It's really rewarding when our films make a REAL difference!
Title: Elephants Without Borders
Elsewhere in Africa elephants are in decline, but Botswana has an overpopulation problem with over 150,000. A pre-emptive cull of over 60,000 has been suggested. Dr. Mike Chaseʼs research finds real and meaningful solutions to Botswana's problem.
Mike is discovering their ancient migration routes, now blocked by expanding human settlement, and is lobbying the governments of neighbouring counties to open gaps for safe passage.
Previously unrecorded annual gatherings, numbering over 5000 elephants, suggests an elephant intellect far more complex than previously imagined. Dr Chase believes that these clan gatherings reinforce bonds between family groups and that survival strategies are shared.
New science about elephant movements and home range sizes is revealed. Mike tracks a bull elephant with an astounding home range of 35,000 sq kilometres - the largest ever recorded for an African elephant. Female home range sizes are discovered to be nearly five times the previously accepted average of 3000 square kilometres.
Bull elephants living in the Makgadigadi salt pans are filmed for the first time as Mike discovers how they survive in the hostile desert.
In the end the film reveals the solution: Mike has identified corridors that will allow Angola's refugee elephants to return home after 30 years of civil war.
As documented by Dr. Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders Organisation ("EWB"):
The film helped open dialogue between five African countries and has had a direct impact on elephant conservation in Botswana and beyond. The film has:
You’d better have nerves of steel – advice from AfriScreen Producers Mike Holding and Tania ‘TJ” Jenkins.
So you want to be a wildlife film producer. Why on earth would you want to do that?
Why would you want to get into a field of endeavour that requires monumental amounts of thankless work, 16 hour days, no weekends, rare holidays, endless haggling with boneheaded customs officials in seedy third-world border posts, inordinate amounts of trivial paperwork, bombardments of mosquitoes, hundreds of consecutive four o’clock wakeup calls, cold, heat, dust, rain, flies, snakes, mud, broken equipment, nights spent wedged in thorn trees surrounded by lions, waiting on deserted bush airstrips for rickety planes that don’t arrive? There seems to be no comfortable answer, and yet if you ask us to swap what we do for anything else, the retort would be a resounding “NO!”
AfriScreen Film team
This Blog is added to by all members of the team. Follow our adventures, misadventures and words of advice (sometimes from lessons learnt the hard way!)