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.
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.