If you’ve been moved by the trailer for A Voice for Lil Olive, rest assured you’re not alone.
Though it’s “only” a three-minute teaser for the full-length documentary planned for later this year, Pete Schuermann’s trailer about the triumphant spirit of one puppy-mill survivor has been nominated for a Nose-to-Nose Award. Those awards are given by BlogPaws, a social media company owned by PetSmart and devoted to supporting the pet-enthusiast community.
“I hope this recognition will help our simple message of ‘Stop puppy mills now and forever’ reach many more people as we move forward with our film,” Schuermann says. “Lil Olive has a legacy that I’m sure the world will want to share in.”
The awards will be given during the evening of Saturday, June 25, at a gala event wrapping up this year’s three-day BlogPaws conference in Phoenix. Executive producer Tom Young, his wife Lori, and associate producer Heather Langton will walk the red carpet to represent the Lil Olive team.
Langton says the team already has claimed some bragging rights, “because it’s not the easiest to get to the finalist position to begin with.”
Indeed, BlogPaws co-founder Yvonne DiVita says Pet Video on a Blog is “one of the bigger categories” for nominations. And this year, she says, there were close to 1,000 nominations across all awards categories.
This is the fourth year for BlogPaws’ Nose-to-Nose Awards. The conference itself — which focuses on “social media education, networking, and promoting worldwide change for pets in need” — has been around since 2010. In that first year, DiVita says, she expected 40 to 50 attendees; she got 200. This year, she expects more than 500, plus sponsors and workshop presenters.
Those presenters will cover topics such as reputation management on social media, legal do’s and don’ts, and even how to start a nonprofit. The Lil Olive team plans to soak in as much expertise as possible. “Hopefully we’ll find ways to keep getting better at what we’re doing,” Langton says.
She adds that since various pet-related companies will be at BlogPaws, there may be opportunities for discussion related to film sponsorship, too. So there should be plenty to do while waiting to hear whether the Lil Olive trailer edges out the other three Best Pet Video on a Blog finalists.
BlogPaws doesn’t release the names of its judges, to protect them from lobbying efforts in the lead-up to the awards. But the 2016 Awards Committee (which helps organize and plan the awards) includes notables such as Animal Planet’s “pet expert”Andrea Arden, and Dr. William J. Ward, a social media professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Whoever the judges are, they will look at factors including creativity, focus, sound quality, visual quality, and length. Winners will receive not only a trophy and other prizes, but also promotional support from BlogPaws. And if history provides any indication, every little bit of recognition and exposure can go a long way. Last year’s winner in the category, “A French Cat Looks for Love in America” by Alana Grelyak, has earned more than 400,000 views.
The awards ceremony will be streamed live online starting at 6 p.m., Mountain Time on June 25. Keep an eye out for details at blogpaws.com.
Copyright 2016 Shelter Island Films
A Voice for Lil Olive is a new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Pete Schuermann. The film explores the special bond between pets and their families, and how rescued dogs change lives. The film's mission is to make people aware of and to change attitudes about rescued pets through the telling of Lil Olive’s tale. In this way, she becomes the voice for so many dogs and animals in need.