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Opens August 10 in Los Angeles at Laemmle Theatres!

One Day Only! August 21st at Rocky Mountain Women's Film in Colorado Springs, CO.

Two Days Only! August 26 + 27 at The Tallahassee Film Society in Tallahassee, FL.

One Day Only! August 28th at The Bear Tooth Theatrepub in Anchorage, AK.

Doug Butler is a hardscrabble Vermont dairy farmer with an offbeat passion – dog mushing. A local folk hero, Doug’s ease with cows, dogs and people is a joy to behold. And when he trains his team of mutts on the family farm with a dream to compete at the world championships in Alaska, his teenage exuberance seems to erase the tired lines on his sixty-five year old face.

Yet the demands of being a small-scale family farmer in a changing world are constant. Keenly aware of the fate of the other family farms that used to dot the landscape, Doug has managed for years to play one creditor off against the next to survive another season. But with the accumulated debt now insurmountable and Doug’s thoughts plunging into depression, his dogs offer solace...and perhaps a way out.

On a cold March morning Doug pulls out of his driveway in a rusted-out truck carrying 22 dogs, tearily waving goodbye to the only world he’s ever known. He’s bound for Alaska. The journey will prepare him for what he’ll confront when he gets back: the sale of his farm and a race to craft a new destiny.

Meticulously captured over the course of a decade, UNDERDOG paints an intimate veìriteì portrait of Doug Butler as he puts a curiously optimistic twist on the kinds of family farm tragedies that have so marked American rural life. In the era of the pandemic, the resonance of Doug’s journey extends to all who have faced down loneliness, isolation and the struggle to make sense of forces beyond control.

"Tommy Hyde’s heartwarming documentary traces the life of an aging Vermont dairy farmer. Hyde’s subtlety as a filmmaker, along with the fabulous, eccentric central figure, bring to mind David Lynch’s The Straight Story. Both films are remarkable for how seemingly unremarkable they are. Stick with it, and the film’s subliminal power will sneak up on you." - Alex Saveliev, FILM THREAT

"UNDERDOG is much more than an immersion into the grim realities of life on a small Vermont dairy farm. It is a celebration of the kind of grit, humor, passion, optimism, and resilience that is needed to make such a life work. You’re going to just love this film and its forward-looking ending." - Richard Alaniz, KPFK Film Club

A film by Tommy Hyde
82 minutes, color, English, 2022

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