Coconut Grove

Red carpets usually feature celebrities. This one was for the dogs.

Helen (L) and Daisy, owned by Betty Fritz and Mary Stern, respectively, during the Canine Film Festival July 14 at Cinepolis Movie Theater in Coconut Grove.
Helen (L) and Daisy, owned by Betty Fritz and Mary Stern, respectively, during the Canine Film Festival July 14 at Cinepolis Movie Theater in Coconut Grove. ehimes@miamiherald.com

Movie lovers and dog lovers joined their furry friends to spend a day at the movies, supporting film directors and producers whose work focuses on canines and their other pet counterparts.

The July 14 event at Cinepolis Movie Theater in Miami’s Coconut Grove kicked off with several canines walking the red carpet, followed by a panel discussion with various film directors.

Peter Dorton, director of “Lou,” flew down from New York to be at the festival. He won the Best Actor award, and “Lou” won for Best Canine Drama.

“”Lou” is based on a true story, because three years ago my dog was hit by a car and was killed,” Dorton said. “It’s been very cathartic.”

Cat lovers didn’t leave disappointed, either. The event also included a short Feline Film Festival.

“He wants to elevate the issue that we need more volunteerism in the community,” said Monica Hoo, mother of Benjamin, 11, who directed and produced “Street Cats of Miami.” The film won an award for Best Documentary Score.

Benjamin, who was away at summer camp during the film festival, is allergic to cats but is fascinated by them. He wanted to know how he could help them despite his allergy. His neighbor encouraged him to make a film about volunteerism, Hoo said.

Mikayla Feehan, who directed the “To the Pets” music video, works at Walkin’ Pets, a company that produces wheelchairs for animals.

“We wanted to raise awareness for alternatives to euthanasia,” she said. “We wanted to get the word out there.”

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