After several years in the making, we are excited to announce that GDB is the subject of an award-winning, feature-length documentary, titled Pick of the Litter. The film had its world premiere in January, 2018 at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Directed by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, it follows a litter of GDB puppies from the moment they are born. The filmmakers received unprecedented access to raisers, staff, and clients in order to capture the puppies’ journeys. The movie—which features audio description—was purchased by IFC Films/Sundance Selects and will receive distribution in theaters and beyond this year.
Image Description: the trailer opens on the KTF Films logo followed by a Slamdance Film Festival Opening Night Film logo. The first scene is of a black Lab mom licking her newborn black Lab puppy which is being held in a towel by a GDB staff member. The employee uses a tool to remove any excess fluids from the puppy’s mouth. On the screen the title card reads, “On June 2, 2015 5 puppies were born.” The mom dog pants as her puppies are nursing and then the trailer cuts to a video of puppies crawling towards the camera and making adorable noises. The title card reads, “They will train for 20 months to become guide dogs for the blind.” The title card ends on “Starring” and the next clip singles each puppy out as they are playing and inserts text with their name and an arrow pointing to the puppy. First is Potomac, second is Primrose, then Phil, Patriot, and Poppet. There are various scenes of the puppies playing as Christine Benninger, GDB President and CEO, does voice over. The scene then shows Christine’s interview and pans back to the puppies playing. Next, we see GDB applicant, Ronald Strother, using a cane as he is traveling on a sidewalk. He begins talking in an interview and there is text on the screen that displays his name and indicates that he is waiting for his first guide dog. There is another scene of Ronald traveling with a cane as his voiceover ends. Next, we see puppies once they have been placed with volunteer puppy raisers. They are shown practicing different behaviors with their puppy raisers. We see a scene of a young yellow Lab puppy licking the puppy raiser and then an emotional scene of a young puppy raiser leading his puppy in training into a kennel at the GDB campus as he says goodbye to the dog. This is followed by a number of emotional scenes as the puppy raisers embrace their dogs for the last time as they are recalled or transferred. We then see numerous scenes of a GDB instructor training the dogs to do a variety of skills necessary for guide work. Some of the scenes included are from traffic training where the guide dogs must back away from approaching cars in order to keep their handlers safe. There is a mix of successful and unsuccessful routes while working the dogs. The instructor does a cheer after a successful route and celebrates and then the scene cuts to Ronald packing up his cane while arriving at the Oregon GDB campus. Once there, he then goes on a “Juno” walk with his instructor. There are various scenes of the dogs throughout different stages of late training. Ronald is sitting on his dorm floor when we see his instructor knock on the door. The trailer fades to black and the text, “Pick of the Litter” appears on the screen.
Los Angeles, California (Royal Theatre): Friday, August 31st- September 13th
New York, New York (IFC Center): Friday, August 31st - September 27th
Open the App, at the bottom of the first page click on "redeem a code," enter POTL2018 and submit.
Click on PICK OF THE LITTER and download the assistive content of your preference. It’s good to download the content at home as some theaters may not have Wi-Fi.
Once you are in the screening:
Remember to bring your headphones and when the movie starts, hit the button on the content you downloaded. The app will use your microphone to sync with the movie, so be sure it is unobstructed. Once in sync the content will start on your iPhone.