Born Free


Castro Theatre Wed, Apr 20, 2016 6:30 PM
Film Info
Director:James Hill
Year of Production:1966
Premiere Status:50th Anniversary Screening
Topic:Big Nights
Festival Awards
Keep it Wild
Running Time:95 min


6:30pm :: 50th Anniversary Screening

IN PERSON: Virginia McKenna, actress, Born Free; Will Travers, President, Born Free Foundation

This wildlife epic first roared onto the big screen 50 years ago as the first mainstream Hollywood film to spotlight a big conservation issue. Since then, the story of Elsa the Lioness has captured hearts around the globe, not least inspiring star Virginia McKenna’s Born Free Foundation, dedicated to protecting these majestic animals.

Set in Kenya, it follows the true story of George (Bill Travers) and Joy Adamson's (Virgina McKenna) fight to return Elsa, a lion cub, to the wild. With the re-classification of many wild lion populations as endangered in December 2015 and inclusion of lions on the schedules of the US Endangered Species Act, the film's heart-warming story is even more relevant today.  A must for all cat lovers, big and small.

Presented in a stunning new 4k digital restoration, courtesy of Sony Pictures Enterainment.

Film followed by discussion and audience Q&A with Virginia McKenna and Will Travers.

After the program, Ms. McKenna will sign copies of her autobiography The Life in My Years, as well as her most recent poetry book The Moon is Red (on the Castro Mezannine).

5:30pm :: Uproar! Reception

Join us before the screening on the Castro Mezzanine to meet Virginia McKenna and Will Travers, while enjoying local food & beverages.
Separate ticket required. 21+

Hospitality Sponsors:

Dandelion Chocolate | Marlo's BakeShop | Whole Foods Market

Community Partners:

Felidae Conservation Fund | San Francisco Film Society | San Francisco SPCA | Wild Equity Insitute | Women's Environmental Network

Photo at top from Born Free (c) 1966 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Additional Information

Following a successful career as an actress, Virginia McKenna started Zoo Check in 1984 with her late husband, Bill Travers, and eldest son, Will, after the premature death of Pole Pole, an elephant she had come to know during the filming of An Elephant Called Slowly who was later gifted to London Zoo by the Kenya Government. Zoo Check later became the registered charity, the Born Free Foundation. Whilst Virginia still finds time to work occasionally as an actress, her leading role now is within the conservation and animal welfare movement. Virginia has also authored, co-authored and co-edited numerous books as well as travelling extensively over the years visiting zoos about which the Born Free Foundation has received complaints and, wherever possible, she accompanies rescued Big Cats to Born Free’s sanctuaries in India and South Africa. Virginia also speaks at numerous events, supports various other charitable organisations and is patron to many others