Rhino poaching on the big screen
Acclaimed film maker Darrell Roodt and actor Tariku Bogale have joined forces to create a fictional film based on real events – the poaching of rhinos and the subsequent illegal trade in their horns.
Bloodline: Now or Never is expected to be one of South Africa’s best locally produced independent thrillers.
On Friday, City Press was invited to the set near Diepsloot in Johannesburg as the team was wrapping up the production process.
The film explores the lives of four people who are affected in different ways by the slaughter of rhino in South Africa and the illicit trade in rhino horn.
Gabriel (Bogale) and his wife, Logan (Erin Ross), are a young couple who have dedicated their lives to conserving rhino. After Logan is killed in the crossfire during a fight with poachers, Gabriel is distraught and decides to avenge his wife and take on the poachers.
“There are three rhinos that are shot and killed every day in the country, which means that the extent of poaching that takes place is uncontainable,” said Bogale (37), who also co-wrote and produced the film.
“It’s important to get the message across about rhino poaching because it happens on such a large scale. That is why I decided to involve myself in a movie that would have a wide audience appeal,” Bogale said.
But who exactly is this charismatic new face we are about to see on our big screens? Bogale told us that he grew up in Ethiopia with 13 siblings.
Education was important to him so, after putting himself through school, he furthered his studies in South Africa and Switzerland.
He is a businessman and has established companies in Africa, Europe and the US, across the travel and tourism, retail, property, finance and technology sectors.
Roodt, however, is a seasoned director and is best known for his film Sarafina, which came out in 1992 and stars Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. He sees Bogale as a natural actor. “Tariku’s a wonderful man. For whatever reason, he came our way and it’s been beautiful. He’s never done this before, and it’s been a great challenge shaping him in a way that’s truly fascinating.
“I really believe that after this film, people will say, ‘Wow! Who is that?’ about him. He’s a really interesting guy and very different,” Roodt said.
He said Bogale brought a unique screen presence to the movie.
As a black African entering the movie industry, Bogale values the importance of protecting African heritage. Los Angeles is where Bogale calls home for at least six months of the year, and he has been identified by movie industry folk as potentially the next James Bond.
“I’ve been in different industries and the acting part is something I’ve never covered. When I was in LA, people saw me as a black James Bond, and that is the direction that I would like to head into,” he said.
“We are gunning for this film to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and at Cannes. We feel it is big enough to do well at the Oscars.”