Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lion Ark wins People’s Choice Award at Boulder International Film Festival

Posted: 11 March 2015

The audience at the Boulder International Film Festival 2015, Colorado, voted an animal rights film and a conservation film as the best two feature films of the festival with Lion Ark winning the People’s Choice Award, just ahead of Racing Extinction, the new film by ‘The Cove” director Louie Psihoyos, which won the Catalyst Award.

The prestigious festival was attended by over 25,000 people and screened over 50 diverse films, with a special honor given to Hollywood legend Alan Arkin, but it was the two campaigning films for animals and the environment that won the hearts of the audiences.

The two films are radically different in narrative style but have in common that they take animal, environment and conservation issues head on, showing people how they can make a difference, by protecting animals and conserving the planet for all.

In the end it was Lion Ark, the live action documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses by a team from Animal Defenders International (ADI), following their remarkable journey to a sanctuary in Colorado, that took the honors, winning the People’s Choice Award for best feature film.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark: “Lion Ark is up close and personal, in the heart of the action; we wanted people to enjoy the story while it delivers an important message, so it is very rewarding that of the eight awards the film has won at festivals, five have been audience choice votes.

“Lion Ark and Racing Extinction are very different in style, but the audience response to both shows that there is a hunger for films tackling animal protection, environment and conservation issues, showing people they can make a difference and doing so in a positive way.”

Lion Ark screened on Saturday morning at the Boulder High School Auditorium to around 500 people, with an additional sell out screening at the e-town hall to around 200 people, prompting two standing ovations.

Each screening was followed by a lively audience Q&A with Director Tim Phillips, Producer Jan Creamer of ADI, together with Pat & Casey Craig of The Wild Animal Sanctuary, as well as extended BIFF Talkback session.

Lion Ark also played to a very engaged audience of around 100 7th graders at Boulder Millennial High School, in a special outreach screening, followed by questions and answers for the filmmakers.

Both Lion Ark and Racing Extinction had significant local interest with much of the work on Racing Extinction undertaken in Boulder, with the director a local resident, while the lion stars of Lion Ark reside just down the road in Keenesburg, at The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

Lion Ark is scheduled to appear soon in New York State, Indiana and Pennsylvania with more dates being announced soon.

Winner People’s Choice Award, Boulder International Film Festival
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
Winner The Animal Award, Cinema Verde Environmental Film & Arts Festival
Runner-up Audience Choice Best Documentary Anchorage International Film Festival
Nominated: Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards

Official Selection Raindance Film Festival, London
Official Selection Mill Valley Film Festival
Official Selection Hawaii International Film Festival
Official Selection Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Official Selection Virginia Film Festival
Official Selection Starz Denver Film Festival
Official Selection Irvine International Film Festival
Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival
Official Selection Crossroads Festival for Documentary Film and Discourse, Austria
Official Selection Cinema Verde Environmental Film & Arts Festival
Official Selection Boulder International Film Festival

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