A scene from the award-winning Afrikaan film STROOP. Picture: Supplied

STROOP, an Afrikaans documentary film about a woman's journey to find out what South Africans are doing to ensure the survival of rhinos, wins the 2018 Green Tenacity Award at the Eighth Annual San Francisco Green Film Festival.

This comes ahead of the film's world premiere at the festival which will run from Thursday, September 6 till Friday, September 14.

The festival organisers received 350 submissions but ultimately only 26 films were selected to screen and only five have received awards.

"We are over the moon at receiving this prestigious award and it makes all our hard work and dedication to this film that much more worthwhile. 

"Hopefully, it also means that the recognition will create additional awareness and encourage even more people to see the film when it releases," says film producer Bonné de Bod.

According to the festival's criteria, the Green Tenacity Award is given to filmmakers "who show great tenacity in exploring crucial environmental issues in their work."

STROOP - Journey into the Rhino Horn War tells the shocking and touching story of the ongoing poaching of the rhinoceros and the trade in its coveted horn.

Four years in the making, this labour of love saw de Bod and director Susan Scott sell their houses, leave their jobs and move in with their mothers in order to document what is happening in the fight to save the rhino from extinction. 

Initially setting out on a six-month project it became a dangerous and intense expedition for which the passionate duo often found themselves in immense danger. In an exclusive first, de Bod and Scott filmed special ranger units inside the world-famous Kruger National Park and at the home of the white rhino, the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park and travelled undercover to the dangerous back rooms of wildlife traffickers and dealers in China and Vietnam. 

The result is a hard-hitting and ultimately moving documentary that challenges and shocks viewers.

* STROOP will premiere in South Africa in February 2019 after its film festival run overseas.