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ROAR OF THE KALAHARI
aka ROAR: LIONS OF THE KALAHARI
UK: National Geographic Giant Screen Films
Director: Tim Liversedge
UK: 40 mins
UK Certificate: U
UK Release Date: 9 February 2007 (Limited Release - London, BFI IMAX and Science Museum cinemas)
LIONS 3D: ROAR OF THE KALAHARI, a compelling giant-screen 3D film by Tim Liversedge for National Geographic, which opens at the BFI IMAX. Filmed entirely in the wild and made possible in part by the support of the Republic of Botswana, LIONS 3D carries the audience deep into the stark expanse of Botswana's Kalahari Desert where the life-and-death struggle between a real lion king and a fierce, young contender determined to oust him from his throne unfolds. Viewers will be shaken in their seats by one of nature's loudest sounds - the roars of duelling lions - delivered by the most powerful cinema sound system in the world.
The drama poignantly weaves together the day-to-day life of lions with the suspense of rivalry in an epic story of power and dominance, success and failure. Here, one of the largest lions to walk the arid lands of the Kalahari - a 10-foot giant - reigns with his lionesses and cubs. A nomad comes to claim the territory for his own, gradually encroaching until an ultimate battle between the two determines the fate of all.
More than 40 years of experience in the region allowed filmmaker Tim Liversedge to capture in unparalleled detail the natural behaviour of lions, their prey and the incredible profusion of life congregated at a single water source for 100 miles around.
"LIONS 3D is set around an isolated watering hole teaming with wildlife" says Liversedge. "Powerful, close-up images and a complex sound design put the audience right there at the site. Zebra herds trot by close enough to touch. An elephant trumpets thunderously from the screen. A soaring flight is taken over vast and harsh landscapes. My aim was to give audiences the experience of what it is like to be gazing up at the star-filled skies over the Kalahari, to have the thrill of hearing two lions engaged in a roaring duel, or to sit at the edge of a water hole a few feet from elephants bathing in the moonlight. "
Liversedge had to contend with relentless dust storms and surface temperatures that soared to 130°F. "Filming LIONS 3D was one of the most challenging and exciting times of my life," he said. "The lions were so close at times that they brushed my tripod and used me and my camera as cover to hide behind to try and get closer to their prey. Perhaps the most spectacular shot I got was captured when a springbok leapt 10 feet straight up into the air to be brought down by a lioness right in front of my 70mm camera. They both crashed to the ground a few feet in front of me."