I’ve seen–and barked through–my fair share of documentaries about dogs on Netflix; but just as nothing can ever replace unleashed adventure, no amount of streaming titles can replace seeing a movie in a cinema house, especially if that movie is about dogs. You can imagine my excitement when I heard the New York Dog Film Festival is coming to St. Augustine’s Corazon Cinema & Cafe on Saturday, June 22.
Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, the short-film festival premieres every year in—where else?—New York City, before hitting the road and screening its films throughout the nation. Proceeds benefit local animal welfare groups at each stop. In this case, it’s S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue.
Filmmakers and animal-lovers submit the shorts. The only ground rules: There must be a canine theme and there must not be any cruelty depicted. From stray dogs and senior dogs to dogs in prison and dogs winning prizes, there’s something for everyone in this year’s program.
Here’s the breakdown:
Unexpected (2 min.) An animated tale with an unexpected ending.
Sh*t Happens (2 min.) A mime demonstrates what happens when you don’t “Pick It Up.”
Esther – Saving Castaways (6 min.) This documentary chronicles a prison program for unwanted dogs that are trained by inmates.
Elvis: The Lonely Hunter of Circle Beach (5 min.) On a remote Long Island beach, a tough little dog named Elvis searches for an elusive buried bagel.
Dog Power (25 min.): A dynamic documentary following canine and human athletes competing together in international sports competitions.
I Rescue Senior Dogs (5 min.): A documentary about Sherri Franklin, the founder of Muttville, a last-chance rescue for senior dogs in San Francisco.
About a Dog (16 min.): An antisocial book editor reluctantly fosters a dog that brings her out of her shell and introduces her to love.
It’s a Potcake Life (30 min.): This heartwarming documentary is about the indigenous stray dogs of the Bahamas and the happy endings facilitated by an island of dedicated rescuers.
A Dog’s Life (8 min.): It’s an animated interpretation of a dog’s view of an ordinary day in his life.
Well Groomed (8 min.): A colorful documentary peeks into the passionate sphere of some very competitive creative dog grooming.
Imperfect Adventure (5 min.): This short is about a philosophical journal of one woman’s trip across North America on a motorcycle, with her dog in the sidecar.
Ooh La La (1 min.): This witty animation is inspired by the notable breed of the French Poodle.
The collection is meant to explore the relationships between humans and their canine companions. Don’t expect any tearjerkers, though: If you cry, it will be from only joy.
Even better, the event is BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog), so your well-behaved pup is welcome to join the crowd at the screening for the ultimate canine-centric experience. After all, the only thing better than snuggling with your furry friend is watching a movie together—one that reminds you how lucky you are to have your pup in your life and vice versa.