By Angela Bekiaris
In honour of World Rhino Day today, September 22, 2017, US and South African filmmakers are announcing their new project — Sides Of A Horn.
Local star Emmanuel Castis and his team have been working with US writer and director, Toby Wosskow, to release a narrative film, based on actual events and inspired by the men and women on the frontline, about rhino poaching — a film which looks at rhino poaching from both sides of the fence.
“Wildlife crime is the fourth largest illegal industry,” explains Wosskow. “A single rhino horn can go for up to $300 000 on the black market. The demand in the Far East is fueling a war on the ground in South Africa where the people are killing each other to get their hands on this thing that is worth more than gold or cocaine.”
Wosskow, who came to SA two years ago, was blown away by our wildlife heritage. After months of research and spending a lot of time on the ground with the anti-poaching rangers and hearing their stories about the war being formed, Wosskow knew that he had a great responsibility to make this film.
“Wildlife crime is a multi-billion industry run by highly-organised international syndicates, but it is the communities on the ground in South Africa that are being torn apart and, for the first time, their story will be told,” say filmmakers. “This is the first film to present an unbiased narrative of South Africa’s rhino poaching war, exposing both sides of the struggle.”
The film — which is is set to begin filming on location in South Africa in early 2018 — is based on actual events, and focuses on the perspective of the three characters most directly affected: the ranger, the poacher, and the rhino.
“Sides Of A Horn is uniting my passion for wildlife and for film and I could think none other than to bring this great group of people together to be the South African producing team,” says Castis.
Never before has the story about rhino poaching been told like this, say producers.
The team have partnered with The Pilanesberg National Park on the Black Rhino concession, which has been in the forefront of the rhino poaching epidemic, and will be filming most of the township scenes there with the full support of the Bakubung Royal family, incorporating the community in the filming process, too.
Being a global problem, the filmmakers are reaching out to a global community to raise the funds, and have partnered with influential conservationists and organisations to launch a crowdfunding campaign.
“The goal of this film is to do for the illegal rhino horn trade what Blood Diamond did for illegal diamond trade,” adds Wosskow.
Sides Of A Horn is due for release in late 2018. Check out the following link for more on the film: www.rhinomovie.com