Lion Ark, a film about the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia and their amazing journey to a sanctuary in Colorado, is screening at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

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Award winning Lion Ark returns to New York at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
March 24, 2015, BUFFALO, NY Lion Ark, a film about the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia and their amazing journey to a sanctuary in Colorado, is screening at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.

This will be one of the first 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 over the next few months, 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 eight 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.

Lion Ark Director Tim Phillips (ADI Vice President) and Producer Jan Creamer (ADI President) are in Peru now, rescuing all of the wild animals from circuses and will be bringing 33 lions and possibly a bear to safety in the US – Tim and Jan hope to come to BNFF for a Q&A following the screening.  Come and meet the ADI team and hear about our rescues!

WHAT:           LION ARK at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
WHEN:          Monday, April 13, 7pm
WHERE:       The Tonawanda Castle, 69 Delaware St, Tonawanda, NY 14150
TICKETS:     $10

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark says: “The events recorded in Lion Ark inspired several countries to pass bans across Latin America and now we are saving more lions.  This is a story that is still unfolding and we are looking forward to telling audiences about this latest mission too.”

The LION ARK rescue was funded entirely by donations, including a significant gift from legendary US TV ‘Price is Right’ game show host Bob Barker. A similar operation – Spirit of Freedom – is now underway in Peru, where ADI is once again assisting the authorities to enforce its animal circus ban, having successfully secured the legislation. ADI currently has 33 lions, 33 monkeys and many other native wild animals at its temporary rescue center and is lobbying US Fish & Wildlife to allow them to bring to safety an endangered Andean bear, 25 year old Cholita, whose front digits were cut off and her teeth broken in the circus.

Visit to find out how you can help ADI with its Spirit of Freedom rescue mission.

For more information and to watch the trailer, visit

Watch the LION ARK trailer online at:
Embed the LION ARK trailer from

LION ARK is available to view by request (official release, October 2014)

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


Winner People’s Choice Award, Boulder International Film Festival

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

Winner The Animal Award, Cinema Verde Environmental Film & Arts Festival

Runner-up Audience Choice Best Documentary Anchorage International Film Festival

Nominated: 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

Official Selection 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:

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