On the Backstretch is a 7-minute graduate documentary following the dogs and volunteers at Yarmouth Greyhound Homefinders. With our playfully dubbed DOGumentary, we hope to raise awareness of greyhounds as a breed and expose the truth of life after racing. Charities such as the Homefinders put greyhound welfare first and ensure that retired dogs go on to live happy lives as pets. We want to explore the people who make this a reality, from the volunteers to the adopters to the trainers. The greyhounds will be sure to capture your heart!
WHY DOES THIS STORY NEED TO BE TOLD?
With greyhound racing a staple in Norfolk and Suffolk, we need to ensure that everyone knows that welfare comes above anything else. Many people question the ethics of greyhound racing and worry that dogs are euthanised if they get too old or are injured. Yarmouth Stadium works closely with Yarmouth Greyhound Homefinders, in 2000 they introduced veterinary assistance to the stadium meaning that they cover all of the costs for any treatment and rehoming. They operate a zero-tolerance policy on any Trainer or Owner euthanising a healthy greyhound on economic grounds. They ensure all ex-racers, not kept by their racing owners as pets, find a home through the Homefinders' nationally acclaimed homing scheme.
Yarmouth Greyhound Homefinders is run by greyhound lovers through and through. Everyone there is a volunteer and they all care for each and every dog like it is their own. In some cases, volunteers even foster certain dogs if they call for it and some just fall in love with a dog and adopt. With every adoption, a wide community is formed of alumni who share photos and updates of their dogs and even meet for a large walk.
By supporting On the Backstretch, you could help us tell the story of countless greyhounds and their relationships with their loving trainers to the volunteers and adopters who give them a home after racing.
MEET THE TEAM
"It’s hard to believe but when their racing days are over, Greyhounds are the couch potatoes of the dog world!"
THE DIRECTOR (AND EXECUTIVE PAWDUCER)
"Hi, my name is Beth Graham and I am the director of On the Backstretch! Greyhounds have long had a place in my heart and when it came to picking the topic of my graduate film, I simply knew that I had to pursue my passion for a truly remarkable breed.
Where does my love of greyhounds come from? That would be from my dog Basil, our executive PAWducer. As a dachshund mix, Basil is a little dog but thinks he is much bigger and faster than his little legs would lead you to believe. Whenever we go to our local park in Norwich, Basil will always look for the greyhounds that live in the area, he loves to play with them! Whilst watching the dogs play, I get the opportunity to talk to the owners and they tell me all about their dogs. After 2 years of listening to these beautiful stories of people rehoming greyhounds, I knew that I had to tell their story with my documentary.
With connections with various publications and BBC Radio Norfolk, I am beyond passionate about the charity and I really want this documentary to make an impact across Norfolk and Suffolk. With the money that we raise, I want to give back to the Yarmouth Homefinders. Taking a small cut of the money raised for festival submissions and screenings, I want to make sure more and more people fall in love with this breed. The rest and majority of the money that we raise will go directly to the Homefinders to support the amazing work that they do and to continue the veterinary support they offer to racers and the rehoming of the retired dogs.
I asked all of the team to name their favourite famous dog to let you get to know us all a little bit more! For me, my favourite dog was Pippin from Come Outside. This BBC '90s children's show was a staple whilst I was growing up, it showed me how important a dog's love is. I even nicknamed our dog at the time, Max, Pippin which did stick for years!
With your support, we can tell the story of these incredible dogs and their bonds with the compassionate humans that surround them!"
"Hi guys, my name is Rob and I'm the cinematographer for Beth's PAWsome documentary!
I've been getting to know Beth's own dog, Basil, for some time and it's really eye-opening to see how social dogs can truly be. This might sound pretty silly to say but keep in mind I've not grown up around pets so I never had the experience of living with a dog.
Beth has a really important story to tell. I want to passionately capture the true nature of greyhounds in a bid to end the misconception of the breed and their life after racing.
My favourite doggy film is Shiloh who is an innocently sweet, caring and selfless beagle! It was one of my favourite films growing up, a real feel-good watch.
I can't wait to meet the greyhounds!"
"Hi there, I'm the other Beth! I'm currently studying Fine Art in my final year at Norwich University of the Arts and jumped at the chance to be a part of this film. I'm working as the production artist for Beth's WAGtastic documentary.
After a dog attack, my enthusiasm for responsible dog handling and treatment grew tenfold. The story of rehomed greyhounds is touching and more people need to know about the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes.
This role will allow me to merge both my artistic skills and my love of dogs. I will be creating hand-drawn animated sequences for the film along with various sketches to support the charity and to help raise some money.
My favourite famous dog would have to be Scooby-Doo! I grew up watching it as a child and this year we all dressed as Mystery Inc - a go-to group costume!"