“I never could have imagined how timely my film would be when I set off to meet these courageous women who fight on the frontlines of this mostly silent war,” David tells PEOPLE.
“The connection that illegally poached wildlife, specifically the pangolin in an Asian market in this instance, has a direct impact on our well-being," she continues. "We might well be home and quarantined because we ventured into areas where humans and wildlife should not interact."
David adds, “We are not supposed to be interacting with much of the wildlife that brings us viruses (MERS/SARS/COVID-19). Hopefully this great universal pause will give all of us a chance to examine our relationship to wildlife and the planet.”
For two nights only on Saturday and May 14, viewers worldwide will be able to watch Breaking Their Silence: Women on the Frontline of the Poaching War on Vimeo for $19.99.
The film can be viewed for a full 24 hours. The rental includes a one-year membership to David’s non-profit organization OverAndAboveAfrica.com — a $60 value. For more information, visit the page on Vimeo.
A 20-year film industry veteran, David began her film career at Paramount and went on to serve as the assistant for Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise before starting her own production company in 2001.
Her film credits include the Agent Cody Banks franchise starring Hilary Duff and Muniz and Like Dandelion Dust, based on The New York Times best-selling book and starring Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper.
But it was her work as a philanthropist through her non-profit Over and Above Africa that introduced her to the nightmare that Africa and Asia’s endangered species face every day as poachers torture and maim them to make money.
Keeping the animals alive helps the economy more than killing the animals, David has said.
The Big Life Foundation, an organization that protects elephants and wildlife, did a study showed that each elephant brings in $140 million over its lifetime because of tourism, David said in a 2019 interview on CNN.
“But if you kill it just to hunt it, it's $40,000, so actually it is more effective to find ways to keep these elephants alive and find ways to live in harmony with mankind than it is to actually lift the ban…and declare open season on these elephants, which are such beautiful sentient beings,” David told CNN.
At the time, Botswana had lifted its ban on elephant hunting — a law David is trying to fight.
“We must take accountability that we have taken up every square inch of this planet," she says, "leaving little space for the wildlife that contributes crucially to our biosphere peacefully."
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