ABOUT THE IVORY GAME
THE IVORY GAME, a feature-length documentary on the illegal ivory trade, depicts the fight against elephant poaching and wildlife trafficking from Africa to China. For more than 150 days in the field, the filmmakers deeply embedded with intelligence officers from Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. Being fully immersed with intelligence teams, this critical fight for the survival of an iconic species was brought to the front line. It became clear that the elephant could only be saved if China’s domestic legal ivory trade was ended. As one of the film’s subjects, Andrea Crosta, put it: “The destiny of an entire species is in the hands of one man: the president of China.”
THE IVORY GAME premiered in September 2015 at the Telluride Film Festival and gained wide international recognition. It received a number of awards, amongst which are the Cinema for Peace Award, Jackson Hole’s Best of Festival and Festival Prize, and Wildscreen‘s best of festival award, the Golden Panda. It was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2016.
Bringing the film out simultaneously to millions of people worldwide through Netflix was the best way to put the word out loud and clear, that time was running out for the elephants. Executive Producer Leonardo diCaprio‘s and Dr. Jane Goodall‘s ambassadorship on behalf of THE IVORY GAME further raised awareness for the issue. And, shortly after the film’s release on Netflix in November 2016, we received word from credible sources within China that the film was being seen, and that there would be an announcement made by the Chinese government before year’s end.
On December 30th, 2016, the Chinese president announced that all domestic ivory trade would be banned within 12 months. Shortly thereafter, THE IVORY GAME was invited to open the exclusive Beijing Film Festival, and won the award for Best Film. By the end of 2016, all domestic ivory trade in China was banned.