Many of our audiences at the Q&A sessions following the film festival screenings of Lion Ark have asked where we are going with the move – when will it be on general release in cinemas and theaters, whether will it be on DVD, VOD, TV. This is the start of Lion Ark’s life.
Our film festival tour to get Lion Ark The Movie sold for general distribution has seen us in eight festivals in six weeks – Raindance London, Mill Valley CA, San Diego, Hawaii, Ft Lauderdale, Virginia, Starz Denver and Sun & Sand Biloxi, Mississippi.
We won and Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at San Diego and an jury panel Award for Best Documentary at Sun & Sand. The movie played to sell-out audiences at Raindance, Mill Valley and Starz Denver, where two extra screenings were added to cope with demand, and these sold out as well.
Our final festival screening of 2013 is Anchorage, Alaska in December and we start next year with more festivals. The audience responses have been visceral; all at the same time intrigued, elated, tears and laughter.
Lion Ark is more action adventure style than traditional documentary. It is up-close-and-personal, in-the-middle-of-the-action. We’ve been calling it an ‘actionmentary’! The audience feels the emotions of the rescuers and the pain and joy of the animals, moment by moment.
We walked the floor at the American Film Festival in Santa Monica last week, getting interest from several industry buyers. We have also been approached at the film festivals.
Our ambition for Lion Ark is that it should be seen by as many people as possible, all over the world – people can enjoy the movie as a piece of entertainment, but will come out of the cinema with an understanding about the suffering of animals in circuses. Although we have the very handsome Hercules as our poster boy and the focus of the story is our lion stars, the movie is about all animals.
We would like to see Lion Ark on general release in cinemas and movie theaters, followed by TV and DVD and all the routes. Distribution is an expensive operation and will require detailed contracts to ensure some of the money earned from it can be fed back into more rescues.
Lion Ark is an independently funded film, we don’t have studio or network money behind it, and we have taken it as far as we can on our own. We realise we are up against huge competition and big industry-funded productions, but we know we have a good commercial product as illustrated the reactions of audiences, critics, and industry buyers has been huge.
See the new ‘Reactions to Lion Ark’ video at: http://www.lionarkthemovie.com/
In short, it is a great story. An Academy member said to me this week “you have a very good movie, has it been nominated?” (for the ®Oscars). In fact our week-long qualifying cinema runs in Los Angeles and New York will mean that Lion Ark can be considered. This will raise the profile of the film.
Getting Lion Ark picked up for wider distribution by a company with the financial muscle and expertise to maximise its potential is our aim. It is an important story for people to see worldwide.
It was through the generosity of the legendary Bob Barker that we were able to undertake the Bolivian rescue. We are doing our best to make the story of that rescue something that will change the world forever, for animals used in entertainment. For production of the movie we had the support of Associate Producer, Jorja Fox, through her company Seafox Productions including help to fund the film, along with our wonderful band of ‘Contributor Producers’, who have shown such faith in the project.
While writing, a quick warning – a few wicked people are trying to pirate Lion Ark (or parts of it, or pictures) for websites aiming get money, which would take the money away from the animals. So far, these appear to be scams to get people’s credit card details – don’t click on these websites or try to download anything!
If you see any illegal sites either showing parts of Lion Ark, or claiming to have possession of the whole movie, do let us know – because they are taking the animals’ money. Contact us at: Films1@ad-international.org
On a happier note, here are the dates of the upcoming screenings and filmmaker Q&A sessions where Tim Phillips and I will attend:
New York: Sunday November 17th, at the QUAD Cinema, Manhattan, 6.30pm and Monday 18 – Q&A session after the 1.15pm and 6.30pm screenings Tickets http://bit.ly/1j9O45C
Los Angeles: Wednesday November 20 and Thursday 21, at the Laemmle Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills – Q&A session after the 2:20pm and 7:20pm screenings. Tickets http://bit.ly/1cUBUjA
Thank you everyone, for your support for Lion Ark.