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Monday, September 28, 2009

Petflix Film Festival: how pets help people


You have a pet and you know it's the cutest of its kind.

But pets are way more than just a pretty face and a new pet-themed film festival aims to prove it - possibly with your help.
Soul Friends, Inc, a statewide nonprofit psychotherapy and educational organization that helps at risk children with interactive activities, including therapy animals, will premiere its first pet-themed film festival from 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 21 at Showcase Cinemas in North Haven. The charity is asking for submissions of short films that demonstrate how animals help people feel better.
“We regularly experience the healing power of animals in our daily work with children and adolescents,” Kate Nicoll, executive director of Soul Friends, Inc., said in a statement. “By hosting this mainstream inaugural film festival, we hope to show the entire state of Connecticut what our clients have already learned…life is more enriching interacting with animals.”
To officially enter the Petflix Film Festival, pet lovers and aspiring filmmakers are encouraged to submit a video that is less than five 5 long, or within the 5-10 minute category.
An independent panel of judges will score the film shorts based on originality, cinematography, message and overall theme, the statement said. The top three entries from each category will then be screened as part of the two-hour film festival. Participants may submit more than one entry, the statement said.
“Besides seeing some of Connecticut’s new shining stars on the big screen, attendees will also learn about local animal rescue groups, animal sanctuaries and other non-profit organizations that promote and preserve the healing benefits of the animal-human bond,” Nicoll said in the statement.
The entry fees for a Petflix film short submission is $15. Tickets to the event are $5 in advance and $8 the day of the show. Visit http://www.soul-friends.org/ to register and for more information.
Soul Friends, Inc. has since 2003 "served more than 3,000 children impacted by grief, trauma, loss and/or social emotional challenges by integrating nature and animals in individual or group psychotherapy," the statement said. Services include interactive animal assisted psychotherapy, dog training for special needs children, equine assisted psychotherapy and crisis response therapy dogs, it said.

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