By GENE ESPY
The Dade County Pet Project will present a film, “Free Puppies” this Saturday at the Dade High School Auditorium that will focus on animal over-population featuring the Dade County area. Three years of hard work went into the making of the film.
Monda Wooten had a friend in New York that knew someone, Muffie Meyer, that wanted to make a film on animal rescue. Meyer is an American director that makes documentaries, theatrical features, and children’s films. She has won two Emmys, a Peabody Award and numerous other recognitions. Her work has played in Japan, Greece, London, Edinburgh, Cannes, Toronto, Chicago and New York.
“She had adopted a dog that we had sent up there on a transport and she was very interested in where the dog had come from – how the process worked,” Monda Wooten said. “My friend contacted me and asked me if I would be willing to talk with her.” Monda said that she would, and Meyer wanted to make a documentary on it. She came down to Trenton several times for about three years and Monda introduced her to a bunch of other people that rescued animals.
“Because all of us do things a little bit different,” she added.
Meyer followed them and did her own story, and she went on a transport up north and rode the bus with a bunch of dogs. Meyer also went on a hoarding situation with the local group and that is how the film came about.
Monda said that they did a “lovely job with the film.”
The film has been reviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post and Rotten Tomatoes – it’s actually playing in theaters.
“It is really a big deal, it was not a little presentation,” Monda added.
She and her group came down to Dade County a lot and followed the local group as they went about their work of rescuing dogs.
Dade Countian Carter McCormick did the cinematography and his father, Judge Joel McCormick did a lot of the music for the film.
“Carter has worked for National Geographic and Meyer met with Carter and they thought it would be great for him to make the film in the South,” Monda continued. “They thought it would be great to use someone here in the South and especially from Dade County since they were doing most of the filming here in Dade County.”
Monda said the film was really a good little film and there was no money involved in the thing.
“They would do anything they could to help us because they saw the need to stop the overpopulation of pets in the south,” Monda explained, “and that’s what the movie focuses on and the different things that people are doing to combat that problem. It was their way to give back for letting them follow us and dealing with them for so long.”
They are letting us show the movie at the high school because the high school is letting us use the auditorium for free.
All the proceeds from the showing of the film go to the Dade County Pet Project, a 501c3 that spays and neuters pets in the area for people that cannot afford it.
“We subsidize, we have low cost spay and neuter transport four times a month and it offers people the opportunity to get their pets spayed at a low cost.”
The showing of the film is $7 to the public or three for $20. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction and refreshments before the film begin at 7 p.m.