For the love of animals: Animal Film Festival to be held Saturday |

For the love of animals: Animal Film Festival to be held Saturday

Kim Midboe
Staff Writer

After moving its animal sanctuary to Grass Valley in December 2012, the Center for Animal Protection & Education is embarking on another first — a film festival centered around animal issues.

The Animal Film Festival, featuring films for children and adults, will serve as CAPE's main fundraiser. It's the only one of its kind in the U.S., according to CAPE co-founder and Executive Director JP Novic.

"This film festival is part of the 'e' in CAPE ­— education. It's the best tool to use to educate and inspire people," said Novic.

Through producing their own videos and submitting them to festivals, CAPE co-founder Shelley Frost and Novic at times found it difficult to find the right niche for films relating to animal issues.

"So many talented filmmakers don't have the venue. We're going to create that venue," said Novic.

More than 70 documentary and scripted films were submitted, 22 of which were accepted for screening at the festival.

Recommended Stories For You

From alligators, to baby elephants, to stray dogs, the films run the gamut of animal issues and story-telling styles.

On the lighter side, judging categories include Films That Make You Laugh and Homemade Movies about the Animals in our Lives.

"Only two have hard-to-watch themes. All of the other films are uplifting and hopeful," said Frost. "You won't need a box of Kleenex!"

While "Turlock" and "De Haas in De Marathon" deliver their messages in a more graphic way, "the hard parts are minimal compared to the inspiring and beautiful content," said Novic.

According to Frost, community response to the festival has been overwhelming.

"We have so many people volunteering. We have almost more volunteers than we have places to put them," said Frost.

Sixteen sponsors have signed on to provide lodging, food and screening equipment. Sacatomatoes, a Wicked 'Wich food truck, will be available for festival-goers to purchase vegan fare.

Animal groups will staff tables throughout the day to provide the audience with information about local animal issues.

The Animal Film Festival will take place Saturday at the Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. Movies for children will be shown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the general audience session screening from 2 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit

Catching up with CAPE

Since moving from the Santa Cruz area a little more than a year ago, CAPE has continued to settle into the community and has been focusing on growing its burro rescue program.

A new burro resident is expected in a few weeks; the yet-to-be-named male will join Jackson, Selina and Platero at the CAPE facility in Grass Valley.

"We've been trying to get this burro rescued. He is in a BLM facility waiting for the green light," said Novic.

The burro was found abandoned and starving in Nevada and will need extensive veterinary care, according to Novic.

CAPE has been well received by the community, said Novic, noting a high level of interest in volunteerism.

"We love it here. There is a generous spirit here," she said.

They have a group of local volunteers that Frost and Novic have dubbed the "Little Tribe," who visit the facility three days a week.

"We couldn't do it without them," said Novic.

One local woman spends hours with the burros, and they have become most acclimated to her. Jackson starts braying as soon as he knows she has arrived at the sanctuary for the day.

"He doesn't even do that with me!" said Frost.

Rootie the pig, along with fellow goat, chicken and cat residents, continue to thrive at their safe haven at the Grass Valley sanctuary. The organization maintains its special needs dog rescue program in the Santa Cruz area.

Through CAPE's sanctuary, outreach programs and the film festival, Novic and Frost hope to provide a connecting point between the community and animal issues.

"People look for a connection and want to be with people who care about similar issues," said Novic. "When people connect with animals, it pushes them into action."

For more information on CAPE, visit

Contact Copy Editor Kim Midboe at or call 530-477-4251.


What: CAPE’s Animal Film Festival

Where: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., downtown Grass Valley

When: Saturday, children’s session 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., general audience session 2-9 p.m.

Info: For a complete list of films, schedules and purchase tickets, visit Tickets are also available at Book Seller and BriarPatch in Grass Valley.

Go back to article