Most people are aware that when we’re not keeping up the blog, we’re working in our PR agency that primarily serves animal rights nonprofits/campaigns, documentary films, and vegan foods. Imagine our enthusiasm when the organizers of the Animal Film Festival contacted us: here’s a project that combines our passions for animal advocacy, films…and food. There couldn’t be anything more perfect.
So it is with great excitement that we announce the second annual Animal Film Festival, to be held February 28, 2015 in beautiful Grass Valley, in the lovely Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California.
In addition to featuring Cowspiracy, the festival includes 20-plus animal-themed films from hard-hitting to fantastically funny, independent films, comedies, documentaries, and work by emerging artists. (Filmmakers: you can still submit. “Films may explore any aspect of animal welfare, animal rights, the human/animal bond or programs demonstrating ways to improve the lives of animals.”)
Organizer Shelley Frost, a filmmaker, author, and one of the founders of the Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE) a rescue, adoption, and sanctuary organization for special-needs dogs, burros, and farmed animals, said she wants people to understand that not all animal rights films have to be graphic – or even serious.
“I realize that many people perceive movies about animals to be tearjerkers, and they don’t want to experience sadness and nightmares due to the horrible reality so many animals endure in our society,” said Shelley. “Ironically, even funny, adorable films are also educational when they demonstrate compassion for a species not normally seen in human/animal friendship.” (Or animal/animal friendship, such as Mr. G and Jellybean, the goat and the donkey who couldn’t bear to be separated. Not only did their story rack up 6 million Youtube views, and earn massive media attention, it showed the deep capacity for emotional bonds that animals have.)
Last year’s festival was not only a first for the animal rights movement – it was a first for independent film community. “Nowhere could we find a fest that celebrated the stories of animals – and believe me, animals of every species, from elephants to armadillos to butterflies to dogs, have astounding stories to tell, important stories,” said Shelley. “We realized we needed to create a venue where audiences could come see firsthand how humans are impacting the lives of animals and how we as individuals can take action to stop their suffering and honor their lives.”
Fest-goers can also feast on vegan chocolates, meet the filmmakers, and tour the local sanctuary Animal Place, one of the oldest and largest farmed animal sanctuaries in the country. Fear not: with the animal sanctuaries attracting scores of visitors, Nevada County has more vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants than probably any other town of comparable size.
To plan your pilgrimage to Grass Valley, click here for a page of recommended food and lodging options, from picturesque B&Bs to dog-friendly motels to the nearest campground.
Any proceeds from the festival will support CAPE’s special-needs animals. Tickets for the festival are $50, available online here: