A freelance writer living in suburban Adelaide, taking his first tentative steps. You can see some of his past work at bernhardsayer.wordpress.com
Woof woof - let's go to the movies
Adelaide dog lovers, your favourite day of the year is almost upon us.
The Top Dog Film Festival is wagging its tail through these challenging COVID times and will sit upon command at the Capri Theatre at 141 Goodwood Road, Goodwood on the afternoon of Saturday 18 September from 2pm.
Once again, over two and a half hours the festival will present eight short films, all delighting us in the beauty of our four-legged furry friends.
Festival Director Jemima Robinson took a few minutes to describe some of the program's highlights to me.
The first film she told me about was a Danish production, called Passing It On. "It's about the sled dogs of Greenland and how they're an integral part of the historical culture there, and how with the changing culture and changing times it's affecting the role of sled dogs. The film focuses on one woman who is committed to keeping their legacy alive as Greenland's only female hunter using sled dogs." The dogs are central to her life, assisting her in transport and in getting across the ice, in turn assisting her in her hunting. "It's a really beautiful film."
Jemima is clear that this year's film to pull the heartstrings is undoubtedly Keema and her Pack, a story from New York about a woman who had a tough start to life, including with dogs. "It's about how an encounter with one dog changed her perception of dogs, and how that got her into dog walking which in turn changed her perception of people too. It's a beautiful story." Today, she's adopted rescue dogs herself and out of her love for dogs, she's found true love for her own heart too.
This year's Top Dog production, and the only Australian movie on this year's program, is Dog's Got Talent, which covers three stories, a set of dancing poodles from Sydney, a New Zealand sheepdog and a trick dog from Canada. The film documents how each of them, working as a sheepdog, skateboarding (amongst other tricks) in a travelling show across the US, or dancing for their audience, show a serious set of skills in everything they do.
Jemima told me that the other long film in the program is The Makings of a Guide Dog. "It follows a professional angler in Canada, also an outdoorsman, who lost his vision in his early 20's and so he's relied on guide dogs since. He's looking for a new guide dog, but because he's such an active outdoors person it's challenging, and the film is about his journey to find a guide dog who's good at guiding but also good at living the active outdoors life as well. Guide dogs are taught to lead the blind person, but when you're on skis you can't have the dog pulling, because they'll pull you over! I guess it makes you appreciate just how clever these dogs are, because the dogs can delineate when they're guiding and when they're around as pets. It's fascinating."
This year's festival, as it did last year, will be complying to the COVID related restrictions of the time. However, this means a reduced number of seats – so make sure you get in to ensure you don't miss out. All tickets are being sold through the festival's webpage at https://topdogfilmfestival.com.au/tickets/#sa , where'll you find everything you need to know about this year's festival too.