Orange Planet Productions premiered their beautifully compassionate new documentary ‘To the Moon and Back’, on the 24th of November 2016, based around the life story of Animal’s Asia founder Jill Robinson, at Pinewood Studios in front of a packed audience of passionate conservationists and wildlife media personnel.
The deeply moving film directed by Andrew Telling and presented by Peter Egan, follows Peter as he visits Animal’s Asia’s life saving bear sanctuary in Chengdu, China and talks to Jill about her very personal journey in deciding to start such a movement.
Born in the UK, Jill arrived in Hong Kong in 1985 and spent 12 years working in Asia as a consultant for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Repeatedly faced with scenes of widespread animal cruelty, she decided to introduce the concept of “animal welfare through people welfare” and founded Dr Dog in Hong Kong in 1991 – the first animal-therapy programme in Asia.
Jill founded Animals Asia in 1998 – five years after an encounter with a caged bear on a farm in southern China changed her life forever. Learning that bear bile could be replaced by herbs, she vowed to put an end to bear bile farming. Since then, Animals Asia has rescued over 530 bears in China and Vietnam.
The producers of the film mentioned that the hardest thing about working with Jill was her inability to talk about herself – totally unselfish – every time Peter posed a question to her about herself, she would quickly turn it around and talk about her ‘team’. This woman is what true heroes are made of.
We have been informed by the production team that they are looking for wide release for the film, but cannot confirm when or how this will be as of yet.
Photos ©Richard Symonds