The Ivory Game: 7th Beijing International Film Festival to show elephant conservation documentary

'The Ivory Game' exposes the kingpins of the cruel and illegal trade.

The Ivory Game
An African elephant in a scene from 'The Ivory Game' documentary. US & Canada

The upcoming Beijing International Film Festival has taken another major step against the cruel ivory trade by deciding to exhibit Netflix's original documentary on elephant conservation called 'The Ivory Game.' Their decision comes after the Chinese government passed an order to ban all ivory trade by the end of 2017.

As noted by Yibada, directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson didn't think that the people of China would be able to watch their documentary because ivory trade wasn't banned in China then. However, they were overjoyed to learn that on December 30, last year, the Chinese government had decided to ban all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017, to save elephants from this cruel and undeserved fate.

"On December 30, we received the amazing and historic news, that China will ban ivory. It was this single most important act that may save the elephants," said directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter (THR). "We have now received word that 'The Ivory Game' has been invited to screen at the Beijing Film Festival. After 4 years of production, we had little faith that the Chinese people would ever get to see this film (by legal means at least) so we couldn't be more thrilled," the directing duo had said.

It took four years to make 'The Ivory Game' which has deservedly been shortlisted as an Oscar contender in the best documentary slot. The documentary has been produced by Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been very passionate about nature conservation. These films need an international exposure and the Academy Awards stage is arguably the best platform to get recognition from. From live broadcasts to media coverage, millions around the world tune-in to watch the ceremony every year. At the very least, many will be made aware of the evils of ivory trade.

China has been at the forefront as a consumer market for ivory products that are sourced from tusks of elephants that are hunted illegally in the plains of Africa and elsewhere around the world. Ivory is used as jewellery as well as in traditional Chinese medicine. It is mistakenly believed that elephant tusks can heal ulcers, bone tumours and epilepsy.

Animal conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall openly welcomed this historic move by the Chinese government and highlighted how banning ivory trade will help end the loss of lives of forest rangers protecting elephants from poachers in addition to saving the beautiful animals themselves. "They work with few resources and inadequate equipment. More than 100 die every year, many killed by commercial poachers who fuel the ivory trade, others by armed militias who often use poached ivory to fund their wars," she said, adding "This is yet another reason why ending the ivory trade is so important."

The 2017 Beijing International Film Festival begins on April 28. Head over to to learn more about the film.

This article was first published on January 20, 2017