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Top Dog Film Festival

Home > Adelaide > Cinema | Dog Friendly
by Bernhard Sayer (subscribe)
A freelance writer living in suburban Adelaide, taking his first tentative steps. You can see some of his past work at bernhardsayer.wordpress.com
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Paws for pooches on the big screen
To those who have never felt or been moved by the love of a dog, you have my sympathies.

For those of you who share that love for man's best friend, the Top Dog Film Festival is a delivery from the gods. And for those who can't relate to this depth of love between mankind and those four legged angels with the wagging tail, this festival might just be what tips you over the edge into the realm of deeper understanding.

The Top Dog Film Festival celebrates the stories of dogs and their people through the medium of short, independent films, and is about to embark on its second iteration around Australia. Festival Director Jemima Robinson says that the reaction to the 2018 program so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and that the festival's beauty isn't actually the films in isolation. "It's also the community, bringing together that many dog lovers in one place. It's great to be in a room sharing their love of dogs, hearing all of those people laugh, clap and sigh at the same time."

The 2017 festival was a pilot effort which, despite having 17 sessions around the country, Jemima was keen to expand and improve after seeking feedback from the audience. This year's festival has grown to 20 sessions around Australia, and Jemima is very confident of the festival continuing into the future. "One thing initially was finding out if there was enough films about dogs generated each year, which was an unknown. Because we show independent films, we're just relying on what films get rated by various people around the world, so it was a bit of a leap of faith thinking that they would be continuously coming in!"

"What we really like about this year's selection is that there is diversity in the films in the types of dogs that are shown and the countries that they're from, which has been really nice. But the thing that we'd like to change going forward is that we'd love to have more Australian films".

Visit topdogfestival.com to see a preview of the sole Australian movie in this year's program, a beautiful and moving story called 'Adoption Pending', about two-year-old George, hoping for a new home. While you're there, and once you've wiped the tears from your eyes, you can also watch the shorts or read about six of the other movies in the program. There are a further three films in the program that are not featured on the webpage, and Jemima described them to me.

"'Trail Dog' is a really lovely story from France about a fellow who just really loves spending time in the mountains with his dogs. It's beautiful, stunning scenery. He talks about how he doesn't really have many friends and about the connection that he really has with his dogs, and how he just loves being in the wilderness with them and running the trails, and that they get the same joy in being outside and running that he does that is their connection, which is really beautiful."

Movie Trailer Trail Dog
A short from Trail Dog


Jemima also spoke about The Dogist. "The Dogist has 3.4 million followers on Instagram, he's a photographer in New York who just started taking photos of people's dogs at the dog park or on the streets of New York. He just has a really great way of capturing the personality of the dog, and also of the owner as well, and how they work together. Now he travels the world and when he goes on holidays he'll take photos there too."

I asked Jemima what her favourite selection of the 2018 festival was, and she said that not only was it her favourite, but also that of the crowds too. "Definitely 'Arthur'. It's a complete rags to riches story. It's a story of an adventure racing team kind of an ironman-on-steroids event! There was a world championship Adventure Race in Ecuador, and the Swedish team were really keen to win this race. It was on Day 2 or something, and they were at a stop where they get food, and this mangy, terrible looking dog comes up and lies down next to them. He's got a big sore in his back. They share their food with him, but don't really think anything of it and continue on with the race. And Arthur just follows them! It's definitely the crowd pleaser it's a winner!"

Adelaide attendees will also get an additional bonus, whereby the festival will also be visited by local business 'The Little Adelaide Pet Company'.

More information on the Top Dogs Film Festival, as well as the link for buying tickets, can be found at topdogfilmfestival.com/. For South Australians, the festival comes to the Capri Theatre (Goodwood Road, Goodwood) on the afternoon of Saturday, 11 August, from 4pm. Don't leave your decision to attend too long a number of interstate sessions are already booked out. Sadly, you can't bring your pooch in with you to the screenings but it's fair to assume that you'll give them a stronger hug than usual when you return home.
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Why? A film festival celebrating the bond between dogs and their people
When: 4:00pm 6:15pm
Where: The Capri Cinema 141 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood
Cost: $18.50 - $28
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