Multi-award winning action-documentary ‘Lion Ark’ comes to South Africa

Lions rescued from circuses in PeruThe award-winning film Lion Ark – the story of the dramatic rescue and relocation of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia – makes its South African premiere in Cape Town on Thursday 29th September at The Labia Theatre, Cape Town and in Johannesburg on Saturday 1st October at Ster-Kinekor Nouveau Theatre in Rosebank. Cinemagoers can see the critically-acclaimed documentary and Lion Ark Director Tim Phillips and Producer Jan Creamer, the rescue team leaders, will hold a Q&A session.

Checking on the Columbia rescued circus lionsWinning multiple awards on the international film festival circuit, critics have said Lion Ark is “the feel-good movie of the year!” (Reel Talk); “One of your must –see films” (The Independent Critic); “A consciousness-raising milestone of a documentary” (The Ecologist); “Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability” (The New York Times);”…this film should be a target for this year’s Oscars. Excellent” (ACED Magazine).

Cape Town:

WHEN:  Thursday 29th September, 6:00pm  
WHERE:  The Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street Gardens, 8001, Cape Town
TICKETS: +27 (0) 021 424 5927


WHEN:  Saturday 1st October, 5:00pm
WHERE: Ster-Kinekor Nouveau Theatre, Rosebank 50 Bath Avenue, Rosebank, Gauteng

From this…

From this…

Director Tim Phillips said: “It’s great to bring the Lion Ark movie to South Africa and bring audiences up to date with our latest Spirit of Freedom rescue – just this year we brought 33 ex-circus lions from Peru and Colombia, back to their homeland. Lion Ark follows the Bolivia rescue and will leave you cheering for the lions as the rescuers defy the odds to get them to freedom.” 

To this!

To this!

Lion Ark tells the story of the most ambitious and daring animal rescue of its kind. Animal Defenders International (ADI) secures a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia following a two-year undercover investigation across South America. Now the law must be enforced. Across vast, hostile terrains the illegal circuses are tracked down, the animals saved, brought to safety and reach a joyous finale as 25 lions are airlifted to freedom in the US. More action adventure style than traditional documentary, Lion Ark takes you right in the thick of the action, up close and personal with the animals, taking you into their world. Through real-life action, interviews, conversations and reactions as events unfold, you can experience the fear and joy of the rescuers as they journey through their incredible mission.

Rescued circus lions arriving in EmoyaDuring the Q&A, the filmmakers will talk about new rescue Spirit of Freedom, where over 100 wild animals have been saved from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru and Colombia. The operation culminated in an even larger airlift of captive lions – 33 were returned to their native Africa, and ADI is funding their habitats and care. A preview trailer for the new production will be screened.

Lion Ark is due for release on DVD this year – advance copies available in South Africa.

Find out more about Lion Ark 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. Replacement of animals in scientific research; funding and promotion of non-animal advanced methods. ADI investigates, produces evidence and reports on the scientific, legal and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions. Information is distributed 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.
London:  +44 (0)20 7630 3340  Los Angeles:  +1 323 935 2234

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