You will feel

A Connection

Films about the power of the bond between humans and animals

Learn More About The Films
about-the-film

About the Films

 

Two inspirational, powerful, and spiritually-moving documentary feature films chronicling the world’s most heartwarming stories from the rapidly growing field of animal-assisted therapy and intervention.

The goal of our team to raise awareness about the incredible potential of the bond between humans and animals.

Connection in Crisis

Born in the aftermath of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, this remarkable team of psychological first aid trauma dogs, the K9 First Responsers, are called upon after America’s worst tragedies. Led by Brad Cole and his encaptivating 150 pound dog Spartacus, the story culminates in a journey to Las Vegas to help firefighters and paramedics struggling to cope with the horrors they witnessed after the shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

 

A Connection

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This film intimately follows three inspiring storylines where animals have played a life-changing role in the healing process and personal growth of individuals affected by a variety of challenges, some of which include addiction, physical handicaps, and PTSD.  It allows the viewer to go behind curtain and access life-changing moments.

Stories that will change the way you see the world

The story lines in the film include:

  • A young non verbal boy named Ryan and this therapy dog Jasmine helping students overcome illiteracy.
  • A former Olympian left disabled by a spinal tumor forms a special bond with a therapy horse to gain strength and confidence needed to pursue a new career in modeling.
  • The journey of an inspiring young man named Bobby, who went from hopeless heroin addict to running and entire Animal Therapy facility in under 3 years.

Together these stories give a never seen before overview of the ways animal therapy is changing lives.

We firmly believe that A Connection is a crucially important story that will change the viewer’s understanding of our connection with animals.  This film has the potential to positively impact millions of people and families affected by conditions that would benefit from Animal Assisted Therapy and Intervention.

On a human level, the stories and narratives in this film will inspire you to believe that we can heal and even thrive in the face of the most difficult obstacles imaginable; if we are open to connection.

 

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Millions of people are affected by circumstances where the human animal connection could help, yet they remain uninformed of its potential.

Thousands of organizations remain under funded and under utilized for the simple reason that the general public is unaware they even exist.

Our mission is to change this!

Filmmaker Dennis Zaidi
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The Fundraiser

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To fund this important film, we’ve decided to use Kickstarter, a crowd-funding resource which allows us to give back to the people and non-profit organizations who want to see our vision become a reality.

This is an unconventional story. This cinematic journey seeks to educate and inspire during a time in which it’s not uncommon to see only violent and sexually exploitative films receive access to traditional financing. We refuse to be discouraged by the statistics. We passionately believe in the positive and transformative power of film and we have a world-class team of seasoned and passionate filmmakers to help us tell this incredibly important story.

Millions of people are affected by circumstances where the human-animal connection could and very likely would help and, yet, they remain uninformed of its potential and its proven efficacy. Thousands of organizations remain under-funded and under-utilized for the simple reason that the general public is unaware they even exist.  Our mission is to change this!

With Kickstarter, you can also contribute to and become part of our mission.  Join our team and, together, we can tell the whole world about the power and beauty of the human-animal connection. With your help, we truly can make the world a better place.

But that’s not all! It gets even better. We have been fortunate enough to find a supporter and firm believer in the healing power of AAT who has promised to match 25% of our Kickstarter proceeds with donations to the incredible organizations that we feature in our film!  Your contributions to this documentary will also directly benefit the amazing animals and organizations that we feature through this backer.

We want you to feel as intimately connected to this mission as we are and we promise to keep you informed every step of the way. Please stay tuned for backer information as well as pledge rewards.

Stay tuned for backer information, as well as pledge rewards.

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42000000000

Dollars spent annually on mental health issues.

 
40000000

Americans with health issues that would benefit from AAT

 

 

 

team

The Team

An award winning team of passionate top filmmakers.

Dennis Zaidi

Dennis Zaidi

Director, Executive Producer

Dennis Zaidi is a multiple award-winning director whose recent wins include: wins at SXSW, Blue Ocean Film festival and The Whole Foods Short Film Festival.

Eric Yealland

Eric Yealland

Consulting Director

Eric Yealland is an internationally recognized, multiple gold award-winning film director who has signed top campaigns for the world’s top clients & agencies.

Tyler MacLeod

Tyler MacLeod

Executive Producer

Tyler’s film production credits include the high-impact documentaries Sharkwater and Revolution and over 200 awards in international film festivals.

Bradley Richards

Bradley Richards

Executive Producer / Story Editor

Bradley is a writer, consultant, and producer. He was also Visiting Professor of Cognitive Science at Beloit College, and currently teaches philosophy at Ryerson University.

Francis Coral-Mellon

Francis Coral-Mellon

Director of Photography

Coming off the success of his recent work with the film Transcend (ESPN, CBC), Francis looks to push the limits of cinematic documentary story telling in this production.

Kristi Discola

Kristi Discola

Producer

Graduate of the collaborative television production program between UWO and Fanshawe College, multi-talented producer Kristi recently completed work on the educational children’s web series, “Worlds Coolest Forests”.

Jamie Camp - MSc. PT

Jamie Camp - MSc. PT

Consultant | Researcher

Jamie is an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Toronto Dept of Physical Therapy. Jamie has a profound love for horses and specific experience with equine and traditional physical therapy.

Phil Lefko

Phil Lefko

General Counsel

After spending about six years in the health care sector in clinical and management roles, Phil decided to pursue a career where he could apply the empathy from his medical worlds experience to the practice of law. Phil has expertise in equity and debt financings, continuous disclosure matters, merger and acquisition transactions and dispositions, corporate law and contractual issues.

Jill Bentham

Jill Bentham

Creative Writer

Jill is a writer, editor and communications specialist based out of Toronto. With experience spanning a broad range of industries, Jill’s proudest accomplishments involve her deep love of animals and her work with the Air Shepherd Initiative and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Ali Syed

Ali Syed

Creative Director

As one of Canadian’s most talented new media artists, Ali’s astute artistic sensibility and eye for detail will help to drive the creative treatment of the project.

Dennis Zaidi

Dennis Zaidi

Director, Executive Producer

Dennis Zaidi is a multiple award-winning director whose recent wins include: wins at SXSW, Blue Ocean Film festival and The Whole Foods Short Film Festival.

Eric Yealland

Eric Yealland

Consulting Director

Eric Yealland is an internationally recognized, multiple gold award-winning film director who has signed top campaigns for the world’s top clients & agencies.

Tyler MacLeod

Tyler MacLeod

Executive Producer

Tyler’s film production credits include the high-impact documentaries Sharkwater and Revolution and over 200 awards in international film festivals.

Bradley Richards

Bradley Richards

Executive Producer / Story Editor

Bradley is a writer, consultant, and producer. He was also Visiting Professor of Cognitive Science at Beloit College, and currently teaches philosophy at Ryerson University.

Francis Coral-Mellon

Francis Coral-Mellon

Director of Photography

Coming off the success of his recent work with the film Transcend (ESPN, CBC), Francis looks to push the limits of cinematic documentary story telling in this production.

Kristi Discola

Kristi Discola

Producer

Graduate of the collaborative television production program between UWO and Fanshawe College, multi-talented producer Kristi recently completed work on the educational children’s web series, “Worlds Coolest Forests”.

Jamie Camp - MSc. PT

Jamie Camp - MSc. PT

Consultant | Researcher

Jamie is an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Toronto Dept of Physical Therapy. Jamie has a profound love for horses and specific experience with equine and traditional physical therapy.

Phil Lefko

Phil Lefko

General Counsel

After spending about six years in the health care sector in clinical and management roles, Phil decided to pursue a career where he could apply the empathy from his medical worlds experience to the practice of law. Phil has expertise in equity and debt financings, continuous disclosure matters, merger and acquisition transactions and dispositions, corporate law and contractual issues.

Jill Bentham

Jill Bentham

Creative Writer

Jill is a writer, editor and communications specialist based out of Toronto. With experience spanning a broad range of industries, Jill’s proudest accomplishments involve her deep love of animals and her work with the Air Shepherd Initiative and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Ali Syed

Ali Syed

Creative Director

As one of Canadian’s most talented new media artists, Ali’s astute artistic sensibility and eye for detail will help to drive the creative treatment of the project.