American actress Angelina Jolie (pictured above) is set to direct a “sweeping epic” film about veteran Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey‘s (pictured) fight with ivory poachers.
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The film titled “Africa” is about a man drawn in to the violent conflict with elephant poachers even as he experiences a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him.
Leakey, 69, is a former head of Kenya Wildlife Service and was key to squashing the rampant poaching of the late 1980s, using extreme measures including sending helicopter gunships in to national parks.
Jolie said about her motivation to work on the film, “I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric’s beautiful script.”
The new movie for Skydance Productions will be produced by Jolie, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Jon Peters. She will team up again with renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins, who also shot the flick “Unbroken.”
Ellison called Leakey “inspirational,” saying, “‘Africa’ is a story that deserves to be told. I know that it will exceed my expectations in Angelina’s hands,” he added.
It is not yet clear if the production team will shoot the movie on location in Kenya to maintain the authenticity of the film’s story.
About the movie, actress Lizz Njagah raised a question on Facebook asking:
“How many people want to bet that this ‘Kenyan’ story will be shot in SA? KFC, here’s your chance.. Bring it home.”
Kenyan Film Commission Chairman Chris Foot responded on the matter, saying, “We’re currently working on an incentive package for international and domestic filmmakers. We lose too many films to RSA on account of their attractive tax incentive and the reluctance of insurance companies to issue bonds in Kenya due to the perception of insecurity/travel advisories. Of course in the meantime we carry on marketing filming in Kenya as best as our derisory budget allows….”