Press Release


BBC & Animal Planet team up for 'Return of the Giant Killers; Africa's Lion Kings'

Icon Films, in association with Natural History Film Unit Botswana have been commissioned by the BBC and Animal Planet US to produce a follow up to their award winning ‘Africa’s Giant Killers’ documentary ‘The Return of the Giant Killers; Africa’s Lion Kings’.

This one hour documentary film reunites director cinematographer Brad Bestelink and film photographer Richard Uren to capture more extraordinary wildlife footage in the Savute Game Reserve in Botswana. The film will again form part of the BBC’s Natural World strand.

With its year-round water, Savute Marsh in northern Botswana attracts huge herds of grazers, especially during the dry season. The lions are easily sated during this time of plenty – until one exceptionally harsh year when the grass runs out, and the herds vanish. Desperate to remain in their territory, but with only elephants left to hunt, the resident lions have no choice but to take on Africa’s giants. Inspired by a fearless leader, their remarkable success as ‘giant killers’ enables them to stay in the marsh, but for how long?

Roger Webb, Natural World’s Strand Editor commissioned the documentary and is executive producer for the BBC. Executive producers of ‘The Return of the Giant Killers; Africa’s Lion Kings’ for Icon Films are Harry Marshall and Laura Marshall. BBC Worldwide will distribute the film for the world excluding the US where Animal Planet will air the film. The BBC will air the film in the UK.

“Good natural history films are all about seasonality, location and of course bringing together the best people to tell the story.   Return of the Giant Killers needed this perfect storm of right time, right place and great talent.  The result is an exceptional record of the beauty and the brutality of a unique event. ” said Harry Marshall, Creative Director of Icon Films.

“Natural World is delighted to be telling the next chapter in the Giant Killers saga. With stunning cinematography and a powerful storyline this is sure to be another outstanding title from the Natural History Film Unit Botswana and the team at Icon Films” said Roger Webb, BBC Natural World’s Strand Editor.

The original film, ‘Africa’s Giant Killers’ won Best Natural History Programme at the Royal Television Society’s West of England 2014/15 Awards and Best Broadcast Feature at IWFF Missoula 2015.

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