Arts & Culture
11:49 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Dog Lovers Film Festival Makes Charlottesville Debut

Jeff and his service dog Jasper.
Credit Service Dogs of Virginia

A film festival for dog lovers will be held this Saturday  in Charlottesville to raise money for an area service dog organization. 

“My Happy End” is about what happens when a dog finally catches his tail.  Spoiler Alert:  they take selfies.  It’s just one of the “tales” that will be screened as part of a fundraiser for Service Dogs of Virginia.  Spokesman Bill Bridge says the Ruff Cuts Film Festival has been a year in the making. . .
“You know what, it would be really great to do some kind of a festival that was geared toward man’s best friend and how dogs have helped people around the world in various ways, not just necessarily through the use of being a service dog.”
Tickets are 10 dollars and the matinee will get underway at 4:30 at Piedmont Virginia Community College with a showing of the film, “Black Beauty Breed” which is about the Rottweiler. The director of the film will be there from L. A. to introduce her documentary. 
The actual festival will begin at 7:30 with more than 10 local and international films to be screened including  “Dognapped” which about a man who steals his girlfriend’s dog when they break up. Bridge says his group doesn’t have a monetary goal, but the focus is on raising money to build a training facility in the near future.
“$500,000 is our dream goal with regard with where we want to be to be able to open up a facility and train more dogs so that we can help more people on our wait list who have disabilities currently”
It takes two years, 700 hours of training, and from 40 thousand to 50 thousand dollars to match a dog with a Virginia resident who has with autism, diabetes, or is in a wheelchair.  Fifty people are currently on the waiting list.
Bridge says Service Dogs of Virginia expects to make this an annual event.  The organization is compiling a kit with instructions so other groups can put on their own film festival. 

www.ruffcutsfilmfestival.org

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