Angelina Jolie to direct ivory poaching movie

Posted Sep 21, 2014 by Tim Sandle
Angelina Jolie is to direct "Africa," a movie about celebrated conservationist Richard Leakey's battles with ivory poachers. The feature will be Jolie's fourth directorial effort.
US actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie on her arrival to co-host with Britain's Foreign Secre...
US actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie on her arrival to co-host with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (not pictured) the four-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in east London on June 10, 2014
Carl Court, AFP
Richard Erskine Frere Leakey is a Kenyan politician and noted conservationist. He serves as professor of anthropology at Stony Brook in New York. In 1989 he was appointed the head of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Department (WMCD) by Kenya's President Daniel Arap Moi. This was in response to the international outcry over the poaching of elephants across the country.
Controversially, although arguably quite effective, Leakey created special, well-armed anti-poaching units that were authorized to shoot poachers on sight. Leakey also takes a strong view against safaris and eco-tourism, He maintains that parks are self-contained ecosystems that need to be fenced in and for humans to be kept out. This tallies with his political philosophy, which is aligned to the left-wing Safina Party which operates in Kenya.
Leakey makes for an interesting subject for Angelina Jolie to make a movie about. The screenplay for the project has been written by Eric Roth (who won an Oscar for Forrest Gump). The film will be produced by David Ellison (Jack Reacher).
Explaining her motivation for the project to the BBC, Jolie said: "I've felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life." She added that the premise for the movie was: "a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers, who emerged with a deeper understanding of man's footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him."
The movie will be financed by Skydance Productions. Quoted by Voice of America, Skydance Chief Executive David Ellison said: "It is very close to my heart, and I know that it will exceed my expectations in Angelina's hands."