Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast has been transformed into Christmas in Vermont, with The Dog Days of Christmas filming at the park and surrounding hinterland region. The latest feature from The Steve Jaggi Company, The Dog Days of Christmas is a feel-good romance written by Holly Hester, directed by Tori Garrett (Don’t Tell), and starring Australian actors Georgia Flood (American Princess) and Ezekiel Simat (Lambs of God). The film will be released in cinemas next year.
The Dog Days of Christmas follows Annie Blake (Georgia Flood), an aid worker who has just finished an international mission and is heading home to North Haven, Vermont, to spend the holidays with her family. When the local animal shelter closes, Annie steps in to save it with the help of the local vet and old school nemesis, Dylan (Ezekiel Simat).
Georgia Flood comments “It has been wonderful to be able to work right now in this current time. The cast and crew are a fantastic bunch of talented legends. We have been having a lot of fun with our canine buddies too. Together we are bringing this uplifting story to life from the mountains of Queensland and Movie World. I hope audiences and animal lovers enjoy. Hilarity heals.”
Having recently wrapped This Little Love of Mine in Cairns, The Steve Jaggi Company is well-versed in creating a safe filming environment. The Gold Coast production crew is adhering to strict COVID-safe filming practices, and following guidelines set by the Queensland Government.
Producer Steve Jaggi comments “Despite all of the challenges of this year, it has been a busy period for our team and we’re thrilled to be in production on The Dog Days of Christmas. The Gold Coast’s fantastic facilities are providing the perfect setting to bring to life a wintery Vermont Christmas.”
Supporting the film’s animal shelter storyline and the growing international movement in favour of adopting animals, the three lead dogs that feature in the film – Digger, Mini and Salty – are all adopted. In fact, 90% of the animals that feature in the film are either rescued or adopted.
The Dog Days of Christmas is produced by Kelly Son Hing, Spencer McLaren and Steve Jaggi, with Kylie Pascoe co-producing. Executive Producers are Julianna Hays, Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew. The film will be released in Australia through Event Cinemas and Village Cinemas in 2021. Worldwide distribution is being handled by MarVista Entertainment, out of Los Angeles, California.
ABOUT THE FILM:
Aid worker Annie Blake devotes her life to helping people in need, in fact she made it her job in the “Helping Hand” organisation. After finishing a mission in Nepal, she decides to spend Christmas holidays in her family’s hometown in North Haven, Vermont, where she hasn’t been since her mother passed away three years ago. Upon arriving in the small town, Annie finds a flyer from the local animal shelter looking for foster carers and she excitedly heads to the shelter to sign up. But the shelter has since closed, and all the animals moved to the local vet’s surgery where Dylan – the local vet and Annie’s old school nemesis – has collected a ragtag bunch of animals looking for homes. Determined to save the shelter and find homes for the animals, Annie enlists her family, Dylan, and the entire community, to create a Christmas that nobody will ever forget.
Tori Garrett (Director): Tori Garrett is a film and television director with 25 years of experience directing in the UK, US and Australia. After winning an ADG award for “Best Director” for her short film The Barrows in 2007, Tori has racked up credits in Australia and the US for her pilots and episodic directing work, including Wentworth (Foxtel), Hiding (ABCTV), Wonderland (Network Ten), Doctor Doctor (Nine Network), Secret Bridesmaids Business (Network Ten), The Rookie, award winning Comedy series The Drop Off, and the international Emmy award winning series Slide. In 2014 she was nominated again, for “Best Director in a Television Series” by the ADG for her work on The Time of Our Lives as well as international children’s drama, Mustangs FC, which was also nominated for an international Emmy. Tori’s first feature film Don’t Tell launched to critical and box office success in 2017 – with an ensemble cast of Australia’s finest actors including Jack Thompson. The film was nominated for 4 AACTA awards in 2017, a further 5 nominations at the 2018 Critics Circle Awards in 2018, and Best Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival in the US.
Georgia Flood: In her US breakout performance, Georgia played the lead role of Amanda in Lifetime’s series American Princess. Georgia’s previous television credits include the lead role of Alice Ross-King in the ABC miniseries Anzac Girls, for which she received a Best Actress Nomination at the Golden Nymph Awards in Monte Carlo, and had main cast roles in Wentworth (Foxtel), Home & Away (Seven), House Husbands (Nine Network), Tangle (Foxtel) and, most recently, Here Come the Habibs (Nine Network).
Recent guest roles include Seven’s Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You (playing young Pat Carroll), and Nine’s True Story with Hamish and Andy and Talkin’ Bout Your Generation. Georgia’s professional stage debut was for the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Blackbird and other stage credits include Don Parties On, also for MTC, and the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2016 production of Arcadia.
This mixed body of work has seen Georgia twice (2013 and 2016) named runner up for the Australian’s in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship.
Ezekiel Simat: The 2018 Heath Ledger Scholarship finalist, Ezekiel Simat, will make his Feature Film debut in The Dog Days of Christmas. In addition to a string of internationally acclaimed short films, in 2019, Zeke guest starred in the Sky Vision’s AACTA award winning mini-series Lambs of God in the role of ‘Jeremiah’. In 2020, Zeke is set to guest star in the hugely anticipated return of Back to the Rafters as ‘Justin’, and lead the staged production of John Donnelly’s The Pass as ‘Ade’.
ABOUT THE STEVE JAGGI COMPANY:
Based in Brisbane, The Steve Jaggi Company (SJc) produces commercial feature film and series content for the global market. Recent titles have been acquired by Netflix, Universal Pictures, Disney Channel and MarVista Entertainment. As the global demand for content continues to increase, the company has developed a unique and sustainable business model unrivalled in the Australian film industry that brings together production, post and distribution into a single vertically integrated production pipeline.