The classic film Born Free was shown on our big outdoor cinema screen, at this fundraising event held last week in Surrey.
The film’s leading actress, Virginia McKenna, gave a speech before the film to the 170+ audience, later signing books and answering questions. She spoke about the filming process with her on-screen and real life husband, Bill Travers. Virginia described some of the beautiful moments with the Lions and how affectionate they were. And also some of the more scary moments when filming went a bit off cue with one of the 4 lions almost dragging Bill away.
Virginia went on to say that the strong emotional bonds built with the animals during the filming led her to become more aware of the treatment of wild animals kept in captivity. She later would become part of a wave of activism and support for the Born Free foundation, raising global awareness to conservation and animal rights around the world. On the night she promoted Kouni Travel, which helps to raise money for the foundation by organising African wilderness tours, again raising awareness to the paying public about endangered species.
Sadly Bill Travers passed away some years ago but she is still passionate about the Foundation despite being 84 years old. Virginia didn’t stay to watch the movie due to the old memories, however there was rapturous applause following the end credits from the audience that had enjoyed the screening, despite some occasional light rain during the evening.
Jemma Purvis, organiser of the event said the following about the Skylight Service:
“Just want to say a massive thank you for last night. Regardless of the drizzle it was a really great event and guests thought it was brilliant. James you were brilliant and couldn’t do enough, so thank you very much. Would happily recommend you guys in the future and come back to you if we do any more events like this.”