EXCLUSIVE: Netflix’s elephant conservation documentary, The Ivory Game, has secured an official selection slot at the 2017 Beijing International Film Festival. The state-run event’s selection comes on the heels of China’s recent decision to ban the ivory trade by the end of 2017. Shortlisted in the Best Documentary Oscar category this year, the film depicts the dangerous underworld of ivory trading and uses interviews with intelligence operatives, undercover activists, frontline rangers and conservationists to show how banning ivory will help protect elephants worldwide. Directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson, say “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… After four 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.” Noted conservationist Jane Goodall says China’s support will also help end the loss of life among rangers working to protect the elephants from poachers. “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. This is yet another reason why ending the ivory trade is so important.”
Following a successful run on Sky 1 in the UK last year, and as Season 2 gears up, crime drama Stan Lee’s Lucky Man has become available for the first time in the United States and Canada. Produced by Carnival Films (Downton Abbey), Lucky Man this week premieres its first season on iTunes. The 10-part series stars James Nesbitt as a brilliant but flawed cop struggling to control his compulsions and the never-ending battle between good and bad luck. After the first season became Sky 1’s highest-rated original drama ever, Lucky Man was renewed for a second run last March. It will return to UK screens in early 2017 with Dutch actress Thekla Reuten joining the cast. Also starring are Eve Best, Sienna Guillory, Amara Karan, Steven Mackintosh, Darren Boyd and Sendhil Ramamurthy. Richard Fell and Gareth Neame exec produce for Carnival. Anne Mensah and Anna Ferguson are exec producers for Sky. Lee and Gill Champion are co-executive producers. NBCUniversal International Distribution handles rights.