Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Ed Asner “bitterly disappointed" to miss Lion Ark premiere in Austin

Posted: 25 May 2014

May 23, 2014, AUSTIN, TX – A host of special guests will be attending the glittering red carpet Texas State Premiere of award-winning animal rescue documentary Lion Ark this Sunday, May 25th at the Stateside at the Paramount.

Sadly the fundraiser, which is vital for rescuing animals from illegal circuses in South America, has suffered a blow with world renowned actor Ed Asner and creative artist Asher Jay having to pull out at the last minute.

Ed Asner said: "I am bitterly disappointed not to be able to get to the Texas State Premiere of Lion Ark. I have been a supporter of ADI for many years and have been looking forward to seeing Lion Ark for months. I really hope that people in Austin will come and see this remarkable film and support ADI’s huge rescue mission to Peru."

Asher Jay, who was to speak at the event is currently working in the Serengeti and was unable to return to the USA in time after complications with the project she is working on. Asher said today: “It breaks my heart not to be there for this extraordinary film and to help raise funds for this important rescue.”

The Texas State Premiere will still be a glittering event with other VIP guests including 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 musician Patrice Pike; 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).

And not forgetting very special guest, 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. With the screening falling on Memorial Day weekend, it was decided to invite the veteran’s organization, TADSAW, to attend and a large number of veterans and their service dogs will be attending.

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark: “We are terribly disappointed that Asher and Ed can’t make it but it is still going to be a wonderful premiere and we have been overwhelmed by the support in Austin from musicians, actors, movie makers, business people, and animal protection groups. We would especially like to thank Austin’s Different Rhythm Foundation, Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary, Texas Humane Legislation Network, Action for Animals Austin, Train a Dog Save A Warrior, Counter Culture vegan restaurant, and Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.”

Guests will get a first-hand account of Lion Ark and the upcoming Peru rescue from the filmmakers Tim Phillips and Jan Creamer – the wild animal rescuers are just back from two weeks tracking Peru’s circus animals and planning the next rescue. Funds are being raised to save up to 35 African lions and bring them to safety in the US. The evening will raise funds for the dramatic rescue mission.

Lion Ark Texas State Premiere
6:00pm: Red carpet opening
7.00pm: Lion Ark screens
8.40pm: Director Tim Phillips, Producer Jan Creamer, Q&A on Lion Ark and report of their recent trip to Peru and the new rescue of up to 35 lions
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.

Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX


For more information and to watch the trailer, 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

Lion Ark Awards and Film Festival Selections
Winner Audience Favorite Palm Beach International Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary (Jury Award), Sun & Sand 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 Omaha Film Festival
Audience Choice Award, Anchorage International Film Festival
Nominee, Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards
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

“Compelling cinema verité” – 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!” – Reel Talk

“Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability” - The New York Times

“Lion Ark is an awe-inspiring journey that grips and engages” - Britflicks

“heartwarming, beautiful and inspirational. It reminds you of the majestic power of documentary filmmaking and its ability to stir true emotion.” – Shock Cinema

“…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

© Animal Defenders International 2019