Top dogs on screen

MAN’s best friend has been living up to his (and her) name during this awful pandemic and lockdown year, so what better time to enjoy the virtual edition of the Top Dog Film Festival.

Founded in Australia, and brought to the UK by the people who run the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the Top Dog Film Festival, in a Covid-induced virtual form, features a  collection of uplifting short dog-themed films that celebrate the unbreakable bond between dogs and humans.

From hard-working sheep dogs to pristinely pampered pooches, from wolves in the frozen North to a surfing ex-street dog, the stories are heart-warming, moving and inspiring.

“Humans and dogs share a unique connection, and this brand-new collection of films celebrates the remarkable canine companions that bring happiness to our lives,” says tour director Nell Teasdale. “Whether you’re a dog owner or just like animals, these films are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and fall in love with man’s best friend all over again.”

The second of two shows will be screened on 15th January. Films start at 7pm, with viewers invited to explore the virtual foyer from 6pm, where they can enter a prize draw, take the ultimate Top Dog Film Festival quiz and more. The films will be available for 48 hours afterwards.

This year’s film programme includes: Odd Jobs for Dogs, extraordinary dogs who have dedicated their lives to lending a helping paw; and Surfing with Sugar, the story of Californian surfer Ryan Rustan and his rescued street dog, Sugar, who has become his surfing partner.

Pictured: A still from Wolf Call; Surfing with Sugar, board riding; Old Dog, a working sheepdog; The Lure off the North; Adventure Dogs, Back-country Skiing.