In 2017 after a firestorm ripped through Santa Rosa, rescuers like Officer Shannon Jay devoted themselves to rescuing the hundreds of cats who survived the impossible and returning them to the families who had lost everything. But a year later, when the monstrous Camp Fire wiped out Paradise, an antagonist appeared in the aftermath and tried to stop them.
When Filipe Leite leaves his adoptive home of Canada, the aspiring journalist sets out on an epic quest to ride from Calgary to his family's home in Brazil - and later beyond - entirely on horseback. Inspired by Aimé Tschiffely's 1925 equestrian journey, Filipe's 8 year odyssey of over 25,000 kms across 12 international borders, sees the young immigrant battle intense heat, drought, speeding transport trucks, nature's wrath and corrupt border guards on his history-making long ride home. Culled from over 500 hours of never-before-seen-footage.
Sean Cisterna is a multi award-winning director whose most recent film is From the Vine (2020), an international coproduction starring Emmy winner Joe Pantoliano, and distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Cisterna directed the acclaimed cancer drama Kiss and Cry (2017), which topped the Canadian box office, and is currently streaming on Netflix worldwide. His 2015 feature Full Out, starring Jennifer Beals, is based on the true story of gymnast Ariana Berlin. The film was broadcast on NBC, now residing with Netflix Worldwide and Disney Europe. Cisterna was awarded a Canada 150 Citizenship Award by the Federal Government for his dedication to and community engagement in the arts.
On a personal level, I grew up in the same community as Filipe Leite. Filipe and I went to the same high school, and we've been friends for the past 15 years. So when Filipe undertook this remarkable, history-making journey, I knew his story would make for a compelling and inspiring film.
Our team expertly weaved over 500 hours of compelling archival footage, shot across 12 countries in the Americas, into an inspirational and engaging documentary. The adventure has been intimately captured through Filipe’s perspective, an experienced cinematographer and journalist.
The Long Rider also features stirring interviews collected in aesthetic surroundings and never-before-seen footage/photographs from cinematographers who were compelled to track and capture his treacherous journey. My intention was to creatively exhibit the hardships Filipe faced so that the audience feels deeply immersed and roots for our hero. We want the audience to feel his euphoria from overcoming adversity and be motivated to chase their own dreams.
The obstacles that Filipe surmounted were extremely taxing on his body, brain, and emotions, but he believed in himself and never gave up, which is an invaluable lesson at a time when we are collectively yearning for inspiration during this time in our shared history.
Goodbye to All Cats is about the movement to eradicate domestic cats in New Zealand to protect endangered native species, which evolved without mammalian predators, and are crucial to the unique biodiversity of New Zealand. New Zealanders are among the most passionate cat lovers in the world with one of the highest per capita cat ownership and a strong belief in a cat's right to roam freely. Goodbye to All Cats explores the issues and arguments surrounding this emotional battle.
Shy 16-year old Amy just wants to dance, but her deafness causes her dreams to be shattered when she is bullied out of dance class. Finding the most unbelievable new dance partner, her neighbors neglected dog, they perform a spectacular routine that lands them on a national TV talent show where they compete against her former dance crew.
Veteran filmmaker Julia Verdin is a multi-hyphenate – she is known as an accomplished producer, award-winning Director and has written a number of screenplays.
Having been in the film business for 30 years, Julia has established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading independent producers, with over 36 critically acclaimed feature films produced to date. She founded and has been running Rough Diamond Productions since 1995. She has also recently made her mark as a writer and director and has just completed directing her third film.
Welcome to the friendly skies of animal rescue. Saving dogs and cats one flight at a time is the mission, but changing the fate of these lovable creatures is no easy task. Lives are at stake and failure is not an option.
For your preferred festival programming, this film is also offered in a 25 or 50 minute version by request.
Directors: Alicia Wszelaki & Matthew Nothelfer
Alicia Wszelaki, has traveled the world for her career. She’s dedicated herself to discovering the images and stories that nurture a desire, in all of us, to explore.
Alicia lives in San Diego County and is part-owner of the media company, Path 88 Productions, which directs and produces documentaries and films.
She has hosted and produced travel films for Lonely Planet TV as well as Condé Nast Video.
Matthew Nothelfer has directed documentary shorts, documentary feature films, narrative shorts, and narrative features. Over the past three decades his career has been spent mostly on the road. He has traveled to all continents on the globe as a photographer, videographer, and cinematographer.
Matthew currently lives in Borrego Springs, California and is part-owner of the media production company Path 88 Productions.
#AniFab the Animalis Fabula Film Festival '22 compiles the information presented in the official selections from FilmFreeway our film festival partner as well as from the filmmakers.
The Festival Director presents the information as it is presented to AniFab.