15-0447 Vanishing Kings
Produced by ORF, Interspot Film, ARTE, Smithsonian Networks, Into Nature Productions and Boksdocs
Category as a finalist: Wildlife Habitat
A lioness and her daughters hold the key to the survival of Namibia's rare desert lions: two years ago they gave birth to five male cubs, and through the hardships of the desert and without a pride male, they are raising them to independence, showing them how to hunt both the smallest and the largest prey - including even giraffes. But in a desperate, brave and spectacular attack on a giraffe, the elderly matriarch is injured and subsequently dies of her wounds. Now her two daughters must finish the education of the five sons before they grow too big to be fed. Filming over more than two years, we see the secret lives of desert lions as they roam the rugged mountains, majestic sand dunes, gravel plains, scrublands, and even the beaches of Namibia's Skeleton Coast. In this place of constant danger, everlasting hunger and thirst, and inevitable suffering, five young lions must conquer the desert and establish their own kingdom.