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Jon Kasbe: When Lambs Become Lions + director Q&A at the Frontline Club

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Time 19:00
Date 08/10/18
Price £12
  • Price £12, £10 concessions
  • Get ready for the hunter to become the hunted.
  • Bring along
  • Surf to book tickets.
  • See you at Frontline Club

In a Kenyan town bordering wildlife conservation land, two men try to hold onto their increasingly fragile status quo.

A small-time ivory dealer fights to stay on top while forces mobilise to destroy his trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline.

The plummeting elephant population in Africa has captured the attention of the world. And as the government cracks down, the poachers face their own existential crisis. For them, conservationists are not only winning their campaign to value elephant life over its ivory, but over human life as well. Who are these hunters who will risk death, arrest and the moral outrage of the world to provide for their families?

Director Jon Kasbe followed the film’s subjects over a three-year period, gaining an extraordinary level of access and trust as he became part of their everyday lives. The result is a rare and visually arresting look through the perspectives and motives of the people at the epicentre of the conservation divide.


David Shukman is Science Editor for BBC News. Shukman has reported regularly on the trafficking of wild animals. In 2017 Shukman and his team uncovered a secret network of wildlife traffickers selling baby chimpanzees that was exposed by a year-long BBC World News investigation for flagship documentary strand, Our World. The tiny animals are seized from the wild and sold as pets. The BBC’s research uncovered a notorious West African hub for wildlife trafficking, known as the “blue room”. Shukman began his career at the BBC began in 1983, he was a Northern Ireland reporter from 1985 to 1987, then the Defence Correspondent (TV) from 1987 to 1995. From then until 1999 he was the European Correspondent, and broadening his coverage in 1999, he became the World Affairs Correspondent until 2003, when he became an environment and science correspondent. In January 2012 he was appointed as the BBC’s first science editor.


Born to an Australian mother and an Indian father, Jon Kasbe spent most of his childhood traveling extensively. Growing up in this environment instilled in him a deep curiosity and desire to explore the world. He soon found documentary filmmaking to be a way to immerse himself in his travels and share discoveries with others. At age 10, he bought his first camera in order to interview children in war-torn Serbia, where his parents were volunteering. Now, at 27, his short films have screened around the world, garnering an Emmy Award, two Emmy nominations, and recognition from the Webbys, SXSW, Hot Docs, Vimeo Staff Picks, and The White House News Photographers Association. WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS, which he filmed, directed and produced, is his feature-length film debut.

Kaddu Sebunya is president of the African Wildlife Foundation. He began his career serving as a project manager with WaterAid and as a relief program officer with Oxfam UK. Beginning with his post as the Associate Director for the United States Peace Corps in Uganda, Sebunya’s career began to focus more on conservation. He later served as a country program coordinator with the World Conservation Union—now the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN—and as a senior policy and planning advisor for Conservation International.