Tigerland, just like tigers, promises beauty and adventure. Directed by Oscar-winning Ross Kauffman, the film shines a light on the endangered tiger population. “I thought to myself, What if we don’t make a film necessarily about the destruction of the tiger, but what if we made a film celebrating the beauty of the tiger, the magic of the tiger, and really the reverence that we have as a culture for the tiger?” said Kauffman.
The film seeks to provide a new found sense of appreciation for the unique mannerisms and instincts in which the tiger moves in. Sadly, there are only about 4,000 tigers left. The movie introduces the audience to advocates who have dedicated their life towards the preservation of the animal. “We really wanted to make this a human based story. We wanted it about the people who are passionately trying to save the tiger,” said Kauffman. Tigers have such a historic influence on many cultures. The film explains that in India, killing the tiger was actually seen as a proclamation of power. In modern day, we tend to fetishize the wild animal into something that is more “cute” for example, Tony the Tiger or Tigger. However, what we forget is that this animal can be deathly. We glorify the beauty of the tiger but fail to recognize the beauty in its power as well. The audience meets Pavel Fomenko, who is a director of a rare species conservation for the World Wildlife Fund in Russia. Fomenko then undergoes a rescue mission between a mother tiger and her two cubs in effort to relocate them to a place they will be safe from human threat.
Kailash Sankhala also plays a huge role in the film. Sankhala helped pinpoint decreasing tiger populations in India and fostered a bigger sense of preservation in his community. “We really wanted fresh and new faces to tell the story,” said Kauffman. Tigerland proves just how grateful we should be for the humans who actively play a role in preserving tigers for all that come after us.