London-based documentary distributor Dogwoof has acquired dog documentary “Stray,” which was slated to bow at April’s now-postponed Tribeca Film Festival.
The doc specialist has picked up world rights to the Turkey-set film, which also marks Dogwoof’s first dog-centric sales documentary.
The doc takes a canine’s eye-view of the streets of Istanbul, and follows three dogs — Zeytin, Nazar and Kartel — as they roam the city, offering a unique take on Istanbul and its inhabitants. The dogs’ lives ultimately intersect when they bond with a group of young Syrians who share the streets with them.
The deal was brokered by Oli Harbottle, head of distribution and acquisitions at Dogwoof, working directly with the filmmakers. Dogwoof will be presenting the film to buyers in the coming weeks with a view to releasing the film in cinemas this fall.
“Stray” was directed, shot and edited by Elizabeth Lo and produced by Lo and Shane Boris. Meanwhile, co-producers include Ceylan Carhoglu and Zeynep Köprülü, while executive producer is Ina Fichman.
Lo said: “I’m thrilled to work with Dogwoof to bring ‘Stray’ out into the world, especially in this time of uncertainty. I met Dogwoof three years ago at IFP Film Week before ‘Stray’ had even begun production and was impressed by their work ethic and passion.
“I love the obvious affinity between Dogwoof and ‘Stray’s’ canine subject matter, and am honored to be a part of a catalogue that is filled with so much inspiring non-fiction cinema.”
Dogwoof’s Harbottle added: “‘Stray’ is a timely reminder of how dogs are man’s best friend to see us through these uncertain times. Elizabeth’s debut feature marks her out as a real talent to watch with this stunning sensorial experience following our three adorable main characters.”
Lo’s work has played at more than 100 film festivals and has won numerous awards. Her short films include “Hotel 22” (2015), “Bisonhead” (2016), “Mother’s Day” (2017), “The Disclosure President” (2016), “Notes from Buena Vista” (2016). “Stray” is her feature film debut.
“Stray” is not the first film to focus on the stray animals of Istanbul. Ceyda Torun’s critically acclaimed 2016 documentary “Kedi” followed the city’s felines, and grossed $5 million worldwide.