Celebrity guests set to turn out for multi-award winning action-documentary Lion Ark landing in London’s West End
Special guests including Bill Oddie, Alexei Sayle, Gillian McKeith, Celia Hammond and Bollywood actress Sofia Hayat are set to attend a glitzy gala screening and celebrity fundraiser in Leicester Square on Saturday December 6th for LION ARK, the multi-award winning critically-acclaimed documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses. Following sell out screenings at film festivals around the world, LION ARK is now screening in cinemas across the UK.
More action adventure style than traditional documentary, feel-good movie LION ARK charts one of the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescues, as a team from Britain’s Animal Defenders International (ADI) swoops on eight illegal circuses spread across Bolivia following a ban.
The story begins when ADI secures a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia following a two-year undercover investigation across South America. The shocking findings lead to public outrage and calls for action across the continent. Bolivia is the first to act. Now ADI must help the government enforce the law. The team journey across a vast, hostile terrain to track down the illegal circuses defying the new law, save the animals and bring them to safety, and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom in the US.
LION ARK Producer and rescue leader Jan Creamer said: “People have been gripped by the way Lion Ark covers a serious issue about saving animals from circuses, but in a uniquely exciting and enjoyable way. The British public can be very proud that the seeds of this historic operation were sown at Animal Defenders International’s headquarters in London, which makes Lion Ark’s West End gala screening a very special event indeed.”
A smash hit on the international film festival circuit, LION ARK is told through live action interviews, in the moment, as events unfold. This is up close and personal, in the thick of the action; you are as close as you can get to these animals and to understanding their life in the circus and feel the fear and joy of the rescuers as they journey through their incredible mission.
LION ARK is receiving rave reviews from critics, including “Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability” (The New York Times); “Born Free with balls on… unmissable” (Britflicks); “Compelling cinema verité” (The Hollywood Reporter); “a story of passion and sensitivity; of liberation and determination” (The Telegraph); “this film should be a target for this year’s Oscars. Excellent.” (ACED Magazine); “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); “thoroughly rewarding” (TV and Film Review).
LION ARK Director Tim Phillips said: “The response to Lion Ark has been fantastic, receiving standing ovations, armfuls of awards and sell-out shows around the world and we are looking forward to welcoming so many celebrity supporters at the gala screening. This special event is open to the public so that everyone has a chance to enjoy the uplifting animal magic of Lion Ark on the big screen in London’s Leicester Square, and meet the rescue team directly from their latest mission in Peru.”
A similarly ambitious rescue operation – Spirit of Freedom – is now underway in Peru, where ADI is once again assisting authorities to enforce an animal circus ban, having successfully secured legislation. ADI currently has 30 lions, 9 primates and several other animals in its care, and audiences will hear the very latest news from rescue team leaders LION ARK Director Tim Phillips and Producer Jan Creamer, who have come straight from their latest mission to hold Q&A sessions following each screening across the UK.
The LION ARK rescue mission was backed by legendary and Emmy award-winning US TV ‘Price is Right’ game show host Bob Barker and CSI actress Jorja Fox (‘Sara Sidle’), whose company Seafox Productions is an Associate Producer and both appear in the film. Bob Barker’s support enabled the rescue team to empty Bolivia of its suffering circus animals and build new homes for them in the US.
LION ARK has recently been signed into distribution for television, video on demand, DVD / Blu Ray and in-flight entertainment with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, one of the world’s leading distribution companies which has its own channels in Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East, including flagship ITV broadcasting in 40 countries.
Since opening at Raindance, London and Mill Valley Film Festival, California, LION ARK has taken the film festival circuit by storm with sell out shows, six awards, official selections for 14 prestigious film festivals, and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding International Motion Picture.
Tickets for LION ARK screenings at UK cinemas including the West End gala and celebrity fundraiser are on sale now. Tickets for the gala start at just £11: http://www.lionarkthemovie.com/news/lion-ark-in-londons-west-end