The 1st of September will see the first screening of the controversial documentary, Blood Lions, overseas. The film will be screened in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne – Australia. The Australian Government has long supported the Blood Lions view of banning canned hunting and predator breeding.
A lead character in the film and outspoken journalist, Ian Michler, said: “In March 2015, Australia and Minister Greg Hunt took the lead in the fight against the horror practices of predator breeding and canned hunting when they acted to ban the importation of lion trophies. It is absolutely fitting then that the first international screenings of Blood Lions take place here. I look forward to meeting the members from the hunting fraternity, who I can only assume would want to see the film to learn more about why the world has responded so strongly against these practices.”
Producer and driver behind the film, Pippa Hankinson, said: “We are overwhelmed by the extraordinary support that Blood Lions has received in Australia, and we are delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to screen the film by our friend and campaign partner, Donalea Patman of ‘For the Love of Wildlife’. Donalea played a significant role in Minister Greg Hunt’s ban on the importation of lion body parts into Australia in March this year. We are grateful to Minister Hunt and applaud him for leading the global movement to end canned hunting forever.”
When partner in conservation, Donalea Patman – Founder of ‘For the Love of Wildlife’ was asked why she got involved with Blood Lions, she said: “I met Pippa several years ago and we have always shared a deep love for lions and the need to do more. When I came back to Australia I vowed to step up and really contribute. My organisation, ‘For the Love of Wildlife’ has been working with the Australian Government in getting the ban on lion trophies and lion body parts into Australia. This came into force on March 13 this year. The first country in the world to introduce such a ban.
In October 2014, Pippa organised for Ian Michler to come to Australia to attend the Australian Parliament with myself and economist Roderick Campbell where we briefed the Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Both Minister Hunt and Jason Wood MP pledged to have a screening at Parliament House in Canberra when the Blood Lion film was completed. Of course, we can’t miss the opportunity to screen in other cities whilst the Blood Lions team are in Australia – so we are also screening in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.”
With the screening in Parliament the Blood Lions team hope that those that opposed the ban (a disallowance motion was tabled by pro-hunter Senator David Leyonhjelm on 12 August to try and overturn the ban announced on March 13) will get to see why Minister Hunt created a global first by implementing the ban, as a direct response to captive breeding and the canned hunting industry.
“We also need to make sure that Australian’s are aware of the industry – many have never heard of canned hunting’” said Patman. “Many young Australian’s participate in volunteering at these reserves totally unaware. I’ve spoken to many people who are literally traumatised after they discover the truth as they are animal lovers and thought they were contributing to conservation.”
Andrew Venter, CEO of Wildlands and Executive Producer said: “Blood Lions exposes the cons of Lion breeding and hunting in South Africa. Over 900 lions are hunted each year, with 99% bred for the bullet. They are hand-reared by paying volunteers that believe they are saving “Africa’s Lions”. 4 days after their release from a life in captivity they are considered wild and can then be shot by hunters looking for a guaranteed kill; or slaughtered for the Lion bone trade to China. We have to stop this barbaric and fraudulent practise and believe that Blood Lions will help us do this. Creating awareness through this film across the world is an absolute honour, and Wildlands are very proud to be a part of this movement.”
Patman attended the Blood Lions premiere on the 22nd of July at the Durban International Film Festival – South Africa, and said: “I believe the film is honest and beautifully crafted. It delivers the truth with a compelling storyline of multiple contributors yet isn’t softened and is still explosive. Total credit to the producers for getting a brilliant balance of emotion and impact.”
Australian Screening Schedule –
1 September Luna on SX, Fremantle Western Australia, 18h30
4 September UTS, Guthrie Lecture Theatre Sydney, 18h30
7 September University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 19h00
Bookings at www.eventbrite.com.au