SAN DIEGO–Following its overwhelming, sold-out success in New York City, the first-ever Dog Film Festival is touring the country, stopping in 12 cities nationwide, including San Diego September 25.
The Petco Foundation, whose goal is to help every animal live its best life, is serving as the national presenting sponsor of the festival, which celebrates the love between dogs, their people and the animal welfare groups that bring them together.
The San Diego leg of the Dog Film Festival will take over the Reading Cinemas Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, in La Mesa. The San Diego Humane Society, which receives 50% of all local ticket sales, will have adoptable dogs on site from 3 to 7 p.m.
“The Petco Foundation is thrilled to help bring the Dog Film Festival to cities across the country,” said Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation. “This series of films visually relay the Petco Foundation’s core mission to create a better world for animals and the people who love them. We are excited to celebrate with all dog lovers during this fun-filled festival and showcase these wonderful films that demonstrate the positive impact dogs have on people’s lives.”
The festival, perfect for dog lovers of all ages, is comprised of two separate programs of entirely different canine-themed films. Each screening is approximately 90 minutes long and includes documentary, animated and live-action shorts that illuminate the human-canine bond, submitted by dog-loving filmmakers from around the world.
The first screening at 3:30 p.m. features a medley of 11 light-hearted, animated and narrative shorts – perfect for any attendees, including children and families. Renowned photographer William Wegman’s 30-minute film, “The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold,” starring four of his own Weimaraners in costume, will be highlighted at the first screening. Other fun and uplifting short films include “The Lewis Lectures,” a hilarious depiction of what dogs are actually thinking; “Beta,” a delightful tale that answers many questions we’ve all had about dogs; and “Useful Dog Tricks,” an inspirational short about the myriad ways a dog can help around the house.
The second screening, beginning at 6 p.m., features a more sophisticated program that includes a series of 12 short documentaries, narratives and subtitled narrative films. This screening is also appropriate for all ages; however, subtitles may challenge younger viewers. Films in this screening include “The Poodle Trainer,” a character study of a circus trainer, whose performing poodles are the center of her universe; “Second Chances,” a PBS film about dogs who are paired with incarcerated women, who train them to become service dogs; and “SURFice,” San Diego-based director Judy Fridono’s video about her Golden Retriever Ricochet, who was raised to be a service dog but instead became a SURFice dog – surfing to raise money for causes.
The festival is a way for founder and animal wellness advocate Tracie Hotchner to share her love for dogs and give back to organizations working hard for pets in need.
“We are excited to bring animal lovers together to experience the many ways our lives are enriched by dogs and to honor the animal welfare groups that bring them together,” Hotchner said. “I am honored to have a national non-profit organization such as the Petco Foundation as our Presenting Sponsor and to partner with incredible organizations in each city we visit.”
Tickets for the Dog Film Festival are $15.00 per screening for adults and $10 per screening for children and can be purchased online at www.dogfilmfestival.com.
In 2015, the first Dog Film Festival grew out of Tracie Hotchner’s desire, as a pet wellness advocate, to expand her Radio Pet Lady Network’s outreach to educate the public about adoption, pet wellness issues and philosophical aspects of pets in our lives. The festival is a unique way of honoring dogs as true family members by bringing together like-minded people to experience and celebrate the remarkable human-canine bond. The Dog Film Festival shares proceeds from its ticket sales with local shelters and rescue partners wherever it travels.
The Petco Foundation believes every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, the Petco Foundation has invested more than $167 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With its animal welfare partners, the Petco Foundation inspires and empowers communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay/neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. The Petco Foundation partners with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions and has helped more than 5 million pets find new loving families. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn how to get involved. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #PetcoFoundation.