It has been almost eight years since the launch of the Blood Lions film which exposed the harsh realities behind the captive lion breeding industry and its unregulated proliferation in South Africa. With the public launch of the film in June 2023, now we are no longer restricted by distribution agreements, we reflect on the journey thus far to take stock of the overall progress that has been achieved collectively. Along the way, we have seen big positive strides and steps backwards, but overall the progress has been substantial. At times we would all like to see things move along quicker, as the wheels of government legislation are slow to turn; however, we also have much progress to celebrate and draw on for continued motivation to fight for the end of this horrendous industry.
The Blood Lions film has served as an important catalyst for change in the captive lion industry. The dark reality of captive breeding, interactive tourism, hunting, and the lion bone trade has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people across the world, from school students through to government officials. The film has been selected for screenings at numerous film festivals, including the Durban International Film Festival, Lens Politika in Helsinki, and Joshua International in California. In addition to this, curated screenings have been presented across the world to various tourism and travel organisations and national governments. Outside of the South African departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, countries such as Botswana, Finland, Australia, Sweden, and EU parliaments have all participated in screenings of the film to spark important and necessary discussions about how international policy makers may demonstrate their disapproval of the industry.