Producers to Donate Portion of Proceeds to Lewis Clark Animal Shelter
Bozeman, MT, February 1, 2023: Award-winning, independent feature film, The Year of the Dog, a poignant story about two strays— a loner alcoholic struggling to maintain sobriety and a rescue dog with an unusual athletic gift—opens for a minimum two-week run at the Village Center Cinemas on February 24.
“A portion of the ticket sale net profits will be donated to the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter,” says Rob Grabow, one of the film’s producers. Grabow, who was also the film’s writer, co-director, and lead actor, marveled at how spontaneous this amazing husky was in scene after scene. “The true star of the film is the scene-stealing Caleb, a pure-bred Siberian Husky rescue, who had been shuffled between multiple foster homes and animal shelters, because he had been described as ‘too much dog’ or ‘too energetic.’ The producers agreed that it was important to support and champion a local animal shelter since it was clear that what others saw as Caleb’s imperfections—his high energy, his playfulness, his stubbornness—are precisely what make Caleb special and why he was able to carry so much of this film.” In fact, many dogs featured in the film are also rescues. “Caleb’s story” says Grabow, “exemplifies how finding purpose and making connections can heal.”
Before casting Caleb to play the lead canine role of Yup’ik, the film’s producers had visited several animal shelters and rescues in their search for a very special husky-like dog. It was Jon Van Dyke, a veteran exotic and domestic animal trainer with more than 35 years’ experience, who ultimately discovered Caleb, then a 9-month-old, pure-bred Siberian Husky who had recently been adopted by Cathy and Gregg Pittman, owners of Performing Animal Troupe, based in Palmdale, CA. When Grabow saw a video of Caleb, he knew immediately he had found his star. In 6 short weeks, Van Dyke got Caleb screen ready using only positive reinforcement training.
Filmed exclusively on location in Montana, The Year of the Dog, features an accomplished cast of film and television actors including two prominent Indigenous actors: Jon Proudstar (veteran of 43 films and short-listed for Emmy consideration for his performance as Leon in Reservation Dogs) and Lakota actor Michael Spears (Dances with Wolves, Reservation Dogs, and 1923), an incredible group of military veterans in both cast and crew roles including Army Veteran, Darwin Lumbattis, Navy Veteran, Jeff Medley, and Air Force Veteran, Don Andrews, as well as a glorious array of dogs from California, Colorado, Montana, and Michigan.
Grabow, who hails from Livingston, MT adds that, “It’s a ‘made in Montana film’ but the movie’s themes are universal: alcoholism and recovery, healing through connection, the remarkable love of a dog, and the struggle to repair damaged relationships when we’ve hit rock bottom.”
The Year of the Dog (PG-13) is co-directed by Michael Peterson, Andrew McGinn, and Rob Grabow. Watch the exclusive release of The Year of the Dog Official Theatrical Trailer on Apple Trailers here. Production stills, cast and crew information, trailers, and information about upcoming screenings are available online at www.theyearofthedogmovie.com, Instagram: @theyearofthedogmovie, Facebook: @TheYearoftheDogMovie.