The award-winning film Lion Ark – the story of the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia – is out on DVD in November and being promoted with a nationwide tour

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The award-winning film Lion Ark – the story of the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia – is out on DVD in November and being promoted with a nationwide tour.  View trailer at

On the tour, Lion Ark will be followed by Q&As with filmmakers and rescue team, and exclusive footage from a recent, even bigger, rescue in Peru.  Events take place in Springfield MO; Boston; New York; New Jersey; Chicago; Washington DC; Atlanta; Tampa Bay; Oakland; Portland; Seattle.

The critically acclaimed movie took film festivals by storm with sell out shows at many, 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.

Reel Talk called Lion Ark “the feel-good movie of the year!;” The Ecologist “A consciousness-raising milestone;” The New York Times “Refreshing”; The Hollywood Reporter “Compelling cinema verité”; whilst Britflicks described Lion Ark as “unmissable” and “Born Free with Balls on.”

Lion Ark tells the story of the daring rescue by Animal Defenders International (ADI) to enforce a ban on the use of animals in circuses in Bolivia.  More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark is up close and personal, in the thick of the action. Circuses defy the law but are tracked down, animals saved and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom.  A story of bravery, compassion, a country that said ‘no’ to cruelty and how attitudes towards animals changed across a continent.

Director Tim Phillips said:  “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 will go towards ADI’s huge $250,000 habitat construction program for the retirement homes for these lions.

The independent movie was made by ADI Films, part crowd-funded and also supported by Associate Producers Seafox Productions (the production company of CSI actress Jorja Fox) and Vivian Bosch.  Jorja Fox and award-winning TV legend Bob Barker both appear in Lion Ark.  The film was signed into worldwide distribution with ITV Global and has been broadcast in over 20 countries.  This is the first time Lion Ark has been available on DVD and comes with a range of bonus features including never before seen rescue footage from Bolivia and Peru.

Lion Ark is available for sale





WHEN:  Monday November 7th, 7:00pm  

WHERE: Drury University, Lay Hall Auditorium, 900 N Benton Ave, Springfield, MO 65802




WHEN:  Wednesday November 9th, 7:00pm  

WHERE: Regal Fenway Stadium 13 & RPX — 201 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02115



New York

WHEN:  Thursday November 10th, 7:00pm  

WHERE:  UA Court Street 12 & RPX — 106 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201



New Jersey

WHEN:  Monday November 14th, 7:00pm  

WHERE:  Kerasotes ShowPlace 14 — 650 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 07094




WHEN:  Thursday November 15th, 7:00pm  

WHERE:  Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection — 1011 S Delano Ct, Chicago, IL 60605




WHEN:  Thursday November 17th, 7:00pm  

WHERE:  Studio Movie Grill – 12332 University Mall Ct., Tampa, FL 33612




WHEN:  Sunday November 20th, 1:00pm  

WHERE:  Oakland Zoo-Marian Zimmer Auditorium (Lower Entrance)

9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA 94605




WHEN:  Monday November 21, 7:00pm

WHERE:  Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10 — 846 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205




WHEN:  Tuesday November 22nd 7pm

WHERE:  Central Cinema — 1411 21st Ave, Seattle, WA 98122



Find out more about Lion Ark at



Best Documentary Omaha International Film Festival

People’s Choice Award, Boulder International Film Festival

Best Documentary Alhambra Theatre Film Festival

Audience Award Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival

Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival

Audience Choice Environmental Film Sedona International Film Festival

Audience Favorite Documentary Palm Beach International Film Festival

Best Documentary Sun & Sand:  The Mississippi Film & Music Festival

Audience Award YES Film Festival

The Animal Award, Cinema Verde Environmental Film & Arts Festival

Audience Choice Best Documentary Anchorage International Film Festival

Nominated: Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards

Official Selections:  Raindance Film Festival; Mill Valley Film Festival; Hawaii International Film Festival; Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival; Virginia Film Festival; Starz Denver Film Festival; Beloit International Film Festival; Irvine International Film Festival; Crossroads Festival for Documentary Film & Discourse


Critical acclaim


Watch the LION ARK trailer online at:


Animal Defenders International (ADI) is active worldwide to end the suffering of captive animals in commercial use: animals used in entertainment – film, television, advertising, circuses and sport or leisure such as hunting or for products such as fur.  ADI investigates, produces evidence, and reports on the scientific, legal, and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions and distributing Information to the media, public, and officials. Where ADI’s evidence has been a catalyst for change, we collaborate with governments to conduct large-scale seizures or rescues of wild animals in captivity and relocate them to forever homes – back to their natural habitat wherever possible.

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