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David Duchovny Hosts New Film About Abandoned Pets

by ANC Staff and Give Voice to Animals
Clover the dog and Oreo the cat may be a couple of strays, but they are about to change a lot of lives. They are the stars, along with host/narrator David Duchovny, of an inspiring new documentary that explores the lives of abandoned pets.

The film, Best Friend Forgotten, will premiere in more than 20 cities in the US and Canada as part of a Hollywood-style tour from November to February that aims to raise awareness of the pet overpopulation crisis in America.

The red carpet premiere was the idea of the film's executive producer/director, Julie Lofton, a television writer/producer and founder of Give Voice to Animals, a national animal group focusing on creating wide spread media products.

The cities that were selected for the premiere tour have highest populations of stray animals in the nation.

"The plague of pet overpopulation is invisible to most people, and this movie will bring it home to them. They will get to meet the people at their local shelters and join forces with them to help end this crisis," said Lofton.

Up to 50 percent of the funds raised at the premiere will benefit local shelters who are participating in the event.

Remaining funds will go to the sponsors of the tour, Give Voice to Animals, a national non-profit organization that promotes human responsibility to animals through the media.

The theatrical tour is presented in partnership with Petfinder.com, a national online pet adoption Web site, and with the assistance of PBS affiliate stations.

The film will also air on PBS Animal Planet Canada this winter.

Director Lofton, a former stand up comedian, decided to get serious about the problem of pet overpopulation after volunteering at a Los Angeles shelter where she saw countless animals euthanized because the shelter was overcrowded.

"Working in the entertainment industry, I saw the media's power to get out a message. I felt the most effective way to promote human responsibility to our animal companions was to make a film that moved and entertained people," said Lofton.

The film is a heartwarming and heart wrenching story that takes viewers on a journey that begins on the streets of Los Angeles and Chicago where Clover, a Lab mix, and Oreo, a black and white cat, are rescued and taken to animal shelters.

The film follows the two through the shelter system where they will either be adopted or meet the fate of millions of other homeless pets who are euthanized.

The film offers a thoughtful and balanced look at the controversial practice of euthanasia and the alternative "no-kill" movement.

"My hope is that this movie will motivate people to go to their local shelter and take home a loving animal companion. For those who have dogs and cats at home, I hope the film will encourage them to spay and neuter their pets," said Lofton.

Actor David Duchovny (X-files, Evolution, Return to Me) became friends with Lofton after the two met at a Los Angeles vegetarian lunch spot.

Duchovny, an animal lover himself, hosts and narrates the film with his trademark wit.

He appears with a German Shepherd mix Lenny, a stand-in for his own camera-shy pooch. The actor looks into the camera and deadpans, "If my dog Blue is watching at home, this stuff with Lenny, that's just acting?it meant absolutely nothing."

Other entertainment celebrities such as musician Peter Gabriel have become fans of the film.

Gabriel called the film "A brilliant documentary that needs to be seen by anyone who loves animals."

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, also a friend of the animals, appears in the documentary to offer his official view on the problem of pet overpopulation and the $2 billion that it costs the nation every year.

"Animals can't speak for themselves. They can't tell you that they are sitting in shelters waiting for you to adopt them. That's why it's so important for us to get the word out for them. I believe this film will give the animals a voice," said Lofton.

More information about the screenings and Give Voice to Animals can be found online at www.givevoicetoanimals.org.

Tickets for the premieres may be purchased online at www.givevoicetoanimals.org or by calling 1-800-6VOICE6.

2003 Animal News Center, Inc.

Dates and venues for the premiere tour of Best Friend Forgotten:

November 13 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver Civic Theatres
November 17 Toronto, ON Roy Thomson Hall
November 19 Charlotte, NC Ovens Auditorium
December 10 New York, NY Carnegie Hall
December 12 Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre
December 15 San Diego, CA Civic Theatre
January 10, 2004 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
January 13, 2004 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre
January 15, 2004 Atlanta, GA Atlanta Symphony Hall - Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center
January 18, 2004. Detroit, MI Detroit Symphony Hall - The Max M. Fisher Music Center
January 20, 2004 St. Louis, MO Fox Theatre
January 27, 2004 Portland, OR Keller Auditorium Portland Center for the Performing Arts
*January 31, 2004 Los Angeles, CA Kodak Theatre
February 3, 2004 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music Kimmel Center
February 5, 2004 Dallas, TX Majestic Theatre
*February 10, 2004 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Theatre
February 12, 2004 San Francisco, CA Nob Hill Masonic
February 17, 2004 Washington, D.C Warner Theatre
February 19, 2004 Columbus, OH Palace Theatre - CAPA
February 23, 2004 Nashville, TN. Andrew Jackson Hall Tennessee Performing Arts Center
February 25, 2004 Houston, TX Sarofim Hall Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
February 27, 2003 Miami, FL Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Lofton decided to bring the subject matter of homeless pets to the public and raise funds for the cause by taking the show on the road, holding Hollywood-style premieres in cities across the US and Canada. The premieres will be complete with celebrities, paparazzi, and exclusive cocktail parties held in renowned theatre palaces. The tour is presented in partnership with Petfinder.com, a national online pet adoption Web site, and with the assistance of PBS affiliate stations.

The film will air on PBS stations beginning in March and on Animal Planet Canada on November 27, 8 pm ET.

Give Voice to Animals is financing the tour with an enrollment fee of $250 from local animal groups. These groups will sell tickets to the premiere, priced from $20 for general admission to more than $1,000 for VIP seats. They will then earn back 30 to 50 percent of the money they raise. Groups that make contributions such as silent auction donations or provide volunteer staff for the event will receive a higher percentage of their ticket sales revenues. Additionally, all participating groups may host an exhibit booth at the premiere.

Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; and St. Louis, MO were added to the tour due to demand by groups in those cities. Groups not near cities on the tour may pay a licensing fee to show the film and hold their own fundraisers. Give Voice to Animals has developed a manual, How to Host a Successful Premiere Fundraiser, that includes marketing information and materials to assist groups that want to hold their own events. More information may be found and tickets can be purchased online at www.givevoicetoanimals.org or by calling 1-800-6VOICE6. When buying tickets online, the purchaser can specify an animal group that they would like the proceeds to go to.

Give Voice to Animals is a Chicago and Los Angeles based national animal organization focusing on creating widespread media product to promote animal welfare.


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