By Devin D. O'Leary
Sit, Stay, Roll Film!—The Fifth Annual DogFest Film Festival will take place this Saturday, Sept. 25, beginning at 8 p.m. This short film festival is dedicated entirely to films for, about and (well, maybe) by canines. This year, the festival has accepted entries from California to Canada in hopes of extending its claim as “America's premiere dog-centric film festival.” (Honestly, is there a lot of competition out there?) The organizers promise a smorgasbord of comedy, drama, documentary, animation and puppetry, music video and even ultra-short movies designed for mobile phones. This year, to make the festival even more canine friendly, the event will take place outdoors at the ABQ Botanical Garden. Dogs are free and the $5 admission price for humans will go to help a number of dog-related nonprofit organizations: promoting spaying and neutering, assistance/companion dog programs, homeless animal shelters and more. The screening will be set up at the picnic area of the Albuquerque Aquarium. Viewers are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, folding chairs and (of course) well-behaved dogs on leashes. An exercise area and ample water will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to the best films, with first place claiming $500 for the animal charity of the filmmaker's choice. Tickets are available at Three Dog Bakery (9821 Montgomery NE), The Animal Humane Association (615 Virginia SE) and at the gate of the Albuquerque Aquarium (2601 Central NW). For more information, about DogFest, log on to www.dogfestfilmfestival.org.
Cast Me!—The new Charlize Theron film, Class Action, is expected to begin filming in New Mexico later this year or early next year. (Things are a little up in the air, I would guess, since Ms. Theron injured herself on the set of her current film Aeon Flux.) Warner Brothers Pictures, however, is proceeding full steam ahead and is looking for two newcomers to play Theron's children in the film. The casting company is looking for a 12- to 14-year-old boy (described as “troubled, rural and athletic”) and a 6- to 8-year-old girl (described as “charming, courageous and wise”) to fit the bill. Acting experience is not necessary. The film's director, Niki Caro, is noted for discovering 12-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes for her film Whale Rider. Castle-Hughes went on to a well-deserved Oscar nomination. Mothers, grandmothers, siblings, aunts and friends are encouraged to forward a snapshot with name, phone, age and height to: “Mali Finn Casting, 8284 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046.” Mark the envelope “Josey.” For more information, visit malifinncasting.net.