Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International


Posted: 17 February 2015

A film with huge local interest, about the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circuses Bolivia and their amazing journey to a sanctuary in Colorado, is screening at the Boulder International Film Festival.

These will be the first major US screenings since Lion Ark signed a worldwide distribution deal with ITV GE, who showcased the film at MIPCOM Cannes last year to global media markets. Lion Ark will have a selected US theatrical tour in April before being available on TV and Video On Demand.

Described by critics as “uplifting” and “the feel-good movie of the year,” Lion Ark has taken the film festival circuit by storm winning six awards at sell out screenings and securing an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding International Motion Picture.

See the Lion Ark trailer

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 at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Colorado.

Lion Ark Director Tim Phillips (ADI Vice President) and Producer Jan Creamer (ADI President) – who also led the ADI rescue team will be doing a Q&A following both screenings. Both are flying up from Peru the day before where they are in the middle of another huge rescue which will see 30 lions rescued from circuses by ADI flown to TWAS in Colorado. Despite being Colorado residents now, Lion Ark’s 25 lion stars won’t be attending, but Pat Craig founder of TWAS will be joining Tim and Jan for the Q&A.

WHAT: LION ARK at Boulder International Film Festival
WHEN: Saturday, March 7, 10am
WHERE: Boulder High School auditorium, 1604 Arapahoe Avenue Boulder, Colorado, 80302

2nd SCREENING Added:

WHEN: Saturday, March 7, 4:30pm
WHERE: eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce Street, Colorado, 80302

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “Screening LION ARK in Colorado is like coming home. This is where the Lion Ark flight landed and we are just a few miles from where the lions live today. I can vividly remember us touching down at Denver International Airport, the excitement and joy of knowing that the lions were safe, then those glorious moments when we saw the lions finally run free through the grass.”

“I know people in Colorado have a special affection for the Lion Ark rescue, and it is also exciting because we are in the middle of another similar rescue mission, this time enforcing the ban on wild animals in circuses in Peru that will bring more lions home to Colorado. The events recorded in Lion Ark inspired four more countries to pass bans in South America and now we are preparing to bring 30 more lions from those circuses here. This is a story that is still unfolding and we are looking forward to telling audiences about this latest mission too.”

Lion Ark captures the desperate struggles to save the animals in Bolivia, the epic arrival at Denver International Airport, and the race against time in Keenesburg to prepare facilities in time for the arrival of the lions. The finale is exhilarating as the lions run free in their new Colorado home.

The latest ADI mission in Peru is known as Operation Spirit of Freedom, where ADI is once again assisting the authorities to enforce its animal circus ban, having successfully secured the legislation. ADI currently has 30 lions, 22 monkeys and many other animals in its care.

Find out how you can help ADI with its Spirit of Freedom rescue mission

For more information and to watch the trailer visithere

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Lori De Waal 818-817-4444
ADI Films Media Desk 323-804-9920

Watch the LION ARK trailer online

Donate to ADI’s animal rescues
Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue of wild animals from Peru’s circuses, with video

LION ARK Awards & Acknowledgements
Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary Omaha International Film Festival
Winner Audience Choice Environmental Film Sedona International Film Festival
Winner Audience Favorite Documentary Palm Beach International Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary Sun & Sand The Mississippi Film & Music Festival
Audience Choice Best Documentary Anchorage International Film Festival
Nominated: Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards
Official Selections: Raindance Film Festival, London; Mill Valley Film Festival; Hawaii International Film Festival; Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival; Virginia Film Festival; Starz Denver Film Festival; Irvine International Film Festival; Beloit International Film Festival; Crossroads Festival for Documentary Film and Discourse, Austria

What critics are saying about LION ARK
“Compelling cinema verité” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Lion Ark is the feel-good movie of the year!” – Reel Talk
“Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability” – The New York Times
“Born Free with balls on… FIVE STARS unmissable” - Britflicks
“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
“A consciousness-raising milestone of a documentary” – The Ecologist
“will restore some faith in humanity.” –
“heartwarming, beautiful and inspirational. It reminds you of the majestic power of documentary filmmaking and its ability to stir true emotion.” – Shock Cinema Magazine / Mondo Film & Video Guide
“AMAZING! Viewers will be crying tears of joy throughout…” – The Examiner
More reviews and links to all above reviews in full:

© Animal Defenders International 2019