Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International


Posted: 30 January 2017. Updated: 1 March 2017

DURHAM, NC – The multi-award winning, rescue documentary Lion Ark will be screening at Full Frame Theater, Durham on Saturday February 18th - the North Carolina premiere of the film.

More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows the story of how a shocking exposé led to Bolivia banning animal circuses. Circuses defy the law but are tracked down by Animal Defenders International (ADI), animals saved and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom.

The critically acclaimed movie took film festivals by storm winning 11 awards and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding International Motion Picture – the first time for an animal protection film in the prestigious civil rights awards. "Feel-good movie of the year!” Reel Talk; “Compelling cinema verité” Hollywood Reporter; “Refreshing” New York Times; “Five Stars, Unmissable…. Born Free with balls on” Britflicks.

The Durham screening will be followed by Q&A with the rescue team leaders and the director and producer of Lion Ark, Tim Phillips and Jan Creamer. Just 48 hours earlier Tim and Jan will have been completing the rescue of a spectacled bear, called Dominga, from a zoo high in the Andes and taking her to an ADI sanctuary in the Peruvian forest. The rescue will involve moving the almost completely bald bear for two days through the mountains and then by boat along the Madre de Dios River to her new home.

ADI specializes in complex rescue operations, like the rescue and relocation of the 25 lions in Lion Ark and 33 lions from circuses in Peru and Colombia flown home to Africa last year. Tim and Jan will fly from Peru on Friday.

Tim Phillips, Lion Ark Director: “We may look a little exhausted as we will have been sleeping in cars for Dominga the bear’s move to her new home, but that’s how we often look in Lion Ark! As a treat for the Durham audience, they will get to see Lion Ark and be the first to see images of this latest rescue. It’s also a reminder that the work featured in Lion Ark is on-going.”

View trailer at

WHEN: Saturday February 18, 1:00pm
WHERE: Full Frame Theater, 318 Blackwell Street Durham, NC 27701

Tim Phillips notes that although eye-opening the film is fun and uplifting: “We wanted people to experience a frontline animal rescue, both the challenges and the joy. The film tackles a serious issue, but is exciting and leaves people with a smile on their face, knowing they can make a difference as they see the lives of these animals transform.”

During the Q&A, the filmmakers will also talk about the latest rescue –Operation Spirit of Freedom - where over 100 wild animals were recently saved from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru and Colombia. This culminated in a massive airlift of more than 30 lions, from South American circuses, home to Africa. Money raised at the screening will go towards ADI’s huge $250,000 habitat construction program for the lions’ forever homes.

Find out more about Lion Ark and purchase Lion Ark on DVD $12.50 at

Lori De Waal 818-817-4444

ADI Media Desk 323-804-9920

© Animal Defenders International 2019