Attention Animal Lovers! Soul Friends Petflix Film Festival Entries Due November 7

Here's a contest and an event I wanted to get on your radar even though it's a few weeks away. I just never know when this baby might come (only 4 weeks till my due date!) so thought I would mention it sooner rather than later. 

Have you heard of Soul Friends? Well me neither, until recently when a friend told me about them. I was really moved when I heard about what they do. It's kind of amazing.

Soul Friends, Inc is a nonprofit established in 2003 with a mission to provide innovative clinical and educational programs that promote the healing benefits of the human-animal bond and nature therapy for at-risk children. In the last five years, Soul Friends has served over 3000 children across Connecticut. Services include the integration of nature and an animal friend in individual and group psychotherapy for children impacted by grief, trauma, loss and/or social-emotional challenges.  

Here's some info about a contest Soul Friends is running. If you have a special story to share about how an animal made a difference in a child's life - now's your time to share it. Sorry for the length of the announcement, but you'll need all these details:

(Wallingford, CT)- September 28, 2009- Benji, Lassie and Morris the Cat…now your pet can be added to this list of famous canines and felines when Soul Friends, Inc, a statewide nonprofit psychotherapy and educational organization that helps at risk children with interactive activities including therapy animals, premieres Connecticut’s first pet-themed film festival on Saturday, November 21st at Showcase Cinemas in North Haven from 10 a.m.- noon. Specifically, the charity is calling for submissions of short films that demonstrate how animals help people feel better.

“We regularly experience the healing power of animals in our daily work with children and adolescents,” said Kate Nicoll, MSW, LCSW, executive director of Soul Friends, Inc.. “By hosting this mainstream inaugural film festival, we hope to show the entire state of Connecticut what our clients have already learned…life is more enriching interacting with animals!”

To officially enter the Petflix Film Festival, all pet lovers and aspiring filmmakers are encouraged to submit a video under 5 minutes or within the 5-10 minute category. An independent panel of judges will score the film shorts based on originality, cinematography, message and overall theme. The top three entries from each category will then be screened as part of the two-hour film festival. Participants may submit more than one entry.

“Besides seeing some of Connecticut’s new shining stars on the big screen, attendees will also learn about local animal rescue groups, animal sanctuaries and other non-profit organizations that promote and preserve the healing benefits of the animal-human bond,” adds Nicoll.

Entry fees for Petflix film short submissions are $15, while advance tickets to the event are $5 in advance and $8 the day of the show. Visit www.soul-friends.org to register for both and for more information. All entries must be received by Saturday, November 7th for consideration in the Petflix Film Festival.

Since 2003, Soul Friends, Inc. has served more than 3,000 children impacted by grief, trauma, loss and/or social emotional challenges by integrating nature and animals in individual or group psychotherapy. Services include interactive animal assisted psychotherapy, dog training for special needs children, equine assisted psychotherapy and crisis response therapy dogs.

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