Hot Docs Announces Lineup

Most of the The Hot Docs team was in attendance this morning when the full lineup for the 2017 festival was announced. For those who are counting, this will be the 24th annual festival and this year’s slate will present 230 titles from 58 countries in 13 screening programs, with work by female filmmakers representing close to 48 per cent of the official selections.

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The Last Animals World Premiere at Tribeca 2017

The Last Animals, directed by Kate Brooks, written by Kate Brooks and Mark Monroe. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Photojournalist Kate Brooks turns her lens from war zones to a new kind of genocide in this sweeping and sobering film. As the single-digit population of the Northern White Rhino ticks closer to extinction, Brooks exposes the epidemic of highly effective poachers and trafficking syndicates, and the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these majestic creatures. In Czech, English, French, Lingala with subtitles. Earth Day Screening.

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She-Files

Q and A with filmmaker and photojournalist Kate Brooks.

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Smithsonian

An American biologist wields an innovative new weapon against the illegal trade in African ivory.

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Broadcasting & Cable

The Last Animals partners with Foxtail Entertainment.

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The New York Times

Three fearless women who have risked their lives to stop illegal poaching rings and ruthless corporate interests that threaten to destroy precious ecosystems.

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Indiewire

The Last Animals grabbed the attention of the executives on the roundtable like no other pitch in the 48-Hour Forum. It was the project that made Amazon’s Briana Little gush, and other executives follow suit with praise for the trailer’s "strong images" and effective use of "pulling at heartstrings."

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Filmmaker Magazine

The 17th annual Hot Docs Forum kicked off Tuesday in Toronto with all the pomp and ceremony of a high school model UN tournament. Axel Arno, SVT commissioning editor and one of three forum moderators, laid out the rules: each team will have seven minutes to pitch, followed by another seven minutes of question-and-answer discussion; the bell will ring once at the six-minute mark and twice at the seven-minute mark. Over two days, 20 producing teams pitched projects while 20-odd commissioning editors, broadcasters and video-on-demand reps sat at the table giving their feedback while other financiers and gatekeepers, most notably a Netflix rep, lurked silently in the audience.

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Vineyard Gazette

Giving Voice to the Elephant in the Room

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World Photo Report

World Photo Report features The Last Animals.

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Newsweek

When visitors to the National Wildlife Property Repository near Denver enter the 16,000-square-foot warehouse and see the full array of dead animals and products kept within, they tend to stop short, open their eyes wide and utter something that suggests shock and awe.

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Smithsonian Magazine

The recent capture of a notorious poacher has given hope to officials in Chad battling to save the African elephant from extinction.

The call came in to Gary Roberts last March at his home in Béré, a village of subsistence farmers deep in the sorghum and cotton fields of southern Chad. Reports were circulating, a local conservationist told him, that a mass killing of elephants had occurred some 100 miles away, near the Cameroon border: Could Roberts see what he could find out?

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Al Jazeera America

At Kruger National Park in South Africa, the economy drives rangers to hunt poachers and poachers to hunt for horn.

Vusi Nyathi went to the bush for rhinos. Not to watch them like some tourist, though. He went for a payday, about $5,000, more than he could make in a lifetime in the small village in Mozambique where he grew up. Vusi Nyathi went to poach rhinos. He returned in a body bag of thick black plastic.

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Al Jazeera America

Kumba doesn’t like the sound of men’s voices. A masculine tone makes him wary, causing him to take a step away from the green iron bars of his enclosure.

He much prefers manager Gaby Benavides and the other female staff members at the Rhino Orphanage in South Africa. Kumba will come closer when they approach, anticipating a feeding or a walk, and when he’s left behind in his enclosure, he bleats plaintively, a sound that’s endearingly like a cross between a rubber squeak and a kazoo.

He’s a bit of a mama’s boy, which is understandable when you consider that only a few weeks ago, his mother was killed by poachers, who hacked off her horns and left her bleeding in the grass.

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The Independent

As a photojournalist, Kate Brooks was used to documenting war zones. Then she discovered a new kind of genocide – the killing of Africa’s elephants.

Over the past few years, the slaughter of African elephants and rhinoceros has skyrocketed to supply international markets with their tusks and horns. Some experts say 35,000 elephants are being killed per year, others believe the number is as high as 50,000.

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Salon

It’s a crisis of international proportions, and the tragedy of the potential loss of entire species is only the beginning. As Hillary Clinton put it last fall when she introduced an $80 million anti-trafficking program: “This is not just about elephants. It is about human beings, governments, trying to control their own territory, trying to keep their people safe, as well as protecting their cultural and environmental heritage.” The spoils from the global poaching trade, valued as high as $10 billion a year, moreover, are funding terrorist organizations and criminal syndicates, making it an issue of international security as well.

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National Geographic

Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.

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National Geographic

Bringing together heads of state and government ministers from 50 countries, Thursday's high-level summit on illegal wildlife trade may represent a turning point in the fight against wildlife crime.

The London summit—hosted by the British government and led by Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson—focuses on securing specific actions around elephants, rhinos, and tigers.

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Wired

Zakouma National Park in southern Chad is famous for its large, free roaming herds of elephants. This has made it a honeypot for poachers. From 2005 to 2010, demand for ivory has reduced the park’s elephant population from over 4,000 to about 450 individuals.

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