The Orchard, CNN Films Nab Rights to Sundance Hunting Doc ‘Trophy’ – Variety

The Orchard and CNN Films have partnered to acquire North American rights to “Trophy,” a documentary about the evolving relationship between big-game hunting and wildlife conservation.

The sale comes on the eve of the doc’s world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The film was made by Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau, and produced by Lauren Haber and Julia Nottingham of Pulse Films.

The Orchard will handle North American rights, except for broadcast, which go to CNN. An unnamed studio is closing in on international rights to the film, which the producers describe as “a startling exploration” of how the relationship between hunters and conservationists is evolving.

The filmmakers call “Trophy” an investigation of “powerhouse industries” — including not just big-game hunting, but breeding and wildlife conservation within that rubric. “Through the eyes of impassioned individuals who drive these industries — from a Texas-based trophy hunter to the world’s largest private rhino breeder in South Africa — the film grapples with the consequences of imposing economic value on animals,” the announcement of the sale says.

The film grapples with provocative questions, such as: What are the implications of treating animals as commodities? Do breeding, farming, and hunting offer some of the few remaining options to conserve our endangered animals? It predicts that “Trophy” “will leave viewers debating what is right, what is wrong, and what is necessary in order to save the great species of the world.”

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