Mia and the White Lion {Enter to Win}

Mia and the White Lion is a family film about the bond between an unlikely pair.  Ten-year-old Mia has her life turned upside down when her family decides to leave London to manage a lion farm in Africa. When a beautiful white lion, Charlie, is born, Mia finds happiness once again and develops a special bond with the growing cub.

When Charlie reaches three, Mia’s life is rocked once again as she uncovers an upsetting secret kept hidden by her father. Distraught by the thought that Charlie could be in danger, Mia decides to rescue him. The two friends set out on an incredible journey across the South African savanna in search of a sanctuary where Charlie can live out his life in freedom.

Mia and the White Lion

About Lions

Did you know 250,000 wild lions reigned over Africa 100 years ago?  Their population has fallen by 90% and last year according to experts, there are less than 20,000 left.  Lions aren’t considered an “endangered species” but if their numbers continue to fall at the same rate, they will have completely disappeared in the wild in 20 years time. I can’t even imagine.

In South Africa, in the past 10 years, over 10,000 lions have been trophy hunted in ‘canned lion’ hunts, a legal industry.  They are coming from breeding farms.  Most of those farms are not sanctuaries but places where lion cubs are bred for slaughter, volunteers are duped and tourists are lied to.

About the Production

One of my favorite facts about the production is that it was shot over a period of three years, enough time to see the real life evolution of the relationship between “Mia” {played by Daniah De Villiers} and “Charlie” the lion {played by Thor}.  A pride of six lions grew up together during the production, including Thor, as well as one other male lion and four lionesses.

Kevin Richardson, a lion expert also known as the “Lion Whisperer,” oversaw the entire production process and all interactions between the lions and the children ensuring that both parties were safe and respected.  Thanks to a fund created by the production team, the six lions from production remain together and now live on Kevin Richardson’s reserve, the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary.

No animals were harmed, abused, stressed or had their welfare compromised in any way while on set under the supervision of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League.  To ensure a safe working environment for both actors and animals, only three people were allowed to interact with the lions: Daniah De Villiers, Ryan Mac Lennan, and Kevin Richardson.

Mia and the White Lion opens in select U.S. markets on April 12th.  Also, I’m working as a publicist on this film.  Full disclosure.

 

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