With Earth Day coming up later this month, National Geographic Documentary Films has announced a new documentary short, AKASHINGA: THE BRAVE ONES. Executive produced by three-time Academy Award winner James Cameron and directed by Maria Wilhelm, executive director of the Avatar Alliance Foundation, the film tells the story of Akashinga, the all-female anti-poaching unit in Zimbabwe that is facing down poachers and saving wildlife. AKASHINGA: THE BRAVE ONES will have its world premiere at the EarthxFilm Festival, which will be held virtually April 22nd to 27th to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
The documentary short is also an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival and will broadcast on National Geographic later this year in 171 countries and 43 languages. No Disney+ release has yet been confirmed.
With many of Africa’s key species, including elephants, reaching levels near extinction, Akashinga is a radical, new and highly effective weapon against poaching. Founded by former Australian special forces soldier and anti-poaching leader Damien Mander, the women-only team of rangers, drawn from the abused and marginalized, is revolutionizing the way animals are protected and communities are empowered — and its members’ own lives are being transformed. Mander’s innovative approach to conservation calls for community buy-in rather than full-on armed assault against poachers: If a community understands the economic benefits of preserving animals, then it will eliminate poaching without an armed struggle. This short film is a celebration of the courage, conservation and unorthodox thinking that’s leading to massive positive change.
Akashinga is more crucial now than ever: As the global pandemic crisis COVID-19 wages on and resources become increasingly scarce, wildlife will be especially vulnerable to poachers.
The doc short is produced by Kim Butts, Drew Pulley and Maria Wilhelm; it is executive produced by James Cameron.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.