“It’s essentially about funny people and beautiful dogs.”
That’s how Bellmorite Leslye Abbey characterizes her new documentary,
“Caution: Show Dogs!”, which premiered at the Malverne Cinema on Jan. 30.
A packed audience laughed and cheered throughout the 108-minute feature that highlighted the dedication and hard work of dog breeders.The film was co-directed by Abbey’s friend and mentor, David Patrick, of Freeport.The theme song, which drew high praise from the audience, was written by Diane Corrado of Baldwin.
“I couldn’t have done with without them,” Abbey said.
“And that theme song…it was wonderful! People are constantly asking to buy a CD of it!”
You don’t have to be a show dog owner to enjoy this film, but it helps. While educational and entertaining to those who have never entered a competitive ring, veterans of the sport raved about the film’s humor and depth.
“Caution: Show Dogs” revolves around four top dog breeders and their love affair with their breeds of choice. The Chinese Crested, Lhasa Apsa, Australian Shephard, and Afghan Hound are featured.
Leslye Abbey is no stranger to film-making. Creator of Snowflake Productions, Abbey has traveled the globe in a quest to make films that reflect the human spirit.
She found her passion in New Mexico, as a clinical and cultural social worker with Southwestern Indians.
In 1998, she traveled to India and Nepal to create “Dharamasala/Tibet in Exile”, a film about the exiled government of Tibet and the struggles and dreams of the Tibetan people under Communist Chineses rule.
The film won the Humanitarian Award at the Long Island International Film Festival. Her second documentary, “Bob’s Rolling Reefer”, won the 2000 Long Island Film Festival Best Documentary Award.
Abbey had bred and shon Lhasa Apsas in the late 1960s and has since wanted to make a movie about dogs.
“The animal spirit is very powerful”, she said, “and it lead me to do this film. This was a very spiritual project for me.”
Abbey began filming in 2000, a process she described as very difficult, “though the dog owners themselves were wonderful and helpful.”
“Dog shows are a subculture all their own, and the manifestation of human expression and bond with an animal is extraordinary. “I wanted to make this movie to let dog people laugh at themselves, expose the politics and explore the intimacy of breeders and dogs as they endeavor to perfect the genes of show dogs.”
In fact, Snowflake Productions was inspired by Snowflake, a Lhasa Ahpsa owned by Abbey.
Abbey is currently looking for a distributor for her video of the movie, T-shirts, and theme song, all of which sold very well at the premier.
Other Snowflake documentaries include “Cindy the Tattoo Maven” and “Iowa State Fair”.
She is now seeking funding for two new projects, one about the Cajun people and their struggle to retain their lifestyle on the Atchafalaya River basin in Louisiana, and another about a leprosy colony in Senegal.
Abbey is looking to show “Caution: Show Dogs” again at a time to be determined.
For questions, or to purchase a video, contact Leslye Abbey at (516)679-8216 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the web-site at: www.snowflakevideo.com.
- Howard Goldstein
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