From the sounds of Kenyan accents, the sights of elephants and other wildlife to the use of Swahili, local film Poacher radiates Kenyan nationalism. Yesterday, the award-winning film premiered on international media streaming site Netflix, a big leap for the local film industry. It is the first local production to be carried on the platform. The action-packed movie was shot and produced over six days at the Tsavo West National Park and released in August 2018.
The film stars local talents Brian Ogola, Lenny Juma and Davina Leonard. The 29-minute production grips the attention of viewers from the first minute, engaging them in the tumultuous tactics used by poachers. The film creates a cultural sensitivity towards the vice that threatens Africa’s elephant population. In a press statement, Quite Bright Films – the production company behind the film – said the premiere comes at the right time when animal poaching on the rise.
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“In East Africa, Covid-19 has affected international tourism, donor funding to wildlife conservancies and boosted animal poaching. By 2040, elephants could be extinct. Poachers is a gritty thriller that investigates the human cost of elephant conservation and the systemic and environmental issues contributing to human-wildlife conflict,” reads the statement.
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The film won Best Short Film at the eighth Kalasha and TV Awards held in Nairobi in November 2018. It has also been nominated for directing, cinematography and acting. The film has also been screened at notable international festivals, including Aesthetic Short Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, the 19th Independent Days Film Festival and the Five Continents International Film Festival. During the making of the film, the production team was aided by two conservation organisations - Ahali Elephants and Wildlife Works.