Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ITV Studios Global Entertainment to distribute award-winning Lion Ark

Posted: 7 October 2014


Lion Ark – the award winning documentary about ADI’s rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses by ADI – now has an exclusive worldwide distribution deal for television, video on demand, DVD/Blu Ray, and in-flight entertainment with ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

We hope this will take Lion Ark to a huge worldwide audience and beyond traditional independent documentary outlets.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment, one of the world’s leading distribution companies, sells more than 460 hours of factual programming in Europe; deals totaling 500 hours programming across China & Thailand; 200 hours across Latin America; and 500 hours in Australia & NZ. Their diverse catalogue seen worldwide includes Hell’s Kitchen, I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here, Golden Globe nominated Dancing on the Edge, Mr Selfridge, The Chase, wildlife doc Islands on the Edge and a film archive that includes Brief Encounter and On Golden Pond. The group has its own channels in Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East, including flagship ITV broadcasting in 40 countries.

Lion Ark will be showcased by ITV Studios Global to TV buyers at MIPCOM in Cannes next week in a portfolio that includes “Cirque du Soliel La Nouba” and NBC’s 60’s cop drama series “Aquarius” starring David Duchovny.

Lion Ark is currently in movie theaters in Bolivia and opens next month in the UK, with more theatrical distribution to be announced.

More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows the story of how after a shocking exposé by ADI, Bolivia banned animal circuses. The circuses defied the law but are tracked down by ADI and the animals are rescued with a joyous finale seeing 25 lions airllifted to freedom. Lion Ark is a story of bravery, compassion, a country that said ‘no’ to cruelty and how attitudes to animals changed across a continent.

Lion Ark burst onto the scene at London’s Raindance Film Festival followed by the California Film Institute’s Mill Valley Festival and went on to collect multiple awards on the international film festival circuit.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark: “We wanted to make a film that would entertain and inspire, but also have audiences laughing out loud, cheering for the lions, and leave them smiling. Lion Ark has received a fantastic response at film festivals, with standing ovations and sell out screenings, so we are really excited to be taking it to a wider audience with ITV Studios Global Entertainment.”

Ronan Hand, Head of Factual and Entertainment Acquisitions for ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: “Lion Ark tells an incredible story of bravery, compassion, camaraderie and determination as a team of people fight an immense battle to save these beautiful creatures from horrific cruelty and abuse. The film has already been garlanded with international awards and we expect it will attract a great deal of interest from buyers worldwide looking for the best nature programming at MIPCOM.”

What is engaging audiences in a new way is that Lion Ark is that it is close-up and personal, right in the thick of the action; taking viewers as close as they can get to these animals, to understanding them and the effects of circus. Lion Ark is compiled from film, interviews, conversations and reactions as events unfolded. Feel the fear and joy of the rescuers as they fight to save each and every circus animal in the entire country.

Watch the Lion Ark trailer

Lion Ark Reviews
Critics have praised Lion Ark as “the feel-good movie of the year!” (Reel Talk); “Compelling cinema verité” – The Hollywood Reporter; “One of your must –see films” (The Independent Critic); “A consciousness-raising milestone of a documentary” (The Ecologist); “Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability” (The New York Times);”…this film should be a target for this year’s Oscars. Excellent” (ACED Magazine).

Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary Omaha International Film Festival
Winner Audience Choice Environmental Film Sedona International Film Festival
Winner Audience Favorite Documentary Palm Beach International Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary Sun & Sand The Mississippi Film & Music Festival
Audience Choice Best Documentary Anchorage International Film Festival
Nominated: Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards
Official Selections: Raindance Film Festival, London; Mill Valley Film Festival; Hawaii International Film Festival; Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival; Virginia Film Festival; Starz Denver Film Festival; Irvine International Film Festival; Beloit International Film Festival; Crossroads Festival for Documentary Film and Discourse, Austria

© Animal Defenders International 2018