In a wild land, five cheetah await their release, but the world of humans won’t let them go so easily.  This is the story of the Namibian cheetah, and what awaits the fate of this cat whose future hangs by a thread....

Filmed in the dramatic desert of Namibia and surrounding environments, the story focuses on the plight of the five wild, but captive cheetah. They were never meant to stay in captivity, but as the clock ticks away the months which have now turned to years, can they be released? And where will be far enough from the risk of a farmer’s gun?

Director’s Statement

The Last Cheetahs of Solitaire represent a complicated present and a tentative future - Co-existence is a struggle that transcends individual species and borders. It begs us to examine the complex beauty of the world’s delicate balance. Mankind’s stubbornness and resistance to change threatens the cycle of life for us all. Our hope is that with frustrations mounting at the crumbling mirage of human supremacy, we will be compelled to rise above our primal fears and impulses, and surrender to the wisdom of the wild. 

The closer we look at the Cheetah’s plight, the clearer we see ourselves. Human and Wild. 

Conflict does not have to be inevitable.


Cheetah Watch is a long-term project to bring awareness and resources in the interest of the long-term survival of the cheetah.



Starting this project as a photojournalist and reporter for National Geographic from 2010 - 2014, Mendelson worked on Human Wildlife Conflict stories in Southern and Eastern Africa. She documented NGOs working with rural communities to mitigate predator conflict, specifically with the cheetah, and scientific studies in the field where cats were collared and released on site, or relocated for study in the wild.

Since then, a plan was hatched to bring these stories to life via film and online media with her research leading her to take on an advanced degree, focusing on the illegal pet trade of cheetah cubs in Somaliland to the Middle East. Holding an MSc in International Criminal Justice, the director continues to assist NGOs, law enforcement, and media initiatives, stressing the global importance of co-existence over conflict, women’s rights, and environmental concerns.

Her other films & artwork can be viewed here:

© Marcy Mendelson / M. Mendelson Media 2024. All rights reserved.