The film, which screened Sunday January 28th ahead of the documentary feature Only 78, profiles the work of the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, a small turtle trauma centre in Peterborough, as it fights to even the odds for survival that freshwater turtles face in a modern world.
Audiences at the Milton Film Festival were utterly charmed by the reptilian patients profiled in Dobson’s environmentally-themed documentary. “All seven shorts were rated very highly by our audience members, but they responded especially warmly to this one”, said festival founder and director Jennifer Smith. “Dobson has rather artfully managed to create empathy and compassion for these amazing animals through this film, drawing us into their stories as if we were watching a medical drama.”
Dobson was surprised and delighted when he was told of the win. “It’s a great honour to win an Audience Choice Award. At the screening I was amazed at how many people came up to me and wanted to talk further about the film. Milton has a super festival and very very engaged film goers.”
Scott Dobson is an award winning Producer/Director with over 25 years experience in documentary filmmaking. Most recently he has directed for the CBC’s The Nature of Things, was story editor for Viceland’s new documentary series Payday in 2016, and in 2012 he directed Church Of Elvis and its sister show, Elvis In Love. Before that, he produced the very successful spam: The Documentary for CBC Newsworld. Scott has produced many projects for the famed Second City in Toronto and Chicago including the critically acclaimed re-release of the beloved SCTV TV series onto DVD for the first time; a massive project taking 4 years to complete.
The KKP Audience Choice Award is generously sponsored by the Anders family of KKP Printing Milton and includes a $100 cash award. Audience members at each screening are asked to rate the short films from one to five stars on a ballot, and the winner is chosen by the highest average rating.
The second place short film, The Suitcase, used live action and animation to tell the story of a mother trying to smuggle her daughter out of rural China. The other films in the short film program were Pollyanna, Such Devoted Sisters, It’s all in Your Head, The Talk, and 45.