Short film A boy and his Dog received more than one million YouTube hits in seven days

Viral film gains international acclaim

Carl Frazer-Lunn, Jonna McIver, Owen and Jodie Tierney at the Visions Festival 2013

Owen and Haatchi

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A documentary produced by students as part of an end-of-year project has gone viral and won international acclaim.

Film graduate Jodie Tierney, 22, of Victoria Road in Chingford is one of five students who worked on the heart-warming story of a young disabled boy’s relationship with his three-legged dog.

A Boy and his Dog won the best documentary award at Visions film Festival last year was in the Top three in the documentary category at ITV’s London Student Awards.

The story focuses on Owen Howkins, a 7-year-old boy from Basingstoke, who suffers from Schwartz Jampel Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder affecting just 30 people worldwide which causes muscle weakness and stiffness.

Owen rescued Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd who lost his leg after he was hit by a train after his owner abandoned him.

Ms Tierney, a graduate of Hertfordshire University, was assistant director and in charge of sound on the film.

She said: “The film was uploaded to YouTube last week and had over 1 million views in just one week.

"Buzzfeed featured the film on its front page and we’ve been contacted by ABC, NBC and a German news programme.”

“The documentary brings to life the seriousness of Owens’s disease and is an emotional, unique story that still brings a tear to my eye.” 

Ms Tierney has dreams of becoming a wildlife film-maker and is currently working at Arsenal FC in the Box Office, and as a runner for IMG.

Since its posting on YouTube on February 12, over 1.6 million people have viewed the 10 minute film.

 

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