POWELL, Ohio - The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium teams up with the Columbus International Film + Video Festival to present Beny: Back to the Wild, a French film about an orphaned bonobo rescued by Claudine André, a conservationist who has dedicated her life to protecting endangered bonobos. In April of 2013, Claudine Andre was selected as the recipient of the Columbus Zoo’s first Commitment to Conservation Award in recognition of her lifelong dedication to saving the endangered wildlife of Congo. Members of the Zoo’s Animal Encounters Team will greet you prior to the film for an unforgettable close-up with some of the Zoo’s most charismatic animal ambassadors.
Congolese biologist Suzy Kwetuenda (who appears in the film) will be there to present the film and speak about the mission of Lola ya Bonobo (Paradise of the Bonobo in the local language) the sanctuary that saved Beny and continues to provide care and comfort to more then 60 endangered bonobos.
A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary. The film will be screened at the Gateway Film Center, with a reception before the film on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The reception will begin at 7 p.m. with the film at 8 p.m. Tickets to the reception with Suzy Kwetuenda and the film are just $5. Admission is free for Columbus International Film + Video Festival members.
"This is a great partnership between two local non-profits that have both a local and international scope," said Susan Halpern, Executive Director of the CIFVF. "We are so thrilled to be working with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to show such a great film about wildlife conservation." Said Rebecca Rose, Field Conservation Manager at the Zoo, “This is the first time the Zoo has participated in the Columbus International Film + Video Festival, and we welcome the opportunity to share the remarkable story of bonobos through this compelling film.”
This screening has been made possible with support from the NEA, The OAC and the GCAC and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
About the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 575 species from around the globe. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; contributing more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.