The Shepherds of Wildlife Society, an organization dedicated to highlighting the stories of wildlife conservation stakeholders across the globe, recently previewed its upcoming film The Last Keeper at the 2023 Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucus (NASC) in Dewey Beach, DE.
The Last Keeper is a character-driven film that explores the disappearing way of life based on Victorian hunting estates and their associated wildlife and habitat conservation role. The film follows the struggles of gamekeepers in Scotland who are being driven from their lands and livelihoods by competing interests.
The Last Keeper is like other films featured in the Killing the Shepherd series in which they highlight that humans can be aligned with sustainable conservation strategies, especially when they see a benefit from the activities, and ultimately their needs as shepherds need to be considered in the larger conservation narrative and decision-making framework.
Tom Opre, Founder and Director of the Shepherds of Wildlife Society explains, "Our goal is to highlight the success, yet also showcase the importance of the human rights of local communities who steward and nurture their natural resources. In Scotland, these families - hard-working families - are being driven from their lands and livelihoods by a segment of the Scottish population far removed from rural life. Contradicting groups, with the ear of politicians, are pushing for different land uses and outcomes through the concept of rewilding.”
The Last Keeper received a warm and exciting welcome at the NASC event. Opre commented, "This film, like the first in the Killing the Shepherd series, hits home with this group. For so many communities worldwide, the relationship between them and the natural world around them is inextricable. They rely on the wildlife and forests for food, their livelihoods, and their general well-being - perspectives which many people in these rooms can relate to as they are passionate conservationists."
The Last Keeper is set to begin an extensive film festival run, followed by a limited theatrical release in early summer 2024, and then later in the year distributed to public and streaming platforms, such as ValleyPBS (and made available to all 330 PBS TV stations) and Amazon, AppleTV, Tubi, YouTube & many more.
The Shepherds of Wildlife Society is thankful for the chance to contribute to the 20th annual NASC conference and the warm welcome The Last Keeper received. To learn more about the film and subscribe for updates, visit https://www.shepherdsofwildlife.org/the-last-keeper.