A few years ago I helped out with a campaign to rally votes for an SPCA-run animal shelter in the Northwest Territories. What happened was far beyond any of our wildest dreams – a community of less than twenty thousand people had over half a million votes and won $500 000 to construct a much-needed animal shelter for the NWT.
What surprised me even more was when a casual conversation about how the story would make a great film quickly turned into a budget and a broadcaster, and suddenly I was directing my first documentary.
We knew we couldn’t discuss the issues around the need for a shelter in the NWT without looking at the bigger picture of the history and challenges faced by volunteers and dogs in the Northwest Territories, and so what started as a story of a community raising funds became a primer on dog culture in the North, a celebration of the rich history of people surviving with dogs, and of those volunteers that work tirelessly to rescue dogs in some of the vastest and harshest environments in the world.
The film won Best Feature Documentary at the Yellowknife International Film Festival in 2013, and Best Short Documentary at the Good Dog Film Festival in Australia the same year.
You can now watch it on Vimeo here: