Mikhail AlekseevSenior Research Officer of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Horse Breeding (VNIIK), Candidate of Biological Sciences, Docent
R. L. WilsonWriter
Your film is the most important, revealing and finest ever done on Africa -
It is an authentic masterpiece.
You have documented, created and artistically presented a monumental history and drama - and given razor-sharp focus to a conservation crisis of international proportions.
"Ivory" deserves to be screened before the General Assembly of the United Nations.
I will do all humanly possible to help see that "Ivory" receives the comprehensive attention and market this prize-winning classic - truly a landmark - and a brave work of love and conscience - fully deserves.
It should also be screened in the White House where the focus has sadly taken attention from the true challenges -
And had made illegal historic art, antiques and hunting trophies collected decades ago. The resulting wrongful US and state laws and regulations are causing panic and the considerable loss of value to collectors and dealers of authentic artifacts, and has impacted museums as well.
KARL AMMANNWildlife Photographer, writer, conservationist
This is great and maybe will open the flood gates (when I tried to tell the bush meat story some 15 years ago the conservation establishment declared it was not an issue. Then we got a big story in the New York time magazine and then it became fashionable overnight to declare it a crisis in terms of biodiversity conservation).
SHIDLOVSKIY FEDORGeneral Director, Ice Age Museum
Today, I would like to say a few words about Segey’s latest work.
This is a film "Ivory. A Crime Story".
Probably it is not a final version, it suggests applying the finishing touches.
However, it is already clear that a huge work had been made and fantastic documentary material had been collected.
Despite the negativity, the author shows to the international community the only way to solve the overarching problem of saving the African elephant. This species of mammals plays the most important role in preserving the entire fauna of the African savannah for posterity. Here is one historical fact: in the 80s one of the provinces of Botswana was a scrub, there were no elephants for a long time, and they were only a few black rhinos and 2 species of antelope. Soon Proboscidea family of 18 animals were brought there. For 25 years, the landscape dramatically changed. Bush became a classic savannah, where more than 30 species of antelope began successfully co-existing. The elephant is a landscape-forming animal. The value of this species cannot be overestimated. Since the seventies of the 20th century, the world has taken many efforts to increase the population of African elephants, the strategy was developed, and the results are evident. By 2005, the number of elephants has increased from 150,000 to half a million. Nevertheless, the growing influence of the Chinese economy for all regions of the planet, and the submarginal economic conditions of most African countries changed the situation.The desire to earn money for the whole chain of elephant tusks smuggling from Africa to China makes people kill these amazing, majestic animals. The effectiveness of protective measures came to nothing.
Sergey Yastrzhembskiy managed to investigate the whole story, much like a detective, he visited many countries and reflected all in his documentary.
The film is interesting and resonant. I really hope it will play a role in changing the situation for the better.
I have no doubt, the film will be popular after release.
Keep it up!
Michel ZgarkaChairman & CEO XII Tribes Entertainment, Executive Producer/Délégué Général MOONDANCE International Film Festival
One of the most humane and fascinating film I have seen in a long time.
Bravo Sergey and an honour to be working with you.
I look forward to making sure your film gets the widest and most deserved international visibility.
Georges LeclereFounder and President of LGMA Inc.
Thank you very much!!!
Alexander VolkovJournalist and professor, Doctor of Нistorical sciences
The first impression was very strong.
You know, my feelings were confused, very differing. It is beautiful, very beautiful from one side and awful from another, when you see those touching giants becoming helpless against the industry of mass murder.
The scene where the black guy kills the elephant almost with his hands is very difficult to watch.
And the piles of tusks getting burned.
And these great people who fight against poachers saying they are ready to die for saving their national pride and incredible resources!
I think that during this first screening only my right cerebral hemisphere was active, very emotional, while the left side of my brain was quite sleepy!
The film is very intense emotionally.
That is why also it is so beautiful, despite all the cruelty of some scenes and the film itself! To my mind, it is a success, and I will watch it again to see those amazing shots, and understand more, because as I said, my right side of the brain was way too active! I guess that is how people normally react watching such a film, according to it's objectives. In a nutshell, you and all of your team did a great job!
MIKHAILСommander of anti-poaching group in CAR in 2005-2009
Charlotte HouplineFounder and President of the NGO Wara Conservation Project, Senegal & Guinea
Ivory has become the organized crime industry, whose main customer is China.
Filmed on different continents, the documentary “IVORY. A CRIME STORY” exposes the extent and the gravity of traffic that reaches the high points.
I participated in this documentary as a member of the EAGLE network to show that the prosecution of culprits, involved in the long-neglected international wildlife trade, is probably the best deterrent weapon against corruption in this system.
I watched the film, and I can say that it is great! Congratulations on your success, all your efforts were completely worth it, this film is very useful!
Jeff KoinangeAward-Winning Journalist/Talk Show Host, Nairobi, Kenya
This Documentary is timely, relevant, urgent and at times, shocking. It is incumbent upon us as human beings to watch it, absorb it, get angry and most importantly DO SOMETHING about the alarming rate of depletion of the world's Elephant Population. Let us ACT now before it's TOO Late.
Congratulations. This is great and maybe will open the flood gates.(when I tried to tell the bush meat story some15 years ago the conservation establishment declared it was not an issue. Then we got a big story in the New York time magazine and then it became fashionable overnight to declare it a crisis in terms of biodiversity conservation)
Samuel Leshan LebashaAssociated Producer “Ivory. A Crime Story”, Director “Gaig & Leshan safaris LTD”, Nairobi, Kenya
I have been working with Sergey Yastrzhembskiy since 2010. I organized shooting for the Yastrebfilm crew in Eastern Africa. During one of these tours we spotted carcasses of dead elephants. It turned out that they had died as a result of poaching, as their tusks were missing. We were shocked by what we saw. And that is how the idea to make a documentary about elephant poaching was born.
It was the first time that I experienced the brutal side of poaching, propelled by a voracious demand of ivory in Asia and China. The images we captured were heartbreaking, a sight that made me see the need to be involved in curbing of wildlife crime, which if not stopped may crumble the tours and travel industry in coming years.
Sergey and his team have so far compiled what will be the best film in highlighting the ugly side of poaching and the need to bring this heinous acts to an end, as more elephant populations are still at risk due to the increasing demand for ivory. I am extremely proud of Sergey and his team for bringing this project to life, as it will make major positive change in Kenya and beyond in educating the society on the need to save and secure our wildlife for the generations to come.
Christian FleuryLocation Manager
In May 2013, together with the Yastrebfilm crew we were shooting in the South Pacific. We were on a sailing ship admiring the almost virgin nature of the Ambrym Island in the archipelago of Vanuatu. That is when Sergey Yastrzhembkiy told me for the first time about a project of his new full-length film that he wanted to produce and direct in order to denounce the illegal ivory trade. I got immediately very enthusiastic about the idea of taking part in it, because I thought that even if some documentaries have already spoken of the subject, none of them were so ambitious. I knew that Sergey had the capacity and the talent to take up such a challenge.
I am in love with nature, I have traveled around the world to admire it and in my opinion the extinction of the elephant will be a drama for humanity. We don’t have the right to leave future generations on a planet without these big animals. So this is a duty for cinematographers to denounce the murder of those magnificent creatures and the infamous illegal trade of ivory. I think that we have done a great film in Africa, as well as in Asia. It will help the world to understand the drama that is taking place today and I hope will stop the slaughter for good.