New World Distribution proudly announces signing Academy Award and Oscar nominated Director Debra Granik’s new film Stray Dog for distribution. A powerful look at the veteran experience, a surprising love story, and a fresh exploration of what it takes to survive in the hardscrabble heartland.
Winner Best Documentary Feature – Los Angeles Film Festival 2014
-Dan Schindel, Nonfics – June 17, 2014
SYNOPSIS – LONG
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall lives in Southern Missouri where he owns and operates the At Ease RV Park. After seven years of living with four small dogs as his only companions, he is adjusting to life with his wife, Alicia, who is newly arrived from Mexico. Anchored by his small dogs and big bikes, Stray Dog seeks to strike a balance between his commitment to his family, neighbors, biker brotherhood, and fellow veterans. As part of the legacy of fighting in the Vietnam War, he wrestles with the everlasting puzzle of conscience, remorse, and forgiveness.
With Stray Dog as our guide, we experience the restlessness of ex-warriors as he tries to make peace with what he can’t change and weathers the incomprehension of those who have never been to war. Every year, Stray Dog joins thousands of bikers on a cross-country ride to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC for a series of veteran rituals. He hurtles down America’s highways, staving off specters of post-traumatic stress and haunting memories while forging deep bonds along the way. From the back of his bike, Alicia tries to decipher a totally unfamiliar biker culture. Their intimacy is pushed to new limits as Alicia and Stray Dog share the pleasures and tensions of life on the road.
Back at home, Stray Dog navigates the pressures of everyday life including the economic survival of his grandchildren and the increasing poverty of his community. The arrival of Alicia’s twin sons from Mexico throws into harsh relief the current state of opportunity that newcomers seek and that America can or cannot offer. Stray Dog continues to tally the cost of war, bearing witness to the soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan: both the dead and the living. The two families become more entwined and find lyrical ways of coexisting. The questions of contemporary American life loom larger and thornier, leaving us to wonder what is next for Stray Dog and his blended, multi-ethnic family.
DEBRA GRANIK – DIRECTOR
Debra Granik is the Academy Award nominated director and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini were Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her first feature film, Down to the Bone, won Granik the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
ANNE ROSELLINI – PRODUCER
Anne Rosellini is the Academy Award nominated producer and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Rosellini and co-writer Debra Granik were Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Rosellini produced Granik’s first feature film, Down to the Bone, which won Granik the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
VICTORIA STEWART – EDITOR, PRODUCER
ERIC PHILLIPS-HORST – CINEMATOGRAPHER
Eric is a director, producer and cinematographer based in New York. Some of his featured work includes broadcast television (PBS, Biography Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, Arte France), documentary and independent festival circuits (CPH:DOX, Rooftop Films, HBO NY and LA Latino) and numerous online publications (The Atlantic Monthly, Huffington Post, TED Talks, Indiepix). He teaches production and digital arts at The Documentary Center, and is a founding member of three filmmaking collectives: Brooklyn Filmmakers, Meerkat Media, The Goddamn Cobras.