Pick of the Litter
June 17, 2018
Playing as part of Best of SIFF. It's puppies galore and a ruff'n good time as we watch five Labrador siblings undertake guide dog training, from basic manners to the intensive 10-week course after their first birthday. If only everyone could graduate; not that there's anything wrong with being a fluffy civilian.
SIFF 2018 (Lena Sharpe Award, Audience Favorite)
This crowd and pup-pleasing documentary follows a litter of five Labrador puppies on their training quest to become guide dogs for the blind. Slowly but surely, the playful young puppers grow into intelligent doggos apt for a person in need. They begin with their puppy raisers, volunteers who raise them until they're 16 months old, and then it's onto the big leagues at the 10-week guide dog course. But it's not always smooth sailing, as training occasionally hits ruff waters and not everyone graduates to service. Not that there's anything wrong with the playful life of a treat-devouring civilian. First, we have Potomac, a rambunctious black lab quick to lunge at any loose pinecones on the ground. Perhaps too quick. Then there's yellow lab Primrose: calm, collected, and ready for any task. Black lab Patriot, tallest of the siblings, is all energy and focus. Little sister Poppet is sweet as can be, capable of all instructions thanks to her experienced raisers. Last but not least is Phil, a yellow lab underdog determined to prove he's up to snuff. It's a dog-eat-kibble world out there, and we're just here to enjoy the show.
Don Hardy Jr. is a director and cinematographer whose films include Witch Hunt (2008) and Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Restidents (2015). He cofounded the independent documentary production company KTF Films.
Dana Nachman graduated from Trinity College In Hartford, Connecticut with a dual degree in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations. Her documentary features include Witch Hunt (2008) and Batkid Begins, which was released by Warner Bros in 2015. Nachman is also a Guest Lecturer in Journalism at Stanford University.
- Director: Don Hardy Jr., Dana Nachman
- Country: USA
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 80 minutes
- Producer: Don Hardy Jr., Dana Nachman
- Screenplay: Dana Nachman
- Cinematographers: Don Hardy Jr.
- Editors: Don Hardy Jr., Dana Nachman, Jacob Stein
- Music: Helen Jane Long
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Dana Nachman: Batkid Begins (2015); The Human Experiment (2013); Love Hate Love (2011); Witch Hunt (2008) Don Hardy Jr.: Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents (2015); The Human Experiment (as Don Hardy) (2013) Love Hate Love (2011); Witch Hunt (2008); Sound Man: WWII to MP3 (2006)
- Language: English