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“U.S. Premiere of The Last Keeper set for Whitefish, MT” 

New conservation-human rights film highlights the plight of a rural community in its fight to continue to serve as stewards of wildlife and local natural resources.

 

Whitefish, MT – After almost two years in the making, the second film in The Killing the Shepherd film series, The Last Keeper, will have its U.S. premiere. The film has been recognized by more than 15 international film festivals for its merits and received overwhelming support from thousands ofviewers through a spring film tour in the U.K. - including a viewing by the Scottish parliament last week. The Shepherds of Wildlife Society will premiere this novel film at the O'Shaunessey Center Whitefish theater on June 23, 2024, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. MST.  Film director Tom Opre will be in person to answer questions after the screening. The premiere will offer a unique chance to go behind the scenes and learn more about the making of the film and the issues driving wildlife management in Scotland. Many of the issues featured in the film also echo in Montana and the USA. "This is what we've been working towards - a chance to highlight the issues rural indigenous communities are facing in Scotland ." commented Opre regarding the premiere, "we are excited to connect with people at the screening and join in on the conversations that the film inspires." Space is limited, so register early. Tickets are only $15.00, and any profit made from the viewing will support the nonprofit Shepherds of Wildlife Society.  A special thank you for Valley Bank of Kalispell for their support in underwriting the event. 

Telling the Tale of Scotland’s Land Management

After the successful release of the film Killing the Shepherd in 2021, Director Tom Opre crafted this next film with a focus on the Scottish Highlands. This film highlights contemporary issues in wildlife management. It helps audiences connect to rural communities across the globe, working to fulfill their fundamental human rights to provide for their families while mutually existing with local natural resources.

Filmmakers sponsored by the Shepherds of Wildlife Society spent 130 days in the field over 16  months visiting with people on various sides of the land management issues. The focus was to highlight the plight of a rural community made up of gamekeepers, ghillies, and stalkers, who see their culture as stewards of local natural resources being threatened. Their goal is to ensure vibrant and healthy ecosystems throughout the Scottish Highlands, which will allow for the rural culture to survive and find acceptance among the broader urban public. The Last Keeper touches on basic human rights, wildlife management, and conservation.


“We're highlighting real communities in the Killing the Shepherd series, focusing on their pursuit of basic human rights. These individual stewards derive their livelihoods from the natural resources around them. We aim to shed light on human rights issues, drawing parallels with challenges observed in Scotland, where historical biases and conflicts lead to cultural suppression and, in some instances, resemble cultural genocide in slow motion due to government regulations," Opre explained.

 

"My goal is to ensure a healthy planet with robust ecosystems, clean drinking water, and the chance for future generations to witness thriving wildlife in beautiful habitats . Achieving this requires collective effort and collaboration, and our films are the spark to ignite those conversations," Opre emphasized.


Can’t Make the Premiere? The Whitefish premiere kicks off the film's U.S. release. Following select other theatrical events, The Last Keeper will be featured in a digital cinematic event beginning on June 29th through July 29th. Announcements for streaming access will be forthcoming and available at www.shepherdsofwildlife.org


To learn more about the upcoming film or the work of Shepherds of Wildlife, please visit https://www.shepherdsofwildlife.org/the-last-keeper. ###

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