Private Project

I Am Lion

I AM LION will change the way you look at lions and at the natural world.

This powerful, emotionally gripping and intellectually stimulating game-changer of a documentary is the first to explore consciousness in a lion.

It weaves in a grounded and factual narrative with awe-inspiring footage and feeling and really shows what it is like to be a lioness.
The film takes viewers on an emotional roller-coaster ride through human history and perception, as a young lioness, born in a cage and with no lion role models to learn from, slowly gains the knowledge and understanding to navigate her way through captivity, contact with a human, and experiences in the natural world to fulfil her own natural potential in a unique quest for individual independence.

A remarkable film with a remarkable story, which unfolds in many different directions. It sits at a crossroads of cognition, animal behaviour, consciousness, psychology, neuroscience and neuropsychology, and succeeds in making complex scientific concepts accessible to a broad and varied audience.

“it's a gem -- riveting, powerful, grounded in solid science.”

  • Jurgen & Tarina Jozefowicz
    Saving Sirga: Journey into the Heart of a Lion
  • Tarina Jozefowicz
    Saving Sirga: Journey into the Heart of a Lion
  • Jurgen Jozefowicz
    Saving Sirga: Journey into the Heart of a Lion
  • Tarina Jozefowicz
    Saving Sirga: Journey into the Heart of a Lion
  • Michael Jozefowicz
    Saving Sirga: Journey into the Heart of a Lion
  • The Lioness called Sirga
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 32 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 20, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    240,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD PRO RES 4.2.2
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Award Winner - Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    October 19, 2019
    Award for Best Education Film
Distribution Information
  • Tauana Films
    Country: Botswana
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Jurgen & Tarina Jozefowicz

Jürgen and Tarina Jozefowicz, founder members of Tauana Films, have worked all over southern Africa. They have lived for extended periods in the Kruger National Park, the Namib and Kalahari deserts, and the Okavango Delta Of Botswana. They have worked on numerous projects in remote locations in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola.

Jürgen Jozefowicz (MD & DOP) is one of the legends of wildlife filmmaking in southern Africa and lives and breathes film.
Many years of experience in the field; living in the wilds of the Okavango during the ‘seventies, and learning bushcraft from the San and other indigenous peoples as well as working with rangers and scientists in many parts of Africa, has honed Jürgen into a naturalist, cinematographer & videographer with unique hands-on experience, and an in-depth knowledge of, and all-consuming passion for his craft and the world in which he practices it.

Jürgen is much more than just a great cameraman and filmmaker. He knows his cameras and lenses back to front, but he also has an outstanding eye for capturing a visual story. His knowledge of animals and his anticipation of animal behaviour are inspirational. He is a consummate Bushmaster and a technical ace capable of making and/or repairing just about anything and getting crews and vehicles out of any tight spot in the wilds of Africa.

He is vastly experienced and comfortable working in a wide range of film formats, from 35mm to 4k. He has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and love of camera technology and still owns every camera he ever worked with.

He is also an award-winning stills photographer.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I AM LION takes a radically different look at lions. It’s the first to explore sentience in lions - a smaller-brained species - and the first to try and distinguish between instinct and purpose/intent in lion behaviour.
It does so at the hand of the neurological findings summarized in the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness as well as the latest available neurological and behavioural research data.
I Am Lion proves that films about science and conservation can also be entertaining and touch the heart. Seeing it will change the way viewers look at non-human animals.
This is not a purely scientific or behavioural film. It is also not a film about human heroes saving the day.
It shows us our flawed relationship with non-human animals, and what it is costing us, because historically, culturally and legally we are conditioned to see and treat them as mindless ‘things’, ‘goods’ and ‘commodities’.

This film is different from other ‘awareness’ films in that it does not condemn, vilify, shame or blame.
Instead, it tries to re-direct long-held cultural biases by making us see, feel and understand the story from a lion’s point of view.
It goes from the standpoint that humans are not necessarily bad; we just do cruel things to animals, because we are ignorant and have lost touch with the natural world..
It is a call to humanity not to destroy what we do not understand, because if we lose the connections to wilderness we lose it all.

I AM LION is the story of a young lioness who grows up without lion role models.
She is raised in a wild habitat by a man with the best of intentions, but with little understanding of the natural world, or the impact his actions will have on her and her life as a lioness.
As she reaches for independence and wildness we begin to understand how complex the natural world is and what it really takes to become a lion/lioness.
Most importantly, we see that non-human animals, even habituated or captive ones, have unique individual stories to tell about the natural world, if we can see them as sentient individuals instead of soulless biological organisms.

Jürgen, Tarina and Michael Jozefowicz