If you've ever wanted to witness two giant 3-D lions fighting in Botswana's Kalahari desert as seven banks of speakers reverberate to their roars, then head to the BFI Imax, which is screening Tim Liversedge's wildlife epic Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari. The film-maker who captured the ferocious battle between a real-life lion king and his challenger says: "The lions were so close at times that they brushed my tripod and used me and my camera as cover to hide behind to try and get closer to their prey."
It took the director two years of filming in harsh conditions with his heavy 70mm cameras, battling against dust storms and high temperatures, to complete the film. Liversedge initially shot in 2-D before the film was transformed into 3-D for National Geographic Television & Film.
He was born in the UK, and moved to Africa with his family as an infant. In 1965, he went to Botswana to conduct a survey of mammals for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and has never looked back. He helped to establish new national parks as one of Botswana's first game wardens. He also conducted some of Botswana's first safaris, on a riverboat, which he built and designed for the newly independent country, before he began his career as film-maker. He now lives on the southern edge of the Okavango Delta.
Because he has lived in the region for more than 30 years, Liversedge is able to portray with great clarity the natural behaviour of the lions, their prey and wildlife at isolated watering holes in the stark desert. He says: "My aim is to give audiences the experience of what it is like to be gazing up at the star-filled skies over the Kalahari, to have the thrill of hearing two lions engaged in a roaring duet, or to sit at the edge of a waterhole a few feet from elephants bathing in the moonlight."
From 9 February (08707 872 525; www.bfi.org.uk/imax)
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