Jackie Chan backs “Gambling on Extinction”

The actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador (pictured) is getting behind the Canada-Germany coproduction, which uncovers the illegal global trade of wildlife products.
October 21, 2013

Action superstar and UN Goodwill Ambassador Jackie Chan is going into combat – this time against the slaughter of endangered species in the illegal global trade of wildlife products.

Chan is getting behind Canadian-German copro Gambling on Extinction, an investigative documentary from Toronto-based Real to Reel Productions and Germany’s A&O Buero Filmproduktion, which explores the business behind the illegal trade of wildlife products, specifically ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts.

Gambling on Extinction sees director Jakob Kneser travel to trading hubs in China, Vietnam and Europe to discover the major players and mechanisms in the global trade of endangered species, and meet the people working to end it.

“Everyone should dispel the myths that ivory jewellery and carvings are made from tusks that have fallen off the elephant or from elephants that have died of natural causes,” Chan said in a statement. “This is simply not true. Elephants are being hunted and killed for their tusks. The only way to stop the slaughter is to cut the demand. We are all consumers so we can make a difference.”

Chan is a UNICEF/UNAIDS ambassador, and has also worked with WildAid to advocate against about the illegal wildlife trade. Chan will be interviewed in Gambling for Extinction, and is showing his support by spreading the word about the film.

Gambling on Extinction is produced by Real to Reel Productions, headed up by Anne Pick and Bill Spahic, and A&O Buero Filmproduktion. The producers are Pick and Tristan Chytroschek.

The film is backed by support from the International Fund for Wildlife Welfare, and broadcast deals in several territories, including Animal Planet and W5 in Canada, ARTE in France, SBS in Australia, TVP in Poland and VRT in Belgium. According to a project spokesperson, the filmmakers would also like to bring a French-Canadian broadcaster on board. France’s Java Films is distributing the documentary.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.