The Monte-Carlo Television Festival will host the premiere screening of the documentary Lions, Bones & Bullets, narrated by Peter Egan (Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, Chariots of Fire).
The character-driven doc feature, produced by Jagged Peak Films, reveals the underbelly of what the world thought was “lion trophy hunting” but in reality, is the mass production, commercialization and domestication of Africa’s wildlife for traditional Chinese medicine. Told through an adventure story, author Richard Peirce travels from lion farms in South Africa to dealers in Southeast Asia to uncover the elaborate wildlife con. The film also explores realistic alternatives.
Lions, Bones & Bullets will screen on June 21 at 7 p.m. in the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.
Richard Peirce, producer, investigator and protagonist, commented: “Lion farming and the increasing sale of lion bones to Asia involve exploitation, cruelty, injustice, misconception, fraud, corruption, is a threat to wild lion populations, and the list goes on. It is mind-blowing in terms of the huge negativity involved and has no redeeming aspects. Lions are a flagship species, what happens to lion populations will be a major factor in determining the future of wild animals in Africa.”
Anton Leach, director and executive producer, said: “Lions, Bones & Bullets is a story that needed to be told, shared and debated. Through my work in wildlife docu-series, I realized that not enough people knew that lion farming was not just an emerging industry, it was a booming industry. If trophy hunting was dying out, then what was escalating demand? We are honored to have the World Festival Premiere of Lions, Bones & Bullets at the 60th Monte-Carlo Television Festival and believe this is the best forum to start a global debate about lion farming and the future of wildlife conservation.”
Olivier Wenden, VP and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, said: “By denouncing the lion bones trade hidden behind hunting, it is a clear and vital wake-up call that is sent to the world, inviting us to open our eyes and rethink our relationship with nature in the respect of wildlife.”
Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, commented, “Our Festival has always put environmental issues at the forefront, notably through the Prince Rainier III Special Prize, awarded to the best documentary dealing with these topics. We are justifiably proud of our ability to raise awareness of vital causes by highlighting important and timely television films to an influential international audience. We are convinced that this important screening will expose the secrets of the multi-million-dollar industry of lion farming to the world and open up a wide-scale ethical debate on the issue.”