The South African feature documentary STROOP – journey into the rhino horn war, has won the coveted Best Documentary award at the prestigious San Diego International Film Festival held this past weekend.
Hollywood’s Mudbound producer, Kyle Tekiela, presented the award to filmmakers Bonné de Bod and Susan Scott due to the importance of their work.
“Documentaries tell stories that bring big issues to light and the jury felt this was one of the biggest of them all, that poignantly conveys the struggle the world’s rhinos are having to remain alive for the next decade,” Tekiela said.
The weekend was a winning one for the filmmakers as they also scooped numerous additional awards. One of the awards was from the Los Angeles based Glendale International Film Festival where they were awarded the Best Female Filmmakers award, against 130 competing films.
The second award was also won in Los Angeles, from the city’s premiere film festival, LA Femme, a festival that supports female producers from around the world. The pair, De Bod and Scott were awarded the Special Documentary of Focus Award.
The documentary, STROOP was also awarded the Best Documentary award at the San Pedro International Film Festival, held in Los Angeles. In September the film was handed the 2018 Green Tenacity Award by the judges of the San Francisco Green Film Festival.
In recognition of the impact the South African film is having in California, the California Legislature as well as the State Senator have sent the filmmakers certificates of recognition from the State of California for outstanding achievements in the cinematic arts.
The certificate thanks the South Africans for their work in revealing the rhino crisis to the world and contributing to the arts and the Californian community.
STROOP producer and presenter De Bod shares the importance of the awards and recognition for the film.
“Film festival directors and distributors are contacting us directly because of the buzz around the documentary and to get something this hard-hitting and shocking in front of as many audiences as possible is of course vital for everyone who is concerned about the ongoing slaughter of our dwindling rhino population,” she said.
STROOP director Scott shares that the awards are not about them, but about those making a difference on the ground.
“I’m so glad we stuck with keeping the story about our heroes on the ground. These awards recognise their work,” Scott said.
In addition to the numerous awards the film has won, STROOP has been invited to screen at no less than 15 official film festivals, and this number is growing daily as it receives worldwide attention and acclamation.
STROOP – Journey into the Rhino Horn War, tells the shocking and touching story of the ongoing poaching of rhino and the trade in its coveted horn. In an exclusive first, De Bod and Scott filmed special ranger units inside the Kruger National Park and at the home of the white rhino, the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.
The pair also traveled undercover to the dangerous back rooms of wildlife traffickers and dealers in China and Vietnam and the result is a powerful, hard-hitting and incredibly moving documentary that will both challenge and shock viewers.
The film is schedule to premier later this year in South Africa
Also read: Aquila assist in orphaned rhino rescue
Picture: STROOP De Bod and Scott, producer and director.