"Who rescued who?" is a question often pondered by those who know the joy of rescuing a pet. This question was the impetus of a powerful short film that is opening the Sonoma International Film Festival in Sonoma, Calif. next week.
"Le Sauvetage" (The Rescue) is a six-minute film produced by Peter McEvilley, award-winning filmmaker and starring the Olate Dogs, winners of America's Got Talent. The film is a magical tale about life, love, and finding our true destiny....with a little help from a furry friend.
Sponsored and produced by Halo, Purely for Pets, Ellen DeGeneres' natural pet food company, Le Sauvetage will open the Sonoma festival on April 2, an honor and exciting opportunity to showcase pet rescue and adoption. The film has also been selected to appear at the Court Metrage, Festival de Cannes in France this May.
In 2012 the Olate Dogs shot to stardom when they won the America's Got Talent grand prize. These sweet, funny, talented dogs and their entertaining owners and handlers captured hearts across America. But there's more to their story.
Many of the Olate Dogs are rescue dogs themselves. Family patriarch, Richard Olate, developed his act on the streets of his native Chile when he was a poor boy of just 12. He rescued stray dogs and trained them to be part of his amateur show.
He worked hard for years to realize his dream of becoming a professional dog act. Today, Richard and his son, Nicolas, and wife, Rebecca, continue to save dogs from shelters and train them to become part of their professional troupe.
Halo, known for its philanthropic efforts to promote rescue and adoption, admired the Olate Dogs and their dedication to rescue. Steve Marton, Halo's CEO and Executive Producer of Le Sauvetage, wanted to find a unique way to draw attention to the special bond we share with animals.
"We see this film as an entertaining yet meaningful way to show how companion animals add value to our lives," he said. "Producer Peter McEvilley did a phenomenal job conveying this extremely important message by combining his creative storytelling and film making capabilities."
Halo has a track record of promoting rescue and adoption through film. The company sponsors all three episodes of Shelter Me, a PBS special dedicated to showcasing shelter dogs and the incredible lives they lead. Halo also sponsored the Humane Society of the United States' video campaign, "Meet My Shelter Pet," a series of videos featuring celebrities and their adopted pets.
The Olate Dogs will also perform at the Sonoma festival. And, in keeping with the film's mission, Halo and Freekibble.com will donate 10,000 meals of Halo Spot's Stew to local Sonoma animal shelter, Pets Lifeline.