Sunday, March 20, 2016

Wesleyan University Film Major Returns to Where It All Began

Sometimes, it's as much about where a film screens as it is about the film itself. Consider tonight's showing of The Champions, a feature documentary that chronicles the rehabilitation and redemptive impact of some of the pit bull dogs rescued from Michael Vick's infamous fighting ring.

Director Darcy Dennett grew up in rural Maine. Tonight's Pine Tree State premiere is taking place at Winthrop's Railroad Square Cinema, the very same movie theater where her celluloid dreams were formed.

From a report in the Kennebec Journal:

Dennett, whose parents, Diane and Charles, still live in Winthrop and whose brother, Devin, lives in Monmouth, plans a trip to Maine [from New York City] to attend the screening of the film.
"I’m so excited about the Railroad Square screening," she said. "As a kid coming from a tiny town in Maine, as soon as I got my license, I’d drive the 40 minutes to Railroad Square to see these independent films in this dark room. I’m sure that had something to do with me going on to pursue film in college. It’s going to be very emotional."

Dennett first documented the plight of Vick's pit bulls for the National Geographic series Dogtown. Her two-hour 2008 episode became the highest-rated second-season premiere in the network's history, with 4.3 million viewers.

Several years later, she by chance happened to encounter at a Best Friends Animal Society event one of the dogs and its new owners. Heartened by how much progress Cherry had made, she decided there was a documentary sequel to be made.

Together with her husband, Dennett , who attended Wesleyan University, she owns three pets. Two of them, a cat (Mao) and a dog (Beadle), were adopted from the aforementioned Best Friends.

[The Champions]

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