Heartwarming dog film to hit big screen in Holland

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Year of the Dog courtesy photo

A Michigan filmmaker has secured distribution for his film to open Feb. 24 in more than 100 theaters across the nation and on April 7, the film will be available on all TVOD platforms (Amazon, iTunes, DirectTV).

Year of the Dog movie poster

“The Year of the Dog” is an independent feature about two strays: an alcoholic man struggling to maintain sobriety and a rescue dog with an unusual athletic gift. It was co-directed by Interlochen Academy instructor Andrew McGinn and shot on location in Montana.

McGinn said that being a student, and later an instructor, at Interlochen Academy, had given him many opportunities to visit Grand Rapids and that he’s even fished for Steelhead on the Grand River.

“I do love Grand Rapids,” said McGinn. “My family has Michigan roots going back three generations…Michigan at large holds an incredible place in my life. It’s amazing that I’ve ended up here with my forever job after spending all of my favorite summers, Christmases and Thanksgivings in Michigan as a kid.  I’m still very much on the theatre faculty year-round at Interlochen.”

The Indy Feature premiered at the Chelsea Film Festival, New York City last fall (2022).          

Caleb, the canine star of the film

“Andrew is one of the best teachers of acting I’ve ever met. And he has directed or been part of hundreds of stage productions,” said the film’s writer, co-director, producer, and lead actor Rob Grabow. “I knew we wanted him for this film. And he did an outstanding job.”  The film’s other co-Director is Michael Peterson.

The film presents indigenous themes and feature Native American actors Jon Proudstar, a veteran of 43 films, and Lakota actor Michael Spears, who appeared in “Dances with Wolves” and will play the title role in a new feature, “Sitting Bull.”                                     

“The Year of the Dog is more than a feel-good dog film; it’s a heart-warming journey of forgiveness, finding purpose, being vulnerable, making connections, and ultimately healing,” said Grabow. In addition to being a well-acted, interesting film with great music and an abundance of cool dog moments, Grabow hopes that his movie “inspires people to continue to open themselves up emotionally and to connect with those they love.”

According to a press release, McGinn isn’t the only cast/crew member from Michigan. The film also stars “a glorious array of  K-9s from Montana, Colorado and as far away as Michigan.”

The film will be distributed by Nova Vento Entertainment, a theatrical distribution company based in the United States that focuses on US theatrical releases of independent films into independent theaters. West Michigan audiences can see it at the GQT Holland 7, located at 500 S Waverly Rd, in Holland. Buy tickets here.

More information about the film’s release, including theaters where the film is playing can be found on this website.

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