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First-Ever National Dog Film Festival Tour To Visit The Hamptons

Abby Cummings

Ricochet the SURFice Dog is 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. (Courtesy Photo)

Due to its continued overwhelming, sold-out success in New York City, the Dog Film Festival is expanding to visit cities across the United States for the first-time ever this summer and fall. The brainchild of Tracie Hotchner, the tour will be stopping in 12 locations, including East Hampton. The Festival honors the unparalleled connection between dogs and their families, and the Hamptons screenings will benefit the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF), with 50 percent of the Festival's net proceeds and a 10,000-bowl donation of natural pet food from sponsor Halo, Purely for Pets and Freekibble.com. Hotchner established the Festival in 2014 with the hopes of growing her Radio Pet Lady Network's outreach to teach the community about "adoption, pet wellness issues and philosophical aspects of pets in our lives."

"We were thrilled to get the phone call from Tracie to be a part of the first Hamptons Dog Film Festival!" said Jamie Berger, ARF's Director of Marketing and Communications. "We know the success the event had in New York City and we look forward to a great event this summer in the Hamptons, as well as the awareness it will bring to the homeless cats and dogs at the ARF Adoption Center looking for forever homes."

Le Sauvetage is Peter Mcevilley's faux-French tale of how dogs view us and bring us together - promoting adoption with the rescued performing Olate dogs. (in French with subtitles)(Courtesy Photo)

The event begins with an afternoon Tea Pooch Party on Sunday, July 31st from 4 to 6 p.m. The "green carpet" will be rolled out for the dogs and their human escorts. Attendees will be treated to tea, finger sandwiches, pastries, special canine treats and more. The Pooch Party will also feature a horseback demonstration by the Long Island Drill Team.

Jewel Morris, Founder of the Pet Philanthropy Circle, will be hosting the afternoon tea at her home, Hobby Hill, as a kick-off for the Film Festival and a chance to celebrate this year's Pet Hero Award winners, who will also be honored at Pet Philanthropy Circle's annual dinner dance on Friday, October 7th.

"The Pet Philanthropy Circle is so pleased to partner with Tracie and the Dog Film Festival to educate and motivate people about animal adoption," expressed Morris. "I attended last year's premiere in New York City and found the variety of films both entertaining and educational." Jewel and her husband are pleased to be a part of the celebratory event. "Bob and I enjoy sharing our lawn with other dogs and look forward to another photo op at the Tea Party," she added. "Our rescues, Miniature Schnauzer, Nicky, and adopted Pomeranian, Annie, they think they live in a dog park."

In Game of Bones Director Blaire Dobiecki (Melbourne, Austrailia) re-imagines the popular television series with a similar name, starring her own rescued Lab, Helen, as the heroine. (Courtesy Photo)

The Dog Film Festival was made possible thanks to a grant from The Petco Foundation, the national Presenting Sponsor of the Festival, whose goal is to help every animal live its best life. "We were 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 relays 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 Dog Film Festival will take over the historic Guild Hall (158 Main Street, East Hampton) on Tuesday, August 2nd. The festival, which is perfect for dog lovers of all ages, is comprised of two separate screenings of entirely different canine-themed films. Each program will include at least one documentary, animated and live-action shorts that illuminate the human-canine bond, submitted by dog-loving filmmakers from around the world. Each screening is approximately 90 minutes long.

The great photographer William Wegman made The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold in 35MM in 1995, which he has graciously remastered just for the Dog Film Festival.(Courtesy Photo)

The first Film Program at 4 p.m. will feature Rewind (4 minutes), Game of Bones (10:30 minutes), The Lewis Lectures (7:30 minutes), The Hardley Boys in Hardley Gold (28 minutes), BETA (13 minutes), Fog of Courage (7:35 minutes), Conversation with My Dogs (2:45 minutes), Useful Dog Tricks (4 minutes), Looking for Love (3 minutes), Dine in the Dark (:30 seconds), and Harvey Dogs Home (1 minute).

The second program at 6:30 p.m. will include Dog Years (4 minutes), The Poodle Trainer (7:45 minutes), Le Sauvetage (6 minutes), Second Chances (20 minutes), 989 Miles Home (15 minutes), SURFice (5 minutes), A Boy and His Dog (9:30 minutes), Myra & Prince (4 minutes), David & Goliath (12 minutes), There's Something About Molly (6:45 minutes), Valentina (9:30 minutes), and Harvey & Harmony (1 minute)

Tickets for the afternoon tea Pooch Party are by private invitation and a donation of $150.00. Please contact thedogfilmfestival@gmail.com

Tickets to the screenings are $15 for adults per program and $10 for children per program.

For tickets or more information, visit www.dogfilmfestival.com.

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