Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lions come roaring into the Palm Beach International Film Festival

Posted: 26 March 2014. Updated: 26 March 2014

Multi–award–winning animal rescue documentary Lion Ark returns to Florida at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, screening on April 5th at 4pm and April 9th at 11:30am. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with Lion Ark Director and Bolivia rescue team member, ADI Vice President Tim Phillips.

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. Since its premiere last Fall, Lion Ark has won Audience Choice Awards at San Diego Film Festival, Anchorage International Film Festival and Sedona International Film Festival, Best Documentary awards at Sun & Sand The Mississippi Film & Music Festival and Omaha Film Festival, and enjoyed sell out shows in Beloit, WI, Raindance, London, Mill Valley, CA and Starz Denver.

Last month 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 Palm Beach International Film Festival, and believe people will really enjoy the film. Last month we received our fifth film festival award, and three of these awards have been chosen by audiences. The reaction of people to the film has been overwhelming. 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 Palm Beach International Film Festival:
Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 4:00pm (Cobb Downtown at the Gardens)
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 11:30am (Cinemark Palace 20)

Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with Lion Ark Director Tim Phillips. Tim is also one of the leading protagonists in the film, as Vice 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

APRIL 5th: Palm Beach International Film Festival
4:00pm at Cobb Downtown at the Gardens, followed by Q&A with Tim Phillips.
11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave., Suite 1201, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Click here for more information.

APRIL 9th: Palm Beach International Film Festival
11:30am at Cinemark Palace 20, followed by Q&A with Tim Phillips.
3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
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

- Palm Beach International Film Festival
The Palm Beach International Film Festival is committed to supporting the emerging filmmakers of today and tomorrow. For the past 12 years, the festival, recognized as one of the Top 25 Independent Festivals in the world, has showcased thousands of award-winning films, hosting filmmakers, actors, industry professionals and press from around the globe. The PBIFF has hosted a bevy of top celebrities and filmmakers including: Academy Award® Winners Adrien Brody, Anthony Hopkins, Tommy Lee Jones, Faye Dunaway, Dennis Hopper, Louise Fletcher and Michael Caine; Academy Award® Nominees Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Robert Evans, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson and Burt Reynolds. Along with countless other legends, stars and filmmakers that have created movie magic for the past 80 years, including: Roger Moore, Faye Wray, Esther Williams, Anouk Aimee, Samuel L. Jackson, Cyd Charisse, Richard Zanuck, William Friedkin, Brett Ratner, Jacqueline Bisset, Michael Clarke Duncan and Rod Steiger.

- Film Festival Selections & Awards
Nominee, Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards
Winner Best Documentary (Jury Award), Sun & Sand The Mississippi Film & Music Festival
Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival
Winner Audience Choice Best Environmental Film, Sedona International Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary (Jury Award), Omaha 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 Palm Beach International Film Festival

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