Diablo Valley Film Festival Commentary

From Steffan Shulz, Festival Director October 2010

In choosing the primary feature for our inaugural film festival, I was tasked to find a film that met with the high standards that we sought for our audience, something that touched on many emotional levels, as well as left the viewer with a positive feeling at the end of the screening. To add to that, we had a charitable benefactor in the Contra Costa Animal Shelter. So we ultimately wanted something that met that criteria thematically. An extremely tall order, but along came Sniff, the Dog Movie.

From the quirky opening scene (a man wearing a dog mask riding a bicycle down the streets of London) to the equally odd scenario of a dog hotel in downtown San Francisco, Sniff guides you through a wonderful journey of the canine world. This film is a unique blend of narrative and documentary and the filmmaker's expertise at blending the two forms is brilliant. Utilizing various production techniques such as mixed media (the blend of combining film and video) to highlight/separate the narrative and the documentary parts give the whole feature a higher production quality. And for the non-film professional, a heightened sense of quality (perhaps unconsciously).

Sniff, the Dog Movie takes you through a pleasing array of emotions and you can't help but fall for the main characters and their "Odd Couple" relationship. The dogs featured in the film range from the playful & nonsensical (surfing, skateboarding canines) to the more profound guide dogs and rescue dogs. For anyone with a pulse, this film is an incredibly enjoyable experience and for the dog lovers an absolute must see.

Steffan Schulz
Festival Director
Diablo Valley Film Festival



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