Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lion Ark Selected for 2014 Beloit International Film Festival

Posted: 11 February 2014. Updated: 11 February 2014

Lion Ark, a documentary film by filmmaker Tim Phillips of ADI Films in Los Angeles, CA, is one of 100+ independent films selected for the ninth Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) in Beloit, Wisconsin, February 14-23, 2014. Chosen from among more than 600 submissions, it is in the running for one of the Festival’s annual “Biffy” awards for achievement in filmmaking presented at the Festival Launch and Laurels Celebration.

Described by critics as “uplifting” and “the feel-good movie of the year,” Lion Ark has taken the film festival circuit by storm with sell out shows at Raindance London, Mill Valley Film Festival, and Starz Denver Film Festival. The film has also been awarded Audience Choice 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. Most recently, Lion Ark was nominated for Outstanding International Motion Picture by the prestigious 45th NAACP Image Awards.

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 Beloit International Film Festival on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm (My Apartment), Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm (Café Fromage #1), and Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Hendricks Center for the Arts).

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

FEBRUARY 21st: Beloit International Film Festival
5:00 pm at My Apartment
429 East Grand Ave., Beloit, WI
$8 online / $9 at box office & at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.

FEBRUARY 22nd: Beloit International Film Festival
5:00 pm at Café Fromage #1
431 East Grand Ave., Beloit, WI
$8 online / $9 at box office & at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.

FEBRUARY 23rd: Beloit International Film Festival
12:00 pm at Hendricks Center for the Arts
Pleasant St. and Grand Ave., Beloit, WI
$8 online / $9 at box office & at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.

“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

- Beloit International Film Festival
The Beloit International Film Festival is recognized as one of the leading young festivals in the country and has been cited as an “alternative” to the Sundance Film Festival by the New York Times and called “the next big thing” by Movie Maker Magazine. BIFF 2014 features the full range of indie films including animation, features, documentaries and shorts. Films are shown in more than a dozen settings in Beloit which is on the southern border of Wisconsin, 90 minutes northwest of Chicago. Film venues range from large college and community halls to restaurants and shops transformed into cinemas.

- Film Festival Selections & Awards
Nominee, Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards
Winner Best Documentary (Jury Award), Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival
Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival
Audience Choice Award, Anchorage International 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