Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Dramatic Lion Rescue Film Roars Open The Virginia Film Festival

Posted: 5 November 2013. Updated: 13 November 2013

Described by critics as “uplifting” and “the feel-good movie of the year,” Lion Ark has been taking the film festival circuit by storm over recent weeks with sell out shows at Raindance London, Mill Valley Film Festival, Starz Denver Film Festival and scooping Audience Choice Best Documentary at San Diego Film Festival.

Other official festival selections include: Hawaii International Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival, Mississippi, and the Anchorage International Film Festival.

Made more in the style of an action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows how a team from Animal Defenders International (ADI) secured a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia, and then, when the circuses defied the law, set about rescuing every animal. Twenty-five lions saved during the operation were airlifted to a new life in Colorado in the biggest ever operation of its kind.

On Thursday, November 7th at 3:15pm Lion Ark screens at the Virginia Film Festival followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers Tim Phillips (Director) and Jan Creamer (Producer). Jan and Tim are also two of the leading protagonists in the film, as Vice President and President of Animal Defenders International (ADI) leading the rescue mission in Bolivia.

The film captures the desperate struggles to save the animals in Bolivia, the epic arrival at Denver International Airport, and the race against time in Keenesburg to prepare facilities in time for the arrival of the lions. The finale is exhilarating as the lions run free in their new Colorado home.

Lion Ark has its links to Virginia too, with Congressman Jim Moran, Representative for the 8th District of Virginia, making an appearance as he introduces The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act to the U.S. Congress – a bill to end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “We realized that we had a unique opportunity to follow the transformation of the lives of these animals, from terrible suffering in the circus to lifelong freedom and safety. The lions are the real stars of the film and their journey is far greater than the 5,000 miles they travel in the film. We also wanted to show that people are not powerless when it comes to animal cruelty, that together we can make a difference. This is a film about hope and bringing about change."



High resolution stills from Lion Ark and broadcast quality one minute clips of scenes are available on request.

Thursday, November 7, 2013
3:15pm: Lion Ark screening at Regal 3, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia
Followed by Q&A with Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips

“Lion Ark is through and through entertaining…be ready for some up-tempo action-adventure of the most thrilling variety: real-life.”
– Stark Insider

“thoroughly rewarding...”
– TV and Film Review

“Lion Ark is an awe-inspiring journey that grips and engages”
– Britflicks

“Lion Ark takes an already incredible and unforgettable story and breathes life and passion and transformation into of your must-see films of 2013.”
– The Independent Critic

“If you enjoy movies filled with suspense, thrills, surprises, adventure and action, put Lion Ark on your must-see list. For me, Lion Ark is the feel-good movie of the year!”
– Betty Jo Tucker, Reel Talk

“A consciousness-raising milestone of a documentary”
– Edgar Vaid, The Ecologist

“will restore some faith in humanity”
– JM Willis,

“Lion Ark is a film that will grab your attention and your heart”
– Alexis Higgins, CMR Movie Reviews and News

“heartwarming, beautiful and inspirational. It reminds you of the majestic power of documentary filmmaking and it’s ability to stir true emotion.”
– Justin Bozung, Shock Cinema Magazine / Mondo Film & Video Guide

“ultimately an uplifting story. It’s a revealing documentary with a lot of heart.”
– Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

“AMAZING! Viewers will be crying tears of joy throughout...”
– Renee Snyder, International Animal Welfare Examiner, The Examiner

More reviews and links to all above reviews are available here

- Film Festival Selections
Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival
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 Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival
Official Selection Anchorage International Film Festival

- Virginia Film Festival:
The Virginia Film Festival is a four-day celebration of the magic of the movies featuring first-run features and timeless classics, high-profile industry insiders and up-and-coming stars, and filmmakers from throughout Virginia and beyond.

Lori De Waal, 323-462-4122
ADI Films Media Desk 323-804-9920

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