Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lion Ark competes for “Best Documentary” at Irvine Film Festival

Posted: 13 January 2014. Updated: 13 January 2014

This week, award-winning animal rescue film Lion Ark will compete for “Best Documentary” at the 2014 Irvine International Film Festival. Lion Ark screens on Tuesday, January 14, 2013 at the Laguna Hills Cinema, competing with eleven other documentaries in this category. A total of over 50 films will be showcased at the prestigious Orange County film festival, which will also honor John G. Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of Rocky, and actor Ed Asner.

Made more in the style of an action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows an ambitious and daring animal rescue. A shocking undercover exposé leads Bolivia to ban animal circuses. But the circuses defy the law and the Animal Defenders International (ADI) team behind the investigation returns to track them down, enforce the law and save the animals.

In Lion Ark, the audience is right in the thick of the action – as the rescues happen – this is about getting close up and personal with the animals, and with the rescuers. The audience gets to connect with the animals – the stars of the film – and understand how they are feeling as their lives transform on their journey to freedom. This is not “talking heads” and interviews, but live action.

The movie has stormed the festivals – a fantastic world premiere at Raindance Film Festival, London, followed by huge audiences at Lion Ark’s US premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival, CA and four back to back sell out screenings at Starz Denver Film Festival. The film has already won the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at San Diego Film Festival, Best Documentary at Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival, and an Audience Choice Award at Anchorage International Film Festival. At Hawaii International Film Festival the audience said it was the best documentary they have ever seen.

For more information and to watch the trailer, please visit



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

JANUARY 14th: Irvine International Film Festival
8:00pm at Laguna Hills Cinema
24155 Laguna Hills Mall Road Laguna Hills, CA 92653
$10. Click here for ticket information.

“a spunky account of a perilous rescue mission...Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability.”
– Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“Compelling cinema verité”
– Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“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

“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

“…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

“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

“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

- Irvine International Film Festival
The Irvine International Film Festival (IIFF) celebrates the power of individual expression and diverse points of views. IIFF is dedicated to bringing to Orange County the finest films from around the world.

- 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
Official Selection Irvine International Film Festival
Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival

© Animal Defenders International 2019