On October 20, a documentary film about the Los Angeles Animal Services’ Specialized Mobile
Animal Rescue Team (SMART) will make its Washington premier at the TRIFI International Film Festival in Richland.
SMART team rescues animals stuck in extreme situations on a regular basis.
In the heart of Los Angeles, the SMART is like any other specialized rescue team… except its helicopters lift horses out of water, its ropes and poles reach out to save trapped puppies and kittens, and there is no creature too small to be worthy of rescue.
These modern day super heroes are beloved by the citizens of Los Angeles, and yet face a constant battle to maintain their funding as a uniquely trained unit within Los Angeles Animal Services. Taking huge risks to rescue domestic and wild animals in the most precarious situations, the SMART team has a 100% save rate, and has saved nearly 1,000 animals since its formation in 2009.
The SMART documentary takes viewers behind the scenes of the team’s most adventurous rescue videos and showcases the extraordinary team members. While viewers see the danger and expense involved in the work, the film also highlights the danger to people and rescue workers, and expense on the city, when animal rescue is not made a priority.
As natural disasters have plagued the US this year, the SMART team knows firsthand the cost to human life when owners can’t and won’t abandon their pets and the cost to cities when human rescue teams have to go back into dangerous situations to help people who have tried to save their own animals without the resources and special training of the SMART team.
Here’s the trailer:
“We will do anything and everything we can to rescue an animal. We’ll go buy whatever it is we need. It’s not unusual to go to the store and put down $500 on some equipment… out of our own pocket. We just really believe in what we are doing.” – Annette Ramirez, Animal Services Personnel, SMART team member.
To date, the team has spent almost $80,000 of its own money to assist with expenses not covered by the department’s budget.
The 74-minute film has been an Official Selection at 19 festivals, nominated for 12 awards and won 7, including Best Feature, Best Documentary, Audience Award and Best Photography.
Panel Featuring SMART Director Justin Zimmerman as well as representatives from the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County and the WA State Animal Response Team. October 27, 10:30 AM. Gig Harbor Film Festival at the Galaxy Theater Uptown in Gig Harbor.
Oct 21 – 22, Central City Comic-Con, Yakima, WA. Time and Date TBD.