Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lion Rescue Team at Sedona Film Festival for Arizona State Premiere of Lion Ark

Posted: 25 February 2014

Dramatic animal rescue documentary Lion Ark opens at 6pm on Thursday, February 27th at Sedona International Film Festival and will be followed by a Q&A with the couple who led the rescue team and went on to make the award-winning film – Tim Phillips (Director) and Jan Creamer (Producer). The film has a further screening on Saturday, March 1st at 9am.

Lion Ark tells the story of how Bolivia banned the use of animals in circuses and when the circuses defied the law, the team that had secured the ban returned to track down each circus and rescue every animal. The film concludes with a huge airlift of 25 lions to freedom in Colorado.

The ground-breaking film, which is made more in the style of an action adventure than traditional documentary, with little use of talking heads, opting instead to put the viewer in the thick of the action as it unfolds, is proving a film festival favorite. Last weekend, the film enjoyed a sell out in Wisconsin, and tickets are already “rush only” for Thursday’s Sedona screening. This follows sell outs at Raindance, London, Mill Valley, CA and Starz Denver, Audience Choice Awards at San Diego Film Festival and Anchorage International Film Festival, and winning Best Documentary in Mississippi.

Last week the surprise hit became the first animal rights film to be nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding International Motion Picture. The prestigious Image Awards by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, celebrates “the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.”

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “We are really looking forward to the Lion Ark screenings at Sedona Film Festival, and believe people will really enjoy the film. We have been overwhelmed by the reaction of people to the film as we have toured film festivals. Lion Ark is that rare thing, a film about a serious animal protection issue that has a happy ending and will leave you smiling. Lion Ark is an uplifting film that shows what people can do when they pull together and take action. It is a film about cooperation and working for a better world.”

Lion Ark at Sedona International Film Festival:
Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Mary D. Fisher Theatre)
Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 9:00 am (Harkins 1, Harkins Theaters)

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: “This story doesn’t end with Lion Ark, it is about a dramatic worldwide shift in the treatment of animals for entertainment. People always ask at the Q&As ‘What next?’ and we are preparing right now for a similar rescue mission in Peru and pushing for the US to reintroduce legislation. I think that has really engaged audiences, they are seeing something exciting and dramatic and it is something that they can be involved in, and that they really can make a difference.”

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

FEBRUARY 27th: Sedona International Film Festival
6:00 pm at Mary D. Fisher Theatre, followed by Q&A with Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips.
2030 W. State Route 89A, Suite A-3, Sedona, AZ 86336
Click here for more information.

MARCH 1st: Sedona International Film Festival
9:00 am at Harkins 1, Harkins Theaters, followed by Q&A with Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips.
2081 W. Highway 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336
Click here for more 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

-Sedona International Film Festival
The Sedona International Film Festival, February 22 – March 2, 2014, celebrates more than 19 years of screenings and educational workshops. In that history, the Festival has achieved recognition as a world-class film festival. Each year, audiences and the next generation of filmmakers come together from all over the world to participate in this inspiring celebration of the power of independent film. Luminaries who have been guests and honorees at past festivals include Michael Moore, Connie Stevens, Jerry Stiller, Jane Seymour, Peter Fonda, Doris Roberts, Nick Nolte, Ed Asner, Rick Schroder, Andrew McCarthy, Donald O’Connor, Sean Young, Dean Stockwell, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Amanda Plummer, Wendy Malick, and many more. The Festival has featured several Academy Award-nominated films, including An Education, Burma VJ, Revanche, The Garden, Genghis Blues, and Spellbound.

- 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
Official Selection Sedona International Film Festival
Official Selection Omaha Film Festival
Official Selection Palm Beach International Film Festival

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