The New York Dog Film Festival Visionary Award to Steve Marton

The First Annual Dog Film Festival will have one award in its first year — the Visionary Award, which was created to recognize an individual who best exemplifies the intention of the Dog Film Festival: “celebrating the remarkable bond between dogs and their people.”

I will be presenting the 2015 Dog Film Festival Visionary Award on October 3rd at 4 PM before Shorts Program #2 begins at Symphony Space on New York’s Upper West side. I will bestow this honor on Steve Marton, the CEO of Halo, Purely for Pets, a company that coined the phrase “Feed it Forward” to describe their commitment to corporate philanthropy and to giving free meals to shelter pets through their partner

Steve Marton has long recognized the power of film to capture the inherent value of pets in shelters and explore how much they mean to the people who rescue them. Mr. Marton executive produced a series of enchanting, whimsical short films directed by Peter Mcevilley, two of which are being shown at the Film Festival. These films capture the essence of what shelter dogs experience and the joy felt on both ends of the leash when those dogs find a “forever home.”

Steve Marton has guided Halo, Purely for Pets to once again be associated with the PBS series “Shelter Me” which is beginning a new season. It features major TV stars and their own adopted dogs introducing a variety of short films that document the wide variety of ways that dogs from shelters and rescues contribute to society and make meaningful relationships with people who cherish them. One of these films from a previous year will be screened at the Festival — “Second Chances,” which was executive produced by Steve Marton and directed by Steve Latham — and exemplifies everything the Dog Film Festival seeks to celebrate.

Halo, Purely for Pets is not only a sponsor of the Dog Film Festival and everything it stands for philosophically, but is also pledging 10,000 meals to Bideawee, the beneficiary of the Dog Film Festival. In addition, when Steve Marton and his team learned about the documentary “Myra & Prince” — directed by social worker Christine Kim, who specializes in homeless people with pets — the company immediately offered to send a year’s worth of food to this previously homeless woman, who wouldn’t go to a homeless shelter without her dog.

The first annual Dog Film Festival Visionary Award could not go to a more worthy recipient than someone (and his company) who sees the plight of dogs in shelters and employs film to tell a happy ending.

Catch me talking about the Dog Film Festival on Fox TV ‘s live morning show “Good Day New York” at 9:30 AM on Friday October 2nd in New York City. First time filmmaker Sue Carpenter is flying in from England to be at the festival and will join me on this show to talk about her emotional film “Something About Molly” which closes the festival. There are still a few VIP tickets to the Dog Film Festival Pooch Party Friday October 2nd 6-8 PM. The regular admission tickets are reserved numbered seating and can be bought directly from Symphony Space.

—Tracie Hochner
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