Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Award-Winning Lion Rescue Film Wraps Up Incredible Year at Anchorage International Film Festival

Posted: 2 December 2013

Described by critics as “uplifting” and “the feel-good movie of the year,” Lion Ark is heading to the Anchorage International Film Festival after 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 and Best Documentary at Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival.

What is engaging audiences in a new way is that Lion Ark is more action adventure style than traditional documentary. The film tells the story of a team from Animal Defenders International (ADI) that secured a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia, and then, when the circuses defied the law, set about rescuing every animal.

Lion Ark is all live action and commentary, close up and personal, right in the thick of the rescue. As close as you get to these animals, understanding them and the effects of circus life. See the undercover investigations that changed a continent; the lobbying; the enforcement of the circus animal ban in Bolivia. Circuses that defy the new law are tracked down, animals saved, and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom in Colorado.

The rescue was funded by Emmy award-winning TV host Bob Barker who, together with Lion Ark Associate Producer, ADI Ambassador and CSI actress Jorja Fox appears in the film and explains the reasons for the rescue and their feelings about the arrival of the lions.

Lion Ark screens at the Anchorage International Film Festival on Saturday, December 14th at 3:30pm (Wilda Marston Theatre) and Sunday, December 15th at 3:00pm (Alaska Experience Theater). Both screenings will be followed by Q&A sessions 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.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “Lion Ark is deliberately close-up and personal, you are in there with the rescuers. We made the film from live footage and the story is told by the people who were there. It shows what people can do when they get together and decide to take action. The response from audiences has been fantastic.”



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

See the Lion Ark Trailer online at:

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

DECEMBER 14th: Anchorage International Film Festival
3:30pm at the Wilda Marston Theatre, followed by Q&A with Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips.
3600 Denali Street, Anchorage, AK 99503
Free. Click here for details.

DECEMBER 15th: Anchorage International Film Festival
3:00pm at the Alaska Experience Theater, followed by Q&A with Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips.
333 West 4th Avenue # 207, Anchorage, AK 99501
$8. Click here for details.
Tickets can be purchased at the on-site box office 45 minutes before the screening.

“…this film should be a target for this year’s Oscars. Excellent.”
– ACED Magazine

“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

- Anchorage International Film Festival
The Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF) is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2001 and committed to independent filmmaking. AIFF is the only multi-genre international film event in the state, which encompasses a landmass of over a million square miles and a population of nearly 700,000 people. Attendance went from about 2,000 in 2001 to over 9,000 in 2009. Hundreds of volunteers, filmmakers, artists, sponsors, partners, and supporters make it possible to put on this two-week event every December.

- Film Festival Selections
Winner Best Documentary (Jury Award), Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival
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

© Animal Defenders International 2019