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Shamwari Game Reserve Story Ideas Tanner 2 was darted yesterday by vet Murray Stokoe (in Dr Joubert's absence as he is in hospital for a broken ankle) for a follow up treatment. Here is what veterinarian Murray Stokoe had to say about his condition: “We did a follow up treatment with Tanner 2 yesterday and we’re happy to report that his nose is healing very well although his leg is taking a little time to heal but improving every day. The main concern now is the extent of the damage to his eyes which we will only know over time. He is eating much better and should pick up strength and overall condition as time progresses.” Below is a picture of Tanner 2 with Clint, another orphaned rhino from a poaching incident earlier this year at Kariega Game Reserve. The two rhino have bonded well and are being rehabilitated at Shamwari.


(Rhino Phila, who survived being shot 9 times) NHU Africa’s Saving Rhino Phila wins Panda Award NHU Africa’s production, Saving Rhino Phila has won a prestigious Panda Award for best film in the Nature Conservancy Enviornment and Conservation category at the Wildscreen Film Festival in Bristol, UK. The Wildscreen festival is the longest standing and most respected wildlife film festival in the world, drawing top names from broadcasters like Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic. The film was commissioned by NHU Africa and produced by Triosphere and directed by Richard Slater-Jones. The film was steered from conception to completion by NHU Africa’s commissioning editor and creative director Vyv Simson, who had this to say about last night’s accomplishment; “Winning a Panda Award at Wildscreen is about as good as it gets in this business. I’m so pleased and so proud of everyone who has worked so hard.


This award has placed the whole of the South African wildlife film making industry centre stage.” Oloff Bergh, producer from Triosphere was also extremely pleased to recieve the award, and explained initial motivation for the film; “As a team of passionate wildlife filmmakers and conservationists, we were desperate to bring the world’s attention to the mass slaughter of South Africa’s rhinos. But, we had to create a concept which would appeal to international audiences. Just another news piece about “the war on rhinos” was not going to have an impact. Phila’s tragic ordeal presented the ideal opportunity to tell one rhino’s story in a personalized yet compelling and informative way. Winning the Panda award for Saving Rhino Phila not only gives deserved recognition to the highly talented, committed and passionate team that produced the film – but it accentuates the original objective of drawing the world’s attention to the plight of rhinos in South Africa.” Saving Rhino Phila is a 52 minute documentary that tells the harrowing tale of Phila, who survived being shot nine times on two separate occasions in attempts to kill her for her horn. It is a powerful story that identifies the individual struggles of both owners and rhinos in the ongoing battle to keep the species from falling prey to the persistent and brutal attacks by poachers. Saving Rhino Phila set out to educate people about this through the use of dramatic recreations and the compelling struggle for survival against the odds by heroine Phila. According to director Slater-Jones, the film is meant to “hit the audience between the eyes” and hopefully stem the tide of demand for rhino horn on an international level.


INTERVIEW: FILMMAKER/PRESENTER RICHARD TERRY by NHU Africa on Thursday, 23 June 2011 at 11:59 路

Richard Terry Richard is a documentary cameraman, filmmaker and TV Presenter. He has worked on a wide range of television documentaries & dramas, some in extreme locations such as the Arctic, jungles and deserts. Among his best works are A Man Among Wolves and the two critically acclaimed film series Stranger Among Bears, and Alone among Grizzlies With Richard Terry. _____________________________________________________________________ ________ You recently attended the Wild Talk Africa Festival in South Africa; did you enjoy visiting the country? My trip to Cape Town and the Wild Talk Africa film festival were memorable in so many ways. However, co-hosting the awards ceremony took me right out of my comfort zone, having to stand on stage under a bright spotlight before a room filled with so many industry high-rollers - thankfully I seemed to have come out unscarred and didn't collect any rotten vegetable skins. Sitting on a couple of panels afforded me the opportunity to feel a part of a special group of like-minded people, some of whom I made an instant connection with and have since become friends. These encounters could very well lead to future filming collaborations - it would be an absolute pleasure and a most rewarding experience to work alongside them. Thankfully, I did get to see a little more than the inside of Spier hotel in Stellenbosch, where the festival was held. With a long weekend in Cape Town, I managed to visit the spectacular Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, horse ride and swim in the invigorating Cape waters with Gully sharks, penguins and Fur seals. I even had the chance to test out my lungs by free diving through a spectacular system of tunnels and a cave beneath a kelp forrest having just recovered from a lung disease called Histoplasmosis which I and the rest of the team had picked up whilst filming inside bat caves in Mexico. ____________________________________________________________________


What production are you currently working on? I am currently the presenter on a new adventure & wildlife film series for Nat Geo Wild channel called 'Man V Monster'. So far we have made 3 x 1hour episodes produced by Optomen, a New York based production company who recently made 'Monsters Inside Me' for Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. The first of our adventures were filmed in the Brazilian Amazon, Southern Mexico and on remote islands in Indonesia. All people involved are very pleased with the finished films. The show will premiere in the USA aprox. end of May 2011. We are waiting to hear if and when we will be asked to make more episodes - viewing figures will be a large deciding factor. *You can catch Richard’s new series Man V Monster which premieres in the US Monday, May 30th on Nat Geo Wild.

Richard during his work with Grizzlies For more information about Richard, you can visit his website atwww.richardterry.eu


Interview with crew from "Saving Rhino Phila" by NHU Africa on Thursday, 23 June 2011 at 11:12 ·

How did you come across Rhino Phila and her story? Oloff Bergh- Executive Producer: Triosphere wanted to contribute to efforts to create global awareness of the rampant increase in rhino poaching in South Africa. Whilst the local news media was carrying almost daily stories of new poaching incidents, the international reach was minimal and the stories were essentially generic i.e. “another rhino slaughtered by poachers”. This was highly unlikely to appeal to international factual programming networks. During the course of our research into rhino poaching, we came across Phila’s story. This presented the perfect opportunity to personalize the war on rhinos in a “Saving Private Ryan” approach. And so “Saving Rhino Phila” was conceived… _____________________________________________________________________ What are you hoping to achieve with the production of this film, and where are you hoping it will go? Richard Slater-Jones - Director: What we would like to achieve with this film is an absorbing, emotional, but above all, entertaining hour of television, that cuts through all the crap out there on hundreds of channels. Importantly, we want to reach the audience that doesn’t give a damn about rhino’s, or doesn’t really go out of their way to watch wildlife or conservation films. An immersive cinematic experience is what will draw this audience into Phila’s story. We are not preaching to the converted, nor are we trying to solve the rhino poaching problem here - we just want to create a global awareness of the problem and its surprising complexities. From there it’s out of our hands – but it may affect enough individuals to create a groundswell awareness,


and the spin offs from that could help rhinos to survive at least for the next generation to see and experience in the wild. Then it’s up to that generation. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________

Phila running How did you build the back story for this film? Richard Slater-Jones - Director: The back story for this film – Phila’s incredible tale of survival – was built primarily through the scripting of dramatic recreations of the events, presented in a featuresque style. We drew from the evidence of what may have happened to Phila, from ballistics investigations to accounts from people close to Phila (there were no eye-witnesses) and scouting the actual locations where the poaching incidents happened. We also drew from other known poaching incidents, and the modus operandi of the poachers, to piece together our scripted drama of Phila surviving two poaching attempts on her life. We then put together a fantastic team from the feature film and commercials industry, to bring Phila’s story to life in a stylised way. Our lead actor, the ‘Poacher boss” was the bad guy from ‘District 9’ and he brought a beautiful dark side to the poachers who hunted Phila down.


Of course Phila’s story isn’t over so a large part of her story was documented in the present day, and we drew from actual footage of her shot by her owner just after the attacks as well. _____________________________________________________________________ ____________ Have you encountered any opposition from any particular parties with regard to interviews, access to locations etc? Richard Slater-Jones - Director: You wouldn’t believe the opposition we’ve encountered to get access to individuals and locations. The rhino poaching problem in South Africa has everyone in the industry really scared, cautious or untrusting – often a combination of all three. We’ve had the most incredible access to alleged poachers, police investigators, ballistics lab reports, special forces, rhino owners and antipoaching teams but a lot of that was ‘off the record’. As soon as we wanted to take the cameras out for an interview, the barriers went up – from alleged corruption in the police and government to ‘so-called’ kingpins of the poaching crime syndicates. Reasons not to talk on camera varied from landowners fearing the location of their rhinos would be leaked to the poachers, to cops fearing for the lives of their families because they had uncovered too much. It was a really tough shoot with constant obstacles to our progress, but despite all the crazy stuff we learnt behind the scenes, we still managed to get some amazing interviews and footage to build perspective around Phila’s story. Kira Ivanoff – Producer: Trying to set up interviews with anyone in the police force was possibly the most difficult and frustrating job I have ever encountered on a production. I was passed from pillar to post so many times that I would eventually end up back at the beginning again. In some cases we rejoiced at the eventual permission to interview an individual, only to find out a day later that the permission had been revoked. The upshot is that some of these curve-balls led us to dig deeper to find willing interviewees, most of whom, offered us fantastic insights, which we would never have stumbled upon had we gone with our original choice. These ‘curve-ballsturned-home-runs’, featured a lot in the production of Saving Rhino Phila, and gave us a strong sense of being on the right path. To a certain extent, the production took on its own evolutionary arc – as our network of contacts increased, so the web of information expanded and all the dots started joining up. It was fascinating to be a part of this process.


Ranger and victim of rhino horn poaching _____________________________________________________________________ We heard you have had to conduct interviews with people who have very different perspectives to you, what was the most difficult and hard-hitting interview you had, and has it affected your view on the topic? Kira Ivanoff – Producer: It was a hugely enlightening journey to gather up the opinions of such an incredibly diverse group of people. From wealthy businessmen commercially farming rhinos and stockpiling their horns in anticipation of the CITES ban being lifted, to wildlife purists who have devoted their lives to protecting rhinos in the wild. The fascinating realisation is the fact that every contradicting opinion had a very strong argument behind it and it became impossible to subscribe to any one ideal in the end. There is no single solution to the rhino poaching crisis and this is a theme which will present itself very clearly in the narrative of the film. The audience has to make up their own mind. It’s a huge shock to realise how little we all knew when we set out on our ‘Saving Rhino Phila’ journey – and I mean public knowledge here too. The media is not even giving us the tip of the iceberg at present. Richard Slater-Jones - Director: I enjoy different perspectives, even if the views are polar opposite to mine, so I quite enjoyed the variety of interview subjects we talked to. The hardest part about the interviews was the constant ‘scratching beneath the surface’ to access the information and emotion that normally remains hidden, unless provoked. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________ How do you feel about the measures being taken to protect the black rhino? Have you met anti-poaching units, what were they like? Richard Slater-Jones - Director: There is a huge amount of effort from many sides trying to protect both the black and white rhino. All the anti-poaching patrols we met with and worked with are incredibly dedicated, and put their lives on the line because the poachers are heavily armed and well funded. But the poaching is so out of control, that the anti-poaching units are not going to be able to stop or slow down the poaching


by themselves – we explore other options, efforts and potential solutions in the film, ranging from the unexpected to the bizarre. Kira Ivanoff – Producer: The public, on the whole have also become an enormous anti-poaching unit, countrywide. There is such a huge awareness out there now that no chopper flies by unnoticed any more. Every hum of propellers in the distance smells of poachers on a mission. During our recreation shoot we blanked out the registration numbers on the chopper (to simulate what the poachers do) and our pilot had genuine fears of being shot out of the sky should he venture over neighbouring properties. We also had an incident when the chopper first arrived on set, where the radios on all the neighbouring farms were ablaze with activity - nobody had been alerted of its planned arrival, the whole area was in a tizz. And then there was the awful road transfer of our lead actor back to Johannesburg, who unfortunately had to travel in the vehicle that was towing our fake rhino carcass, complete with bloody face and sawn-off horn. He said the looks that passing motorists gave him were anything but kind. Luckily he’d just spent four days acting as poacher-boss, so he didn’t take it too personally. _____________________________________________________________________ ____________ Has this been an emotional film to work on? How has it changed you and your perspectives on this subject? Kira Ivanoff – Producer: It’s been very emotional. Seeing a dead rhino for the first time struck me to the core. Listening to some of our interviewees, I couldn’t stem my tears. Some, because their accounts were so heart-rending, others because their ideals were so inspiring. It’s also been a rollercoaster of emotions on other levels. We would set out to shoot a scene, only to find that the scenario had changed by the time we got there. Sometimes leading us on a totally different tangent - sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse - frustration and elation all the way. Personally I’ve had my own epiphany through this process, having to swallow my strong opinions on animal rights in order to be able to be the impartial and open-minded producer that the situation called for. It’s been a wonderful mix of personal growth and inner strength that can only be attributed to the fact that it’s such an incredibly worthy cause we’re working on. Richard Slater-Jones - Director: Working on this film has opened my eyes to the scale of and nature of the poaching. It is not a simple problem and there are no simple solutions, and as you scratch beneath the surface it becomes a more and more bizarre world complete with unexpected twists and darkly colourful characters. It’s been a fascinating, disturbing journey, challenging our preconceptions every step of the way.


_____________________________________________________________________ ____________ What has been your highlight and most inspiring moment?

on location filming "Saving Rhino Phila" Richard Slater-Jones - Director: My highlight was seeing the recreations come to life. The teamwork, sleep deprivation, gunshots, laughter, blood and tears were a potent mix to bring Phila’s story of survival onto the screen. Kira Ivanoff – Producer: I have to agree with Richard (and not just because he’s the director!) I loved being involved in the recreation shoot. It’s about as far from a normal everyday natural history shoot as you can get and it was fascinating and so rewarding to see the final results! The team spirit was phenomenal and every person on the crew felt a personal quest towards the realistic portrayal of Phila’s nightmare ordeal. We had our fair share of curve-balls, as can be expected, but once again they all turned out for the best – our original chopper pilot let us down and instead we got a kick-ass pilot who more than delivered the dynamic visuals we needed, and after much desperate hunting through the normal channels, we finally found, through sheer coincidence, the best actor imaginable to portray our evil poacher boss. Between the two of them, they set our camera’s, and inspiration, alight. _____________________________________________________________________ ___________ Has there been any really low moments? Richard Slater-Jones - Director: Seeing a dead rhino from gunshot wounds is never pretty. Kira Ivanoff – Producer: The lowest moment for me would be if I didn’t think this film could make a difference. _____________________________________________________________________ ____________ Were there any particular scary filming experiences? Kira Ivanoff – Producer: There were a few moments where I feared for my crew members in choppers and had to dig deep into my faith in the pilot, and a few moments where I feared for the safety for some of the gear. Firing live rounds near excruciatingly expensive cameras is quite an adrenaline rush - you’ve got to pray your marksman’s got a steady hand that day!


Richard Slater-Jones - Director: I think the person who had the most scary experiences was our safety officer. As the person responsible for our safety, he had to undergo a mini-stroke at least a few times a day as he watched our lead actor hanging out the side of a chopper, doing the most daring flying through the tree tops, semiautomatic weapons with live rounds, chainsaws, handguns, crazy off-road driving and the chopper landing on highways. _____________________________________________________________________ ___________ Can you recall any humorous moments on production? Richard Slater-Jones - Director: For a film subject that involves death, despair and organised crime, we actually had a good few laughs – it’s inspiring to be surrounded with people who can still laugh, and have hope for the future, despite the onslaught of poaching affecting their lives very personally. Kira Ivanoff – Producer: Indeed, I almost feel guilty when I say that we had a huge amount of humour going round on this shoot. I think when people are faced with dire circumstances, they do dig deeper to find the humour in a situation. All of our contributors provided us with a healthy dose of laughs, for all sorts of reasons, and I’d like to think they enjoyed working with us as much as we enjoyed working with them. I look forward to seeing them laugh - and cry, when they watch the final product.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF CHEETAH DIARIES by NHU Africa on Thursday, 23 June 2011 at 10:23 · BEHIND THE SCENES OF CHEETAH DIARIES

A worthy cause The staffs at Cheetah Outreach was thrilled when visitors poured in from South Africa and around the world, coming to see their favourite characters from the show, like cheetah ambassador Shadow. We hope that the forthcoming season will achieve the same success and fire the growing public passion for this cause. Young cubs and the Anatolian guard dog breeding program. There are six cubs this time and we get to meet new characters like Sebastian, Minkie the Meerkats and Brandy the Mountain Lion. Season 2 was a great success with the Anatolian guard dog breeding program. We follow up on the progress of the project where pups were placed on farms. Here they will work as guardian’s protecting livestock and acting as a non-lethal predator control. This project is the single most important way that the Cheetah Outreach is helping to conserve the wild cheetah. It is always such a privilege to be able to get up close and personal with amazing animals like cheetahs. Nothing beats being allowed to play with a four week old, very fluffy, cheetah cub. It is definitely one of the many perks of being a wildlife filmmaker!


Inspirational Working with the team of handlers is a huge learning experience. Not only have they welcomed the crew with open arms, but also affording us the privilege of working alongside people who have great ardour for cheetah conservation. * Get in touch with Cheetah Outreach at their official website www.cheetah.co.za


Different Briefs Human/Animal interaction: This ranges from unique single stories like Into The Dragon’s Lair – an intense and frightening personal quest to dive with Nile Crocodiles in the Okavango- to Cheetah Diaries – a light observational documentary series following the ongoing the work of the dedicated staff at The Cheetah Outreach. All films in this area need strong characters, developing story lines and an ability to tell us something new about the needs, desires and connections that drive human relationships with wild animals. Adventure/Exploration: Proposals in this area can be unique stories like Ice Man –the story of Lewis Pugh’s one man mission to highlight climate change by swimming in Antarctica – or more entertainment led series based ideas. All submissions whether for series or single films need to be built around strong characters and have a strong sense of a quest. The Natural World/Blue Chip Natural History: This ranges from 3 part series like Chameleons of the World- concentrating on one unusual species – to single more personal films like A Kalahari Tale- focusing on one particular individual animal. Proposals in this area must tell strong, unusual and dramatic stories, have their focus on the wild animals and offer high visual values. Investigation/Revelation: Proposals in this area will tend to be more journalistic in approach. They can range from stories like The Search for The Knysna Elephants – one man’s attempts to challenge the official view that only one elephant remained in the Knysna Forest – to Free Passage to Angola – testing the notion that elephants are able to detect landmines. Proposals in this area should focus on unusual, difficult or controversial subjects and deliver genuine revelation.


http://www.screenafrica.com/page/news/festivals/1437875-SA-rhino-film-winsPanda-Award SA rhino film wins Panda Award Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:45

David James and Richard Slater-Jones on location The anti-rhino poaching documentary, Saving Rhino Phila, produced by South African company Triosphere for NHU Africa, has won the Wildscreen Panda Award in the Nature Conservancy Environment & Conservation Award. Panda Award winners were announced at the close of the Wildscreen Festival last week in Bristol, UK. Wildscreen is widely considered to be the top wildlife and environmental film festival in the world and the Pandas are often referred to as the ‘Green Oscars’. Saving Rhino Phila’s credits include: Oloff Bergh (executive producer); Kira Ivanoff (producer); Richard Slater-Jones (director); Michael Cleary (DOP); and Kathy Pienaar (editor). NHU Africa’s Vyv Simson was commissioning editor. Actor David James played the head villain in the film’s extensive dramatic reconstructions of rhino poaching.


Here is the list of Panda Award winners: Animal Behaviour Award Jungle Book Bear Films @ 59 Sound Award Frozen Planet - To the Ends of the Earth Earth Sciences Award How to Grow a Planet - Life from Light Panasonic Cinematography Award Frozen Planet - Winter Theatrical Award African Cats Music Award Last Lions Short Film Award Secret Life of Plankton Campaign Award TRUST Alaska Script Award How to Boil a Frog Disneynature Innovation Award Hippo: Nature's Wild Feast 3D Award Flying Monsters BBC Newcomer Award Water Brothers - Valley of the Damned The Nature Conservancy Environment & Conservation Award Saving Rhino Phila Editing Award The Green Universe Discovery People and Nature Award My Life as a Turkey


Presenter-led Award How to Grow a Planet: Life from Light Award to promote filmmakers from developing countries Ganga - Ribbon of Life UWE Popular Broadcast Award Meet the Sloths Series Award Joint winners - Frozen Planet & Human Planet Jury's Special Prize Hummingbirds: Jewelled Messengers New Media Award Kinect Nat Geo TV - America the Wild Children's Choice Award Super Smart Animals: Episode 1 WWF Golden Panda Award My Life as a Turkey Outstanding Achievement Award Alastair Fothergill For more information visit www.wildscreenfestival.org


Blog Entries on NHUAFRICA website 19 oct Saving Rhino Phila wins Panda Award at Wildscreen Posted by: chrismason / Tags: animal planet, bristol, discovery, national geographic, NHU Africa, Panda award, Rhino conservation, rhino horn, rhinos, richard slaterjones, Saving Rhino Phila, vyv simson, wildscreen film festival NHU Africa’s Saving Rhino Phila wins Panda Award NHU Africa’s production, Saving Rhino Phila has won a prestigious Panda Award for best film in the Nature Conservancy Enviornment and Conservation category at the Wildscreen Film Festival in Bristol, UK. The Wildscreen festival is the longest standing and most respected wildlife film festival in the world, drawing top names from broadcasters like Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic. The film was commissioned by NHU Africa and produced by Triosphere and directed by Richard Slater-Jones. The film was steered from conception to completion by NHU Africa’s commissioning editor and creative director Vyv Simson, who had this to say about last night’s accomplishment; “Winning a Panda Award at Wildscreen is about as good as it gets in this business. I’m so pleased and so proud of everyone who has worked so hard. This award has placed the whole of the South African wildlife film making industry centre stage.” Oloff Bergh, producer from Triosphere was also extremely pleased to recieve the award, and explained initial motivation for the film; “As a team of passionate wildlife filmmakers and conservationists, we were desperate to bring the world’s attention to the mass slaughter of South Africa’s rhinos. But, we had to create a concept which would appeal to international audiences. Just another news piece about “the war on rhinos” was not going to have an impact. Phila’s tragic ordeal presented the ideal opportunity to tell one rhino’s story in a personalized yet compelling and informative way. Winning the Panda award for Saving Rhino Phila not only gives deserved recognition to the highly talented, committed and passionate team that produced the film – but it accentuates the original objective of drawing the world’s attention to the plight of rhinos in South Africa.” Saving Rhino Phila is a 52min documentary that tells the harrowing tale of Phila, who survived being shot nine times on two separate occasions in attempts to kill her for her horn. It is a powerful story that identifies the individual struggles of both owners and rhinos in the ongoing battle to keep the species from falling prey to the persistent and brutal attacks by poachers. Saving Rhino Phila set out to educate people about this through the use of dramatic recreations and the compelling struggle for survival against the odds by heroine Phila. According to director Slater-Jones, the film is meant to “Hit the audience between the eyes” and hopefully stem the tide of demand for rhino horn on an international level.


Saving Rhino Phila – A Genre-Busting Documentary on the Massacre of a Species By Carin Bondar | October 18, 2012| This just in: Saving Rhino Phila is the winner of a much coveted Panda at the Wildscreen Film Festival 2012! From the opening scenes you’d never guess it was a wildlife documentary. There’s a tense, moody darkness as you observe criminals at work – equitable to the unease you feel at witnessing the sinister actions of organized crime during a dramatic feature. You know these guys are mean, you know that they are willing to kill for their cause, and you know that the evil syndicate extends far beyond the men on the ground. The scene is South Africa in 2010, and the offense is rhinoceros poaching – to near genocidal proportions. Stakes are high. In an article released October 17, 2012, The Vancouver Sun reports that the value of rhino horn has soared to $65,000 per kilogram, making it more expensive than gold. A record number of rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa this year, a total of 455 so far. Today on Extinction Countdown, John Platt discusses some of the latest statistics about rhinoceros poaching and why the horns are so valuable. The focus of my post here at PsiVid is a new documentary on the topic. Saving Rhino Phila is a finalist at the prestigious WildScreen Film Festival taking place in Bristol, UK, this week. According to director Richard Slater-Jones, the aim was to create a documentary that appeals to a wider audience than the normal wildlife-film-watching crowd. The film is meant to ‘hit the audience between the eyes’ by focusing on the extremely dramatic story of the heroine, a rhinocerous named Phila. She has beaten tremendous odds by surviving two viscious and brutal attempts on her life, and is now living the rest of her days in a place that is far from optimal – for her own safety. The documentary presents a unique combination of intense dramatic sequences and heart-wrenching interviews with people on the front lines. At times you completely forget that you’re watching a documentary. You want to see the evil poachers go down; you want to feel the satisfaction of justice being served, the Hollywood ending. It’s downright jarring when you’re drawn back into the factual content and you realize that reality presents anything but a happy, fullfilling summary.


Winners of Short Wildlife Film Competition announced Posted by: chrismason / Tags: frontier, vyv simson, wildeye, wildlife film competition In March NHU Africa collaborated with Frontier, Wildlife- Film.com and Wildeye to run a Wildlife Short Film Competition to encourage aspiring filmmakers to test their ideas and skills against a judging panel of industry professionals, including NHU Africa’s commissioning editor Vyv Simson. Entrants were asked to submit 3 minute shorts with 150 word production brief explaining how their idea could be developed into a TV series or one-off special. The response was impressive and after much deliberation the list cut down to 10 finalists. These 10 were then scrutinized by the panel of judges. The shorts were critiqued on two levels, firstly to see if they stood up as a short film production by themselves and secondly they were looked at as promos for possible future development. The written proposals were also looked at for succinctness and ability to explain the projects. Finally, three winners were chosen: FIRST PLACE: Strange Marine by Alexandra Kent & Chip Roy Vyv Simson Film: Captivating visual subject with some good macro photography and behaviour. ‘Weird creatures’ is a compelling hook and engages viewers immediately. I would like to have seen some development of this ‘weird’ story line in the writing, even if it was as simple as ‘let’s meet some of the weirdest characters around’. The film could have had greater impact with a careful use of music. Proposal: ‘Strange’, ‘Weird’ or ‘Extreme’ are words that grab the attention. The proposal is well written and clear and could certainly strike enough interest to form the basis of a discussion with a broadcaster. But to develop this into a series would need some genuine story development. It is the sort of subject that might benefit from a presenter. Piers Warren Film: An excellent short – superb images and an engaging script. The narration was delivered in a rather unusual way and needs to flow more. Pay attention not to add too much detail when writing for young audiences. But overall the most watchable and enjoyable three minute short. Proposal: The proposal was good but needed more detail/examples of how this series would be different from the many others there have been about marine life


SECOND PLACE: Day of a Norfolk Bait Digger by Philip R K Jones Vyv Simson Film: An engaging short film with a beginning, a middle and an end but which doesn’t quite show its true potential. This idea stands or falls on the strength of the main character – the bait digger. We have to want to spend time with him. At the moment we don’t get enough idea of his character to get us really engaged. We need to hear him speak on location, not just in commentary. We need to know something about him and his life – that might give us the reason to want to follow him. Does he have some special knowledge to impart, is he a wry philosopher, does he have some unique insight into the landscape and the animals? Proposal: Clear in what it’s outlining as an idea. Good too in suggesting a particular place in the TV world where such a film might fit. But to develop this into a full length film the proposal needs to focus much more on the attributes of the bait diggerto sell the strengths of the character much more. It is his unique world we are offering to take viewers into and it is through his eyes and understanding that we need to see the wildlife. So let’s hear about that in the proposal. Piers Warren Film: Good photography and sound and a clear concept. Easy to visualise this as a 50 minute show. More of a story for the digger needs to be developed and the species seen need to be named with more info along the way. The narrator’s voice was poor so either a new voice needs to be found (an actor to give the voice of the digger) or a narrator to voice most of the script with occasional snippets from the digger himself. Excellent start. Proposal: The proposal was one of the best in the contest with good detail THIRD PLACE: A Quiet Corner by Cain Scrimgeour Vyv Simson Film: Well shot with some good long lens work. Makes good use of natural sound. Very much an ‘impressionistic’ montage. Gentle and intimate, the film gives no real sense of the nature of the location or the proximity to urban area. Both need developing to give substance to the idea of ‘my patch’ as a television series, as outlined in the proposal. Proposal: The idea is clear but as stated, it could only work as a series of shorts. The proposal doesn’t have enough content to sustain a series at 30 or 60mins. To get to this level it would need human characters to take you on some sort of journey into ‘their patch’ to reveal a hidden world.


Piers Warren Film: Some excellent images (some of the best in the contest) but seemingly a random collection of wildlife. With no narration it was hard to get a feel for the style of the series and how stories would develop. Some good natural sound too. Proposal: The proposal was rather vague – needs more examples of storylines and more technical info required – formats, length, audiences etc. Top Ten- Click the link to watch them 1. Deer in Winter by Matt Smith 2. The Adventurer with Alex Jones – Alligator by Alex Jones 3. Day of a Norfolk Bait Digger by Philip R K Jones 4. Wildlife at War by Charlotte Storme van’s Gravesande 5. Yosemiteby Natasha Young 6. St. Kilda by Marcus Brent-Smith 7. Unexplored Wilderness – BERA by Gaurav Periwal 8. Strange Marine by Alexandra Kent & Chip Roy 9. A Quiet Corner by Cain Scrimgeour 10. Bioluminescenceby César Luiz Leite

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition is here once again at the Natural History Museum. The exhibition features 100 of the world’s most amazing wildlife photographs taken by 77 world-class photographers. The images present to the public nature in startling clarity from seldom before seen perspectives. The exhibition is co-owned by the Natural History Museum of London and BBC Worldwide, and is creme of the crop from tens of thousands of photographic entries submitted from around the world. There are many categories in the exhibition, including overall winner – the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Veolia Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. Other highly regarded categories are the Gerald Durrell Award for endangered species and the Wildlife Photojournalist Award, which were both won by South African’s this year. The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species was won by Kim Wolhuter, for his image of an African Wild dog puppy entitled Dog Days. Kim has been filming African wild dogs in Zimbabwe for the last several years, and his image of a lone puppy on a dried up salt plain captures perfectly the position these animals are now in, being seriously endangered by the loss of their territories, poaching and disease. Brent Stirton also featured in the top ranks as the runner up for the Wildlife Photojournalist of the year award. Stirton tells the story of rhino poaching in South Africa through 6 images, showing from start to finish the process of poaching rhinos for horn sold on Asian markets. The collection, called Deadly Medicineis an important addition to the topic of rhino poaching in African conservation today.


The overall winning images are of superb quality, and work to subtly redefine how we see the natural world, giving us insights into places the human eye has often never gazed. As well as this we are seeing technical advancements in equipment and creative approaches to seeking out new these perspectives that make this year’s exhibition simply exceptional. To see more images go here http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporaryexhibitions/wpy/onlineGallery.do


Johannesburg - Two foreign nationals were convicted and sentenced on Thursday for illegal possession of rhino horns, the Endangered Wildlife Trust said. Duc Manh Chu was arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport last year after he was found with 12 rhino horns, said Rynette Coetzee from the trust law and policy programme. He was sentenced at the Kempton Park Regional Court to 10 years in jail for illegal possession of the horns and an additional two years in jail for fraud. He was sentenced under Section 57 (1) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, Act 10 2004 (Nemba) as well as fraud in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, Act 91 of 1964. "The full sentence is therefore 12 years imprisonment with no option of a fine. This is the highest penalty handed down for a biodiversity crime to date under Nemba," said Coetzee. Phi Hung Nguyeng, also arrested last year at the same airport, was sentenced to six years in jail for possession of six rhino horns and a further two years for fraud, under the same laws. Critical component Magistrate Prince Manyathi warned that it made no difference whether a person was caught killing a rhino or carrying rhino horn. The same penalty would be handed down. According to Coetzee, he told the court he did not want to one day only be able to show his grandchildren pictures of rhinos as they had all been killed. Coetzee applauded the excellent work of all those who worked on the case. "We recognise that conservationists are not just those lucky enough to work on game reserves, but includes all people who are committed to conserving our natural heritage and protecting our wildlife from illegal trade and poaching. "South Africa has excellent environmental legislation, and strong enforcement of these laws forms a critical component of a national conservation movement."


Aquila rhino dies after poaching attack 2011-08-25 10:28

The white rhino which was darted and had its horn cut off with a chainsaw at Aquila Private Game Reserve in Worcester. (Eben Human, Die Burger) Cape Town - A rhino which was dehorned by poachers at Aquila Private Game Reserve in Worcester last weekend has died. The rhino, known as ABSA, had been fighting for his life after he was darted and his horn was removed with a chainsaw. "This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do .... I have just had confirmation from the vets in the field.... ABSA did not make it through the night.... he passed away early this morning... Rest in peace now my friend," read a post on the reserve's Facebook page on Thursday morning. Another male rhino was killed in the attack on the private game reserve early on Saturday, and a female was darted twice, but was not dehorned. It is believed an antipoaching patrol had scared off the poachers.


Blood loss Aquila Private Game Reserve spokesperson Mandi Jarman said in a media release earlier this week that two groups of rhino poachers attacked three rhinos on the reserve. Anti-poaching teams had deterred two previous poaching attempts. The reserve believes that the poachers were disturbed as only half of ABSA's second horn was sawn off before they retreated. The rhino lost a lot of blood and was found lying in a position which could have caused massive muscle and organ damage, she said. ABSA was the first rhino reintroduced to Aquila and to the Western Cape in over 250 years after being shot out by hunters. ABSA fathered the first two rhino calves born in the Western Cape in this time. The surviving rhino was one of the two fathered by him. Aquila is offering a R100 000 reward for information leading to an arrest and prosecution of these poachers. Look at the amazing work WWF is doing for our black rhino friends... a beautiful film from Green Renaissance http://vimeo.com/31836285


Illegal South African rhino killings hit record high Final 2011 death toll of 448 represents one rhino lost every 20 hours, a slaughter driven by increased Asian demand for horn • •

David Smith in Johannesburg guardian.co.uk, Thursday 12 January 2012 20.11 GMT

19 of the critically endangered black rhino were killed illegally last year. Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images The illegal slaughter of rhinos in South Africa surged to a record high last year with a final death toll of 448, official figures show. The total, representing one rhino lost nearly every 20 hours, marked a significant increase on 2010 and suggested the country was still losing its war against poachers. Two suspected poachers were killed in a shootout at the world renowned Kruger national park on Wednesday night after the gruesome discovery of eight rhino carcasses – an unprecedented one-day toll. There has been a steady increase in rhino deaths through poaching in recent years. In 2010, the number killed was 333; in 2007, it was just 13. Campaigners warn that, if the trend continues, the animal's future could be in jeopardy. The 2011 toll includes 19 critically endangered black rhinos, of which fewer than 5,000 remain in the wild. Andrew McVey, species programme manager at WWF-UK, said: "If left unchecked, poaching gangs could put the survival of these iconic species in jeopardy."


The carnage is driven by increased demand for rhino horn in Asia, particularly Vietnam, where it carries prestige as a luxury item, a post-partying cleanser and – based on false science – a cure for cancer. Tom Milliken, rhino trade expert at Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, said: "Rhino horn has gained popularity among wealthy Vietnamese elites and business people to give as a gift, when currying political favour, or taken as an antidote to over-indulgence. "But killing endangered rhinos to mitigate a hangover is a criminal way to see in the new year." Poaching gangs have become increasingly sophisticated, using helicopters, silent tranquilisers, body armour, night-vision equipment and mercenaries experienced in rhino tracking. There are rumours of collusion by some park rangers and owners seeking to cash in. The rise continues unabated, despite increased law enforcement efforts. South African officials made 232 poaching-related arrests in 2011, compared to 165 the previous year. Sentences imposed for rhino crimes have also increased, with poachers and horn smugglers receiving as long as 16 years in prison. Dr Morné du Plessis, chief executive of WWF-South Africa, said: "Rhino poaching is being conducted by sophisticated international criminal syndicates that smuggle horns to Asia. "It's not enough to bust the little guy. Investigators need to shut down the kingpins organising these criminal operations. Governments in Africa and Asia must work together across borders to stop the illegal trade." The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has ruled that Vietnam needs to show progress in curtailing illegal trade in rhino parts and derivatives. "So far we have yet to see Vietnam respond to this ruling from CITES," said Colman O Criodain, wildlife trade policy expert at WWF International. "For that matter, CITES must put pressure on Vietnam to respond meaningfully, as it has done with other countries whose compliance with the convention has been called into question." Rhinos in other African and Asian range countries are also being targeted. In October, WWF announced the extinction of rhinos in Vietnam. The last Javan rhino in the country was killed by poachers and its horn removed. More than half of South Africa's rhino deaths – 252 – last year occurred in Kruger park, which attracts millions of tourists every year. There is no sign of respite so far in 2012.


Rangers found eight rhino carcasses with their horns missing in two sections of Kruger park on Tuesday, South African National Parks (SANParks) said. In a followup anti-poaching operation on Wednesday night, field rangers came into contact with a group of suspected poachers. There was a shootout between the rangers and poachers, leaving two suspected poachers fatally wounded. Both were from neighbouring Mozambique, in common with many poachers motivated by an apparent chance to escape poverty. A .375 rifle and other hunting equipment were discovered at the scene, SANParks said. Meanwhile, debate rages in South Africa over how to curb the trend, with some calling for the trade in rhino horn to be legalised. A wildlife agency's decision to sanction the hunting of a R1m (ÂŁ81,000) white rhino bull has also divided experts this week. Reynold Thakhuli, a spokesman for SANParks, said: "The 2011 total is an all-time high. We are very concerned and quite disappointed. We are drawing up plans for the year to deal with this problem once and for all."


1 FEB Poacher trio get 75 years in prison Posted by: chrismason / Tags: kruger national park, poaching, rhino poaching, rhinos The following was issued by SAN Parks yesterday evening, and seems to be a small win for the dwindling Rhino population of Southern Africa: PRESS RELEASE Wednesday 1 Febuary, 2012 75 years for 3 Rhino poachers South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on the 31 January 2012, that three Rhino poachers from Mozambique were found guilty of illegal rhino hunting at Phalaborwa Regional Court and sentenced to a maximum of 25 years imprisonment each. A fourth suspected poacher died in custody in 2011 after attempting to escape. The three poachers found guilty are Aselmo Baloyi, Jawaki Nkuna and Ismael Baloyi. According to Dr David Mabunda, CEO of SANParks the accused were arrested on 10 July 2010 in Mooiplaas, Kruger National Park. “They were found with two freshly chopped rhino horns, an assault rifle, a hunting rifle and an axe.” The poachers admitted to camping in the Kruger National Park prior to poaching the Rhinos. The poachers were found guilty on 4 counts: 1. Illegal hunting of a rhino – 10 years imprisonment with an option of a R100 000 fine. 2. Possession of a prohibited firearm (automatic rifle) – 15 years imprisonment. 3. Possession of a firearm (hunting rifle) – 8 years imprisonment. 4. Possession of ammunition – 15 years imprisonment. Last year 232 suspected poachers were arrested, of which 26 were fatalities. Dr Mabunda said “the sentencing of these poachers is an indication that as a country we are taking more stringent measures in the fight against rhino poaching. I am glad the sentence is harsher than it has been in the past.”


Rhino Poaching research and story ideas