Press Release for Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Milking the Rhino Film Chronicles the Struggles of African Wildlife Conservation
Asst. Director of Marketing &
The University of
North Florida Fine Arts Center welcomes “Milking the Rhino” with
Producer/Director David E. Simpson as part of the Southern Arts Federation’s
Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14,
2009 at the UNF Recital Hall. Following a screening of his documentary, “Milking
the Rhino,” Simpson will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and
his work as a filmmaker. Tickets are available for $7 for adults and $5 for
students from the UNF Ticket Box Office.
a nuanced tale of human-wildlife coexistence in post-colonial Africa. The Maasai
tribe of Kenya and Namibia's Himba—two of Earth's oldest cattle cultures—are in
the midst of upheaval. Emerging from a century of "white man conservation,"
which turned their lands into game reserves and fueled resentment towards
wildlife, Himba and Maasai communities are now vying for a piece of the
wildlife-tourism pie. Community-based conservation, which tries to balance the
needs of wildlife and people, has been touted by environmentalists as "win-win."
The reality, however, is more complex. "We never used to benefit from these
animals," a Maasai host of a community eco-lodge explains. "Now we milk them
like cattle!" His neighbor disagrees: "A rhino means nothing to me! I can't kill
it for meat like a cow." And when drought decimates the grass shared by
livestock and wildlife, the community's commitment to conservation is sorely
E. Simpson has crafted award-winning films for 25 years. As a producer, director
and editor he plies his trade in the belief that a well-told story can move
viewers’ hearts and minds regarding crucial, human issues. David co-produced and
directed “When Billy Broke
His Head,” a documentary about disability culture that won the
Sundance Film Festival’s Freedom of Expression Award, along with major prizes at
dozens of other festivals. He recently co-produced and edited “Forgiving Dr.
Mengele,” about an Auschwitz survivor’s controversial campaign of
forgiveness, which won the 2006 Slamdance Grand Jury Prize for documentaries.
David directed “Refrigerator
Mothers,” about a generation of mothers who raised autistic children
under the shadow of professionally-promoted mother-blame. The film won top
honors at the Florida, Indiana, and Sedona film festivals and aired on the PBS
series P.O.V. David also produced and directed “Halsted Street,
USA,” a multi-award-winning snapshot of America through the prism of
one multicultural street. His experimental narrative, “Dante's
Dream,” a re-working of Dante’s cosmology, earned five 1st place
award-winning “Milking the Rhino” has been featured in numerous festivals,
including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, International Documentary
Film Festival Amsterdam, Jerusalem International Film Festival, Globians Doc
Fest Berlin, Boston International Film Festival, among many others. “Milking the
Rhino” was honored with awards for Best Documentary at the Pan African Film
Festival and San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, as well as the Silver
Lei at Honolulu International Film Festival.
Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts
Federation, a not-for-profit regional arts organization making a positive
difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. Southern Arts
Federation is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the
National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
Tennessee. Special support for Southern Circuit is provided by the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more information on the Southern Arts
Federation and its programs visit www.southarts.org.
Tickets are available
for $7 for adults and $5 for students in cash from the UNF Ticket Box Office.
For complete information about any shows or to purchase single tickets, visit
or call the UNF
Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878. Patrons can visit the Box Office in person
at the University of North Florida, Building 45, Room 1400, 1 UNF Drive,
Jacksonville, FL 32224. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday,
and 90 minutes prior to show time.