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Milking an Audience

By Mariann Sullivan — August 29, 2011

It seems like every day we hear about another new movie highlighting an issue of importance to animal advocates.

Making a movie is a huge undertaking, with detail upon detail to be dealt with. Like everything worth doing, it’s a whole lot harder than it looks. Which is why we are so very thrilled that so many animal advocates, whether they are experienced filmmakers, like the folks who made Bold Native, or out and out beginners, like Marisa Miller Wolfson of Vegucated fame, are putting in the enormous amount of work that it takes to produce a quality product.

One of the new ones that is really intriguing us is Got the Facts on MIlk? Not only does this film look incredibly informative on the health disaster that is cows’ milk production, but it promises to be “humorous.” Yowsa. Let’s face it — it’s a whole lot easier to get people to watch something that’s funny, even if the underlying message is anything but.

Another new movie to keep an eye on is Beyond the Myth, which attempts to convey the truth about pit bulls (the truth being that they’re the sweetest puppies on the planet. Ask Rose.) Although this movie is not yet available on DVD, it is one to  keep an eye on, since it could be a valuable tool in fighting breed discrimination. Screenings are coming up in Boston and Kentucky, and they are looking for people to host screenings in other locales.

The extraordinary activism that a film can accomplish starts with the vision and hard work of a filmmaker. But, ultimately, the work of using these films to spread the word about what’s happening to animals is work that we all need to share in. Whether you want to host a public screening (which would involve getting permission from the copyright holder and perhaps paying a license fee) or just invite over friends and family for a movie (no permissions required), you need to make sure that these valuable tools are used to the max. How to sweeten the deal to get non-vegans to show up? How about making it a non-dairy sundae party?!

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