Engine: Born Free Foundation, The Bitter Bond

Honourable Mention, Advertising, Social

The Born Free Foundation is a charity dedicated to ensuring animals are born free and stay wild. With this film they wanted to highlight a little-known reality: that most lions in South Africa aren’t born free; they’re raised in captivity and exploited for profit at every stage of their lives. The harsh reality is that keepers charge tourists to hug and take photos with them. Then, when they grow too big for cuddles, they’re sold to trophy hunters and shot in canned hunting facilities. At no point are they ever free to roam. Not only is this inhumane practice legal, but it’s big business in South Africa – and growing all the time.

To alert the public to this, Engine created an emotional animated story of a lion keeper and her cub that ends in the ultimate betrayal. Set to the famous track, Born Free, by Matt Monro, the story shows how those who are responsible for raising and nurturing a lion are the ones ultimately responsible for its death.

The film was designed for people to share on social media all around the world, and aimed to encourage people to sign a petition to the South African government to stop the practice. It was a huge success, garnering more than 11 million views on social media, 130,000 shares and over 260,000 petition signatures.

Agency: Engine
Client: Matt Smithers, Head of Marketing and Fundraising, Born Free
ECD: Paul Jordan
Creative Directors: Steve Hawthorne, Katy Hopkins
Creatives: James Hodson, Jason Keet
Agency Producer: Stefanie Forbes
Account Handling: Eve Bui, Tom Butler, Katie Gould
Planning: Laura Sammarco
Social: Gemma Glover, Jack Cartwright
Production: Blinkink and Zombie Studio
Animation and Visual Effects: Stefanie Dias, Zombie Studio
Directors: Daniel Salles, Paulo Garcia
Executive Producers: Bart Yates, Natália Gouvea
Cinematography: Lucas Barreto
Sound Design: Ben Leeves, Jungle
Musical Intro: Alex
Song: Born Free, performed by Matt Monro, licensed by Soho Music
Animation Producers: Marcio Lovato, Antonela Castro, Leticia Harumi
CGI Lead: Yohann da Geb
Storyboard and Animatic: Saulo Brito
Lead Modeller: Mauricio Sampaio
Animation Director: Bruno Monteiro
Animators: Bruna Berford, Bruno Santos, Christian Weckl, Conrado Testa, Francisco Catão, Hannry Pschera, Jonathan Edward, Leonardo Felix, Leonidas Maciel, Marcos Elias, Michel Denis Da Silva, Rodrigo Dutra
Colourist: Marcio Pasqualino


Milton Keynes