As winter begins to release its grip on the Tibetan Plateau, a pregnant snow leopard searches for new territory. She enters a secret valley, hidden from the outside world save for a remote yak outpost guarded by feral dogs. The valley is rich with prey: small groups of blue sheep live among the rocky peaks, while a large herd of yak roams down below, so the female finds a den in which to give birth and settles in.
But a grizzled old male has already claimed the valley and if he finds her two cubs, he’ll surely kill them. She keeps them close, hidden from prying eyes, but she must venture out to hunt alone. She’s a skillful predator who’s forced to contend with the ferocious dogs that quickly descend on her kills. Foxes, too, and vultures take advantage of her handiwork. As the cubs grow older, they grow bolder. Left alone in a snowstorm, they wander off. Tragedy strikes. Now, she has only one cub left to protect, though soon he’ll be joining her on hunts.
As summer draws to an end, new challenges arise. Snow leopards - lots of them - descend on the valley. It’s the start of their breeding season and a time when they disperse in search of mates and new territory. A show-down with the resident male is inevitable. Can the young cub defend himself or will all the mother’s hard work be in vain?
Direction: Frédéric Larrey
Production: ZED, China Media Group, Regard du Vivant & NDR Naturfilm/Doclights GmbH
Golden Panda Awards
International Nature Festival Namur
Ireland Wildlife Film Festival
Torello Mountain Film Festival
Mountain Film - International Film Festival Graz
Wolves Independent International Film Festival