The Tiger Next Door

Avatar BCR | July 19, 2009 1 View 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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The Tiger Next Door

Hundreds of private individuals across the US and in parts of Canada are keeping tigers in backyards, barns and roadside zoos. It is legal to own a tiger in half of the 50 United States and parts of Canada.

a feature documentary by Camilla Calamandrei
edited by Bernadine Colish

Following a great world premiere in Toronto at the international documentary film festival HOT DOCS we are pleased to announce the U.S. Premiere of the “The Tiger Next Door.”

Indianapolis International Film Festival
Monday, July 20th 7pm
Tuesday, July 21 1pm
Location: TOBIAS Theatre, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Street: 4000 Michigan Road
City/Town: Indianapolis, IN

See Trailer and BUY TIX:

If you know anyone in Indiana please let them know about the screenings. Thanks!

“A great story told with intelligence, compassion and some amazing footage.”
–N. Wilner, NOW Magazine

“ … an affectionate profile, a damning exposé, and an urgent missive”
–A. Nayman, Eye WEEKLY

“This movie was just downright disturbing… a must-see”
–FLARE Magazine


Scott Shoger, on the Editorial Board of Indianapolis’ alternative voice newspaper “NUVO” selected THE TIGER NEXT DOOR as his top pick out of 108 films in this year’s Indianapolis’ International Film Festival. Mr. Shoger’s comments follow:

Scraggly biker dude Dennis Hill had been raising wild animals in his Flat Rock, Ind., backyard for over 15 years when the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) showed up for a surprise visit. They found plenty of infractions — standing water, unlocked cages — and ordered Hill to winnow his coterie of 24 tigers, three bears, six leopards and a cougar down to just three animals. The Tiger Next Door follows Hill during his quest to find his animals what he deems a good home.

Director Camilla Calamandrei gives ample screen time to several concerned parties besides Hill: the DNR, Exotic Feline Rescue Center Director Joe Taft (who, after taking in some of Hill’s tigers, confronts Hill about his neglectfulness in an emotionally charged scene late in the film), Hill’s neighbors, Hill’s family. But by the close of the film, Calamandrei can’t conceal her outrage at the practice of breeding, running a montage of news photos of dead and abused tigers found across the country as an extrapolation of Hill’s own efforts at breeding the lucrative and rare solid white tiger.

The viewer might be similarly outraged after seeing instances when Hill, a convicted felon who begins to seem dangerously negligent, puts his community in danger. But Hill isn’t solely responsible or unique, and Calamandrei suggests that the DNR might also be blamed for failing to adequately enforce guidelines (not to mention those who create a market for tigers — dead or alive — in the first place).

It’s a must-see, as a detailed character study and piece of vigilant reportage.

Calamandrei, Hill and Taft will attend the U.S. premiere screening at this year’s Indianapolis International Film Festival, July 20 at 7 p.m. –Scott Shoger

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