Brian Blessed delighted a glamorous celebrity audience this evening as he played host at the star-studded world premiere of ADI Films’ action-documentary Lion Ark at the Raindance Film Festival.

Brian Blessed roars his approval for ADI Films' action-documentary Lion Ark at its world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival © Animal Defenders International
Brian Blessed roars his approval for ADI Films' action-documentary Lion Ark at its world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival © Animal Defenders International

Celebrities turned out in style to support Lion Ark, which follows the epic battle to rescue 25 lions from illegal circuses in Bolivia. Nutritionist Gillian McKeith, DJ Sarah Young, singer-songwriter Lynsey De Paul, TV host Wendy Turner-Webster, Northern Line’s Dan Corsi, and Wire’s Robert Gotobed and Colin Newman attended the glitzy world premiere, where Brian Blessed made his address.

Brian Blessed introduced the film, saying, "Buckle up for a nail-biting adventure following the truly outstanding ADI as they struggle to liberate long-suffering circus lions and restore their true majesty. Lion Ark will leave you roaring for joy!"

Lion Ark is an uplifting story of bravery, compassion, camaraderie and determination – how a poor but proud country said “no” to cruelty and how attitudes to animals were changed across an entire continent. The film has already attracted droves of celebrity support and glowing reviews from those lucky enough to watch it ahead of its world premiere.

Joanna Lumley said, “The resilience shown by the lions and the ADI rescuers in Lion Ark is astounding. You must see Lion Ark.”

The film follows the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescue which begins with a shocking undercover investigation and leads to a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia; when the circuses defy the law, the team behind the investigation returns, tracking down the illegal circuses and saving every animal.

All aspects of the remarkable rescue operation were recorded and Lion Ark is meticulously compiled from film, interviews, conversations and the reactions of participants as actual events unfold. The confrontations, heartache and incredible risks the rescue team face are all captured before a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom in Colorado. Tim Phillips says that it was “a painstaking, but worthwhile, process.”

The rescue was backed by Emmy award-winning TV host Bob Barker and ADI Ambassador and CSI actress Jorja Fox, both of whom appear in the film. Bob Barker’s support enabled the rescue team to empty Bolivia of its suffering circus animals and build homes for them in the US.

Lion Ark Reviews:

Lion Ark takes an already incredible and unforgettable story and breathes life and passion and transformation into it…. one of your must-see films of 2013” – The Independent Critic

“If you enjoy movies filled with suspense, thrills, surprises, adventure and action, put Lion Ark on your must-see list… For me, Lion Ark is the feel-good movie of the year!” – Betty Jo Tucker, Reel Talk

“A consciousness-raising milestone of a documentary… which wears its heart on its sleeve, engaging the viewer viscerally” – Edgar Vaid, The Ecologist

“Such a moving film… a thriller – I was in suspense watching” – Tim Boxer, Editor

For more information and to watch the trailer, please visit

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