The tear-jerker, which is set to the song Born Free sung by Matt Monro and has been watched by millions online, won the £5m-£20m turnover category and a silver in the People’s Choice category.
Matt Smithers, Born Free’s Head of Marketing & Fundraising, said: “This is a great accolade. Through this film, we have been able to enlighten and educate millions of people around the world about everything that is wrong with the barbaric captive lion breeding trade. We are making positive change and hopefully ensuring a better future for South Africa’s lions. I would like to thank everyone who voted for us, as well as Engine and Zombie for creating such a powerful film.”
Will Travers OBE, Born Free’s Executive President & Co-Founder, said: “The weight of public opposition to canned hunting is growing, stimulated by the extraordinary support that The Bitter Bond has received. This, combined with the fact that international travel restrictions mean almost no one is travelling to South Africa to take part in this barbaric practice, could spell the end for this brutal and callous form of wildlife exploitation.”
Virginia McKenna OBE, Born Free’s Co-Founder & Trustee, added: “I am so deeply grateful to the thousands of members of the public who supported The Bitter Bond in the People’s Choice category and also to the judges who awarded us a first prize. Now we must all redouble our efforts to close down canned hunting and devote our energies to protecting and conserving lions in the wild, where they belong.”
The Bitter Bond launched on 24th September 2019 on Born Free’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube channels. It has been shared by celebrities including Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and Ricky Gervais. An accompanying petition calling on the South African government to ban canned hunting has been signed by nearly 280,000 people.