Ava

Last active
1 year, 11 months ago
User Picture

Trailer – Fred: The Town Dog (a film about struggling small town America)

By: Ava Tuesday January 15, 2013 10:14 am

Hi all! I’ve directed an upcoming documentary film about Rockford, Alabama’s Fred the town dog. This a story about a town that came together to adopt an orphan mutt, but really it’s about a lot more – namely the disappearance and economic struggles of small towns – a very pertinent issue for discussion. I’m a local of small town Alabama and currently attending NYU where I’m a senior studying Film & Television production. This is my thesis film and upon completion it will be released to various film festivals and submitted to PBS. Please take a few moments to check out our website for more information and the links below for our trailer and Indiegogo online fundraiser (we still need to raise $4,000 to complete the film). I’m also including the film’s synopsis below. Thanks so much for your time and for everyone’s support over the years. I hope you all enjoy the trailer and that is serves as a reminder of the importance of disappearing small town culture and community.

- Ava
http://www.fredthetowndog.com
http://www.indiegogo.com/fredthetowndog

About the film:
Rockford is a small town of only 400 residents located in Coosa County, Alabama, where it is the county seat. A small and rural area, everyone here knows everyone, and everyone knows everyone else’s business. With a county newspaper that is only published once a week, a local law enforcement of only 2 officers, and a downtown area that consists of only one block, Rockford is in many ways a time capsule. This quintessential southern town has suffered in recent years; many of the town’s shops have been forced to close, and meanwhile many of the town’s inhabitants have moved away in search of job opportunities.

Yet many characters still live in the town, artists and blue-collar workers alike, and in 1993 when a dirty and disheveled dog named wandered into town, it was these people who took him in and nursed him back to health, naming him “Fred” – the town dog. Fred was a beloved member of the community for many years before passing away on December 23, 2002, but not before befriending many of the townspeople. Fred will be a film about this small town and its adoption of a new friend, exploring his relationships and the effect he had on both individuals and the community as a whole.

Through Fred and the time he shared with the people of Rockford, Alabama, we will gain insight into the individuals who cared for him while exploring the town’s narrative – specifically the narrative of an increasingly deserted area on the verge of becoming another southern ghost town. A large theme of this film will be the desire for companionship, which Fred met, and the fear of abandonment and loneliness. We will explore exactly what Fred meant to the individuals who cared for him and why they were so willing to care for a dog that showed up as nothing more than a dirty mutt.

 

New Project – Fred: The Town Dog

By: Ava Wednesday August 15, 2012 3:52 pm

I wanted to share with you my senior thesis documentary film at NYU.
www.fredthetowndog.com

In 1993 a dirty and disheveled dog walked into the tiny town of Rockford, Alabama, where he was nursed to health, cleaned, and adopted by the town, becoming “Fred” – the town dog. Fred is a film about a struggling small town and its adoption of a new friend, exploring his relationships and the effect he had on both individuals and the community as a whole. Fred is currently in pre-production and shooting is planned to take place in October of 2012.

You can read more about the project here.

This project is about a lot more than just a beloved pet. Rockford is a small town of only 400 residents located in Coosa County, Alabama, where it is the county seat. This quintessential southern town has suffered in recent years; many of the town’s shops have been forced to close, and meanwhile many of the town’s inhabitants have moved away in search of job opportunities. Through Fred and the time he shared with the people of Rockford, Alabama, we will gain insight into the individuals who cared for him while exploring the town’s narrative – specifically the narrative of an increasingly deserted area on the verge of becoming another southern ghost town. We will explore exactly what Fred meant to the individuals who cared for him and why they were so willing to care for a dog that showed up as nothing more than a dirty mutt.

I’m really passionate about this project. As a liberal southerner, I have a complex relationship to my native-Alabama. There are many wonderful things about the south while there are also very negative aspects to the south. Moving to New York, though, I’ve realized this could by said for most (if not all) places. This film is a way for me to explore my relationship with Alabama and share the culture that I love while also taking into account the realities, particularly the current economic struggles, of small town life.

Please help me spread the word and pass along the Indiegogo page.
http://www.indiegogo.com/fredfilm
In order for this film to be made I have to raise the necessary funds first. Received funds would help cover the cost of transportation from New York City, where our crew is based, to Rockford, Alabama. This includes the cost of airfare and vehicle rental. It would also feed our crew and help cover the cost of equipment rentals. Please consider donating anything, even just a few bucks helps, and spread the link around to friends, family, facebook contacts, etc. Our facebook page is linked below. Thanks!!
http://www.facebook.com/FredTheTownDog

- Ava

Photos from tonight’s Occupy Times Square event

By: Ava Sunday October 16, 2011 1:04 am

All photos via the talented Spyros Papavassiliou

Tonight thousands gathered in Times Square to occupy together and demand an end to corporate greed and priority, including Spyros and myself. Below are some photos from the inspiring event. Click the thumbnails for larger images.


Occupy Jail Cells

By: Ava Sunday October 2, 2011 5:07 pm

Last night I was arrested for the first time. Why? Because I took part in Occupy Wall Street by showing up to document this historic event. I’m only one of over 700 that were arrested. I can’t speak for everyone there, but I can speak for myself. What follows is my account of what happened yesterday afternoon along with photos that I took during the march. But first let me preface this by saying that while supportive of the Occupy Wall Street event, and inspired by the actions of ordinary people standing up to demand an end to corporate greed and corruption, as a busy student I was not “mobilized” into action. Yesterday’s actions by the NYPD, however, have turned me into one pissed off and mobilized person, as I’m sure it has many.

Both my boyfriend and myself have been following the events at Zuccotti Park and the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’ve admired from the sidelines as people have stood up for their beliefs, something I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t done very often lately. Yesterday, we decided to head down to the park and take part in the march in order to document it. We both grabbed our cameras and headed out, arriving at the park around 3:30pm. By that point the march had started, and we ran ahead several blocks to beat the march in order to take photos of the lead. We took our photos and then began to move around and among the crowd to gather more images.