiences to connect with and care about the cause - not be lectured on it. The major theme of the film is hope - an emotion that all humans can relate to and a message that I believe everyone involved in the filmmaking and conservation industry can use as a device to inspire and drive change.
Lions have declined by 90% in the past 50 years...
Their numbers have declined by 90% since the making of the film, and the recent lion census has revealed that in Meru poisoning, snaring and hunting is threatening the last remaining populations of the original lions raised by George Adamson. As the team search for answers across the dramatic landscape, it ultimately leads them the locals whose livelihoods are equally at risk from these majestic predators.
Despite being at the peak of her career the film and all it still stands for changed her life...It’s powerful message stayed with her after the film. And so she gave up Hollywood and began a lifetime of campaigning across the world to save animals from commercial exploitation, imprisonment, cruelty and the loss of their natural habitat focusing relentlessly on her personal mission with the Born Free Foundation.
Without urgent action, lions could become extinct in the wild within our life time- and currently there are less lions than rhino in the wild…
Can the team help convince the new generation of Borana of the value of lion? Will they change from hunters to conservationists? Will Virginia's lion legacy be felt in the true heartland where it matters most?