ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

Worst In Show premieres tonight at IndieFest–a humorous documentary about Petaluma’s annual world’s ugliest dog contest

Every dog has its day, but tonight is reserved for the ugly dog.  Tonight, local filmmakers Don Lewis of Petaluma and John Beck of Benecia and a few of the contestants in Petaluma’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest will appear at San Francisco’s Roxie Theatre at IndieFest for the world premiere of Worst in Show, a riveting hour long documentary on the contest that put them all on the map.

Unlike the very popular 2000 mockumentary Best in Show by filmmaker Christopher Guest, Worst in Show follows real contestants—both human and canine—behinds the scenes on the 2009 and 2010 ugly dog circuit that culminates in Petaluma’s annual “Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest.”  While there are many ugly dog contests, this one, the most popular event at Petaluma’s Sonoma Marin Fair, has been around for 22 years and has a global following.    

In Worst in Show, the dogs steal the scenes as their owners interact under completely self-imposed pressure for a very small prize $1600 and the chance to be in the limelight until displaced.  Some competitors are relentless in their pursuit of the limelight. 

Dane Andrews, an actor from Sunnyvale, has been on the ugly circuit since he was 11 and has shown 3 generations of Chinese cresteds, a hairless breed which some people consider naturally ugly.  Rascal won in the contest in 2002 and Dane appears throughout the film pimping the dog with a gusto and compteitiveness that puts many people off.   John Adler, sporting a mohawk that seems to math his crested’s sparse tufts has the fire in him to be the next Dane.  When both are upstaged by Miles, a Boxer-mix rescue dog with a major underbite, owned by low-key Miles Egstad from Citrus Heights, CA, egos are bruised.   

Pabst quickly won the hearts of the audience who chanted “Pabst, Pabst, Pabst” creating an enthusiastic ruccous and the celebrity judges followed suit giving him wins in all three rounds of the competition. This was the first time in seven years a mutt won the competition, upstaging the long-run of Crested wins.  

The film screens tonight February 9th at 9:15 p.m. and February 13th at 2:30 p.m as part of the 13th Annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival (IndieFest).  The festival features 85 absolutely independent films and videos and unspools February 3-17, 2011 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street in San Francisco.   For tickets or more information, telephone (415) 820-3907 or  http://www.sfindie.com.

February 9, 2011 - Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , ,

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