Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lion Ark rescue movie shows at Anchorage, December

Posted: 7 December 2013

Lion Ark, the dramatic new documentary that tells the story of the rescue of 25 lions from cruel Bolivian circuses and their 5,000 mile journey to safety in the United States, is offering a free screening and Q&A at Anchorage International Film Festival on Saturday, December 14th, followed by a second screening and Q&A on Sunday, December 15th (tickets for second screening cost $8).

The film wowed audiences at Starz Denver Film Festival with four back to back sell out screenings – the most of the festival. The surprise hit also sold out shows at Raindance Film Festival, London, and Mill Valley Film Festival, California, and won Audience Choice Best Documentary at San Diego Film Festival and Best Documentary at Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival.

Described by critics as “uplifting” and “the feel-good movie of the year,” Lion Ark has been building a following at film festivals, with other official festival selections including Hawaii International Film Festival and Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, as well as completing week-long Academy qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles.

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.

Lion Ark screens for free at Anchorage International Film Festival on Saturday, December 14th at 3:30pm at the Wilda Marston Theatre. A second screening will be held on Sunday, December 15th at 3:00pm at the Alaska Experience Theater (tickets $8). 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.

Key to the film’s success with audiences seems to be that it follows this entire rescue operation live without cutting to talking heads or archive footage. Audiences are there with the rescuers and the animals facing the challenges they face.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “We are delighted that audiences are really responding so positively to the film and we are really looking forward to our Anchorage premiere. People get an opportunity to really engage with these animals and see how their lives transform during the course of the film. This is a film about a serious subject but people are leaving movie theaters with a smile on their face. 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.

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