Netflix's 'The Ivory Game' to Screen at Beijing Film Festival

The Ivory Game - Screenshot - H - 2016

The state-run event's selection of the elephant conservation documentary follows China's recent decision to ban the ivory trade by the end of 2017.

Netflix's elephant conservation documentary The Ivory Game has scored an official selection slot at the upcoming Beijing International Film Festival.

Shortlisted in the best documentary Oscar category this year, the film has been hailed for its gripping depiction of the dangerous underworld of ivory trading and the urgent threat posed to Africa's wild elephant population.

The state-backed Beijing festival's decision to screen the film comes on the heels of China's recent decision to ban ivory trade by the end of 2017.

"On Dec. 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, said the film's directors, Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson. "We have now received word that The Ivory Game has been invited to screen at the Beijing Film Festival. 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."

This year's Beijing International Film Festival kicks off April 28 at the China National Convention Center.

Conservationist Jane Goodall added her voice in support of China's recent moves against the ivory trade, saying that it also will 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," said Goodall. "This is yet another reason why ending the ivory trade is so important."