Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Screen legend Ed Asner, artist Asher Jay and hero dog The Colonel join VIP guests at Lion Ark Texas

Posted: 2 May 2014. Updated: 2 May 2014

May 2, 2014, AUSTIN, TX – Actor Ed Asner and artist Asher Jay with hero dog The Colonel, will be attending the glittering Texas State Premiere for the award-winning film Lion Ark on May 25th at the Stateside at the Paramount. The red carpet premiere includes a Q&A session with Lion Ark director Tim Phillips and producer Jan Creamer (who also led the rescue team), followed by a gala to raise urgent funds for an animal rescue mission to Peru by Animal Defenders International (ADI).

Lion Ark charts the story of one of the world’s most ambitious animal rescue operations, as a team from ADI swooped on eight illegal circuses spread across Bolivia to rescue every animal. More action adventure than traditional documentary, the Lion Ark story is told through live action interviews and conversations as events unfolded. The film culminates with the airlift of 25 lions to safety in the USA.

Other special guests include: Actress and model Tricia Jo Hoffman (Mulberry Stains, Tainted Rose); Writer, producer, actress Tiffany Heath (Mulberry Stains, Spavine); Austin’s own, editor, director Nevie Owens (Cancerpants, Burned, Before Sunset); popular Austin musician Ginger Leigh; the true blue Texas cowboy himself, actor, producer, Robert Lott (Varsity Blues, Mulberry Stains, Bakers Mound, The Life of David Gale); Attorney at Law, Candidate for Judge 252 District Court, Carolyn Drawhorn Weidenfeld; Entrepreneur, Civic Leader, Top Austin Business Woman, Candidate for District 10, Tina Cannon; Bart Sherwood (Program Director: Train A Dog, Save A Warrior) and Thomas Hall (Founder of the Lagniappe Music & Film Festival).

A very special guest, is The Colonel, Hero Dog of the Year, who narrowly survived a hit and run by a drunk driver, lost a leg, but became a therapy dog providing comfort, inspiration, and love for wounded veterans with burns, and other traumas through the Train A Dog Save a Warrior program.

Lion Ark is enthralling audiences at film festivals, and has collected six awards and a nomination for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding International Motion Picture.
WHAT: Lion Ark Texas State Premiere
Sunday, May 25th, 2014
Followed by Q&A with the filmmakers and rescue team members
9:00pm: VIP Gala Reception with special guests, canapés and sparkling wine – to raise funds for ADI’s upcoming rescue of abused circus animals from Peru.
WHERE: Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX


Ed Asner, a former President of the Screen Actors Guild, is known across the world for his Emmy Award-winning role of Lou Grant and has appeared in a multitude of roles on big and small screen, recently as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the award-winning Up!

Creative conservationist Asher Jay uses groundbreaking design, multimedia arts, literature, and lectures to inspire global action to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, animal welfare and rights, advance environmental issues, and promote humanitarian causes.

All money raised will go towards the next ADI rescue, of all the wild circus animals in Peru. Like Bolivia, ADI will help enforce a new law on wild animals in traveling circuses, passed in 2011. The ADI team has already identified lions being illegally kept in small, rusting cages, and monkeys kept chained by their necks. The target for the night is to raise $100,000 towards the operation. The glittering, star studded occasion and has the backing of Austin’s Different Rhythm Foundation and The Austin Zoo & Sanctuary.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “Lion Ark is that rare thing, a film about a serious animal protection issue that has a happy ending and will leave you smiling. This 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.”

Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International: “This wonderful evening is a chance to enjoy an exciting, uplifting film at a fabulous gala event, and help us to save more animals at the same time – we emptied Bolivia of suffering circus animals, now it is time to do the same in Peru.”

Rosie Plaia, Founder Different Rhythm Foundation: “Lion Ark The Movie roars with the release of constraints and shackles. Man and beast feel the freedom of today and the peace of tomorrow. An Informative and educational journey by a group of brave individuals that overcome the obstacles of saving what human greed has created, with uncompromising beliefs, boldness, and passion. Lion Ark The Movie, is about saying; no more to abuse and yes to forever freedom for our World’s wildlife - for generations to come. A film filled with spirit. Showing that man and beast belong together without barriers. Native Americans believe we are all a piece of the web of life. The abused animals are released, mane flowing in the wind for the first time and the grass that will secure their footing forever...leaving you speechless and heart-warmed!”

Patti Clark, Director Austin Zoo & Sanctuary: “This documentary is absolutely stunning and a hugely important film about the importance of animal rescue efforts around the world. It exposes a problem that is very real and oftentimes ignored, but also showcases what is possible to help these beautiful animals live the life they deserve.”

For more information and to watch the trailer, visit


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