On the day of its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, The Orchard and CNN Films have joined to acquire Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau’s documentary Trophy, for release in the U.S.

A startling exploration of the evolving relationship between big-game hunting and wildlife conservation, Trophy screens at the festival in U.S. Documentary Competition. The Orchard will release the film later this year on a minimum of 150 screens.

Endangered African species like elephants, rhinos and lions march closer to extinction each year. Their devastating decline is fueled in part by a global desire to consume these majestic animals. Trophy investigates the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation. Through the eyes of impassioned individuals who drive these industries—from a Texas-based trophy hunter to the world’s largest private rhino breeder in South Africa—the film grapples with the consequences of imposing economic value on animals. What are the implications of treating animals as commodities? Do breeding, farming and hunting offer some of the few remaining options to conserve our endangered animals? Trophy will leave viewers debating what is right, what is wrong and what is necessary in order to save the great species of the world.

“This is a dream partnership for us,” stated filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau. “With The Orchard’s theatrical distribution ingenuity and CNN’s diverse audience, we can’t think of a better combination of companies to reach audiences on all sides of a potentially polarizing issue.”

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