years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Best Charity Film Production, Best Director, Special Jury Prize
“Moon Bear”, a groundbreaking undercover documentary that exposes the horrific bear bile farming industry in China, has won three awards as part of The One Foundation’s charity film festival, at an awards ceremony in Beijing. The One Foundation was founded by Jet Li, the film actor, producer, and martial artist.
“Moon Bear” was the biggest winner of the night, taking the Best Director, Grand Jury, and Best Charity Film Production awards.
Over 320 films were submitted to the festival, the first event to recognise films that focus on creating public benefit. The festival ran from July to October 2012, and was held in partnership with Chinese internet companies Tencent, Sina, Renren, Dopool and Youku.
“Moon Bear” undercover footage was shot between 2009 and 2010 by independent film-makers and reveals shocking scenes of “legal” and illegal bear farms with conditions that are clearly breaking current regulations.
The documentary was produced by Elsa Xiong, Tu Qiao and Chen Yuanzhong, who spent two years working on it, travelling to six provinces and conducting many undercover investigations. Animals Asia is featured extensively in the film.
Chen Yuanzhong, cameraman:“Moon bears, we get the award because of your pain. Should we give our gratitude to you who are hurt or should we say sorry to you? The award is a comfort to us but it hardly makes us feel happy.”
Toby Zhang, Animals Asia’s External Affairs Director, China accepts the awards on behalf of the production team.
Toby Zhang, the China External Affairs Director for Animals Asia accepted the awards on behalf of the production team:“That a documentary about bear bile farming has been recognised at a charity film festival, speaks volumes about the profile this issue is now getting in China. The subject was even discussed by the presenters of a number of other awards on the evening, showing how much the plight of the bears is touching people across the country.”
Jet Li expressed his hope during the ceremony that more people will become concerned with social issues in the future:“I have two hands; one fights for my family and myself and the other one fights to pay back to society.”
The judges praised the production team for their courage and the documentary for its positive impact on wildlife protection:
Best Charity Film Production “The voluntary team took a great risk to film bear bile farming. The film is very shocking, which draws great attention and self-reflection from the public in terms of bear bile farming. More importantly, it brings a great positive impact on saving the moon bear and the progress on wildlife protection.”
Best Director “The director presents the wound of human morality by a heart-quaking way. The professional filming skills and the great social responsibility give a great power to this shocking undercover investigation documentary.”
Special Jury Prize “The film targeted the darkest corner in the reality via the objective angle and presented the real ugliness of human nature like a sharp knife. It wins the sympathy of the audience, which gives a soft light for these humble living beings, moon bears.”