When Lambs Become Lions

Documentary Competition

World Premiere

USA | 80 MINUTES | Swahili | English subtitles


Documentary, Environmental, NY Director(s), First Time Filmmaker, Tribeca Film Festival Alumni
In Kenya, the intersecting lives of three men crystallize the fierce conflict over conservation efforts in the country’s vast northern plains. There’s X, the calculating ivory dealer; Lukas, X’s most trusted elephant hunter; and Asan, a wildlife ranger whose task it is to prevent and deter poaching. To complicate matters, Asan is X’s cousin. For all three, this pressing debate is not simply a matter of environmentalism, it’s a fight for survival. Both poacher and ranger struggle to make ends meet, while various external forces, as well as their own actions, conspire to undermine their efforts—that is, until they’re presented with an opportunity that might reverse both of their fortunes.

Set against the government programs aimed at protecting Kenya’s elephants—including a dramatic demonstration of an ivory bonfire—When Lambs Become Lions offers a poignant perspective on the human and environmental tolls of the ivory trade. Director Jon Kasbe brings the viewer out into the field alongside X, Lukas, and Asan, blurring the divide between poacher and ranger and revealing the myriad of ways their fates are inextricably connected.

—Shayna Weingast


Directed by Jon Kasbe

Jon Kasbe's short films have garnered an Emmy® award and two additional nominations. They have screened at festivals around the world and have received recognition by the Webbys, SXSW, Doc NYC, Vimeo Staff Picks, and the White House News Photographers Association. When Lambs Become Lions is his first documentary feature.
Jon Kasbe
Jon Kasbe, Innbo Shim, Tom Yellin, Andrew Harrison Brown
Jon Kasbe
West Dylan Thordson
Frederick Shanahan, Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene
Executive Producer
Matthew Heineman, Isaac Lee, Erick Douat, Nicolás Ibargüen, Juan Rendón, Daniel Eilemberg​
Frederick Shanahan


Press Contact
Susan Norget
Susan Norget Film Promotion
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 917-833-3056
Print Source
Innbo Shim
The Documentary Group
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 347 731 0984
US Sales Contact
John Sloss
Cinetic Media
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 2122047979
International Sales Contact
John Sloss
Cinetic Media
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 2122047979