You’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to see The Champions – filmmaker Darcy Dennett’s remarkable documentary about the inspiring, hopeful, incredible second acts for the pit bulls rescued out of Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation.
Well, now you have your chance, and with the best possible company: one of the film’s stars!
On March 12th, 2016, Paul and Melissa Fiaccone are hosting a special screening of The Champions in Northhampton, Massachusetts.
The featured celebrity guest is the Fiaccones’ dog Cherry – one of the 51 dogs taken from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in 2007, whose new life as a spoiled, beloved pet is a highlight of the film.
Notable humans will be there to participate in a Q&A as well. These include the film’s director, Darcy Dennett, Cherry’s trainer, Jill Haley Rose, and Lee Greenwood, an attorney with Best Friends Animal Society — a group whose work on behalf of the Vicktory dogs, and Pit Bulls more broadly, is documented in the film.
(Full disclosure: Lee Greenwood is this journalist’s brother. He’s worth listening to!)
Watching the film, it’s impossible not to think of how Cherry might well not have been able to hobnob with admirers at movie screenings if things had gone a little differently.
At the time of their rescue, the regular outcome for dogs rescued out of fighting situations was grim. The dogs would be killed after they were saved. They were considered too damaged, too dangerous, to be safely in society.
The “Vicktory dogs” were allowed to live, thanks to tireless advocates — whose work The Champions takes you through, and whose success has paved the way for countless other canine cruelty victims to be given well-deserved second chances.
Paul Fiaccone tells BarkPost he expects folks who come to the screening to be “blown away” by the film.
Darcy and her team put together a very moving, uplifting, positive film that will make you laugh, make you smile, make you cry — in a good way — and leave you with a positive feeling.
But nothing compares to meeting Cherry himself, who will be hanging around to meet and greet (and lick and jump into the laps of) his many admirers.
They’ll get to see this dog – once terrified of humans, and feared by humans – now prove that all the work, all the advocacy, everything you see in The Champions, was worth it.
“He loves the attention and loves to soak it all in,” said Fiaccone. “He enjoys every moment, and so do we.”
Featued image via The Champions