Drum roll, please! For the first time in the 9 years of the Dog Film Festival there will be a new separate category called SERVICE DOG SALUTE – with cash prizes and all-expense-paid trips to the NYC Premiere on October 24th, 2024 for the top three finalists! As always, the Festival will then travel to select cities nationwide in 2025.

This exciting opportunity is happening thanks to Purina Dog Chow®, our Presenting Sponsor for the 9th Annual NY Dog Film Festival. Since 2018, Dog Chow has celebrated the “Service Dog Salute” campaign, which highlights the life-changing benefits that service dogs provide to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

For three years, Purina has been supporting the Association of Service Dog Providers (ASDP) which has member groups across the country that train PTSD service dogs they give to military veterans. The ASDP will be the beneficiary of the Festival Premiere in New York City.

The new Service Dog Salute category for 2024 invites filmmakers to explore the unique ways post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) service dogs transform the lives of the military veterans they serve. I’d call it “love made visible.”

Whether you are a serious filmmaker – or the family member or friend of a veteran who is partnered with a PTSD service dog – I urge you to consider making a film under 10 minutes that explores the unique ways posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trained service dogs transform the lives of the military veterans they serve. You don’t even need fancy equipment! You can make a movie on an iPhone, as many films have been made in the Festival over the years.

HERE is the page on the Dog FIlm Festival website with rules about the awards and prizes and guidance in the content we’re looking for. [Please note that to be eligible for this category you need to be a legal resident of the 50 United States, District of Columbia or Puerto Rico.]

There is no submission fee for this category thanks to Dog Chow – just write me at TheDogFilmFestival@gmail.com and I will give you the waiver code.

I’m grateful to Dog Chow® and excited about this new category, which will enhance the audience experience of the relationship between people and dogs with a focus on the special depth of connection with PTSD service dogs.

The NY Dog Film Festival you’ve come to know and love is still going strong with the same mission of welcoming short films from around the world that celebrate the love between dogs and their people and the shelters that bring them together. Please also consider submitting films HERE for the main category CELEBRATING DOGS!

If you want to make a film for this category but don’t know a veteran with a PTSD service dog, contact me and I will facilitate introductions in your area through the Association of Service Dog Providers.