Pick of the Litter

Filmmaker: Dana Nachman, Don Hardy

Runtime: 80 min

Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their quest to become guide dogs for the blind. Cameras follow these pups through an intense two-year odyssey as they train to become dogs whose ultimate responsibility is to protect their blind partners from harm. Along the way, these remarkable animals rely on a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human. The stakes are high and not every dog can make the cut. Only the best of the best. The pick of the litter.

With deft storytelling skill, directors Dana Nachman and Don Hardy (the two previously co-directed the feature docs The Human Experiment, Witch Hunt, and Love Hate Love) introduce us to a group of unique canine characters along with their human counterparts. Pick of the Litter is a wonderful reminder of the extraordinary relationships we have with our dogs, especially those that we work beside each day.

About The Filmmakers

Dana Nachman is an award-winning filmmaker of both fiction and documentary films. Nachman’s 2018 feature documentary Pick of the Litter was sold within 48 hours of its premiere at the Slamdance festival and will be released later this year by IFC.
Nachman’s 2015 film Batkid Begins was bought and distributed by Warner Bros./New Line Cinema. Previously she wrote, directed and produced the documentaries Witch Hunt, which was executive produced by Sean Penn and premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival; Love Hate Love, which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival; and The Human Experiment. She has won dozens of awards over the course of her career, including three regional Emmy Awards, The Edward R. Murrow Award, Jury, and Audience Awards at film festivals.

In an effort to showcase strong female protagonists, Nachman is working on a trilogy of romantic comedies. Each short will have a female of a different generation as the lead. Nachman has finished “The Final Show” first which features an elderly woman. In the coming months she will shoot “Hook Up 2.0” and later in 2018 will shoot the third part of the trilogy, which will focus on a middle-aged heroine.

Don Hardy is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and storyteller. Don’s new film, Pick of the Litter, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2018 and was purchased by IFC Films/Sundance Selects for theatrical distribution.

Currently, Don is in production on two new feature documentaries: A Band Called Failure about the influential 90’s rock band, Failure and an untitled project that tells the story of the birth and growth of Sean Penn’s aid organization JP HRO after a catastrophic earthquake shook Haiti in 2010.

His most recent film, Theory of Obscurity, about the legendary music and art collective known as The Residents, premiered at SXSW in 2015 and was released theatrically by Film Movement in April of 2016.

Don also served as Director of Photography on Batkid Begins, which premiered at Slamdance in early 2015. Batkid Begins was released by Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema in June 2015.

Over the years, Don has won numerous awards for his films, photography, and editing including 6 regional Emmys, 3 Edward R. Murrow Awards, 7 Associated Press Awards, the prestigious San Francisco Bay Area Photographer of the Year Award and more than 15 National Press Photographer Association Awards.

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