Scene from the film Pariah Dog
Scene from the film Pariah Dog

Pariah Dog

  • Canada
  • India
  • United States
Audio Tracks 

Selected by Joanne Feinberg, Director of Programming at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, for Recommended By...Festivals, a partnership with 11 film festivals from across North and South America. With this collaboration we chart a course all along the map of the Americas as well as through the contemporary documentary scene.

"This is an underdog film in many ways, that found the spotlight at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, winning the top jury prize of Best Feature at the 2019 event. A heart wrenching story told by an emerging filmmaker in challenging circumstances, this film left audiences and the jury at once stunned, impressed and heartened." - Joanne Feinberg

India has the highest number of street dogs of any country on Earth. With rapid development, an intense conversation of the future of these dogs is currently taking place. Can a modern India exist with free-roaming dogs throughout its major cities? Pariah Dog is a creative documentary focusing on several eccentric individuals who care for and love these dogs in Kolkata, the former colonial capital. Shot over three years, the film paints a kaleidoscopic picture of the city of Kolkata, seen through the prism of four outsiders and the dogs they love. The Indian Pariah dog is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world, almost untouched by human breeding, now struggling to survive in India’s massively populated cities. The human characters in Pariah dog find themselves in a similar predicament, out of place and time in a world they find uncaring and harsh. Their answer is to show compassion and love to creatures who are suffering. But this alone is not always enough to sustain them, either materially or emotionally.

In cooperation with

  • Big Sky


  • Original Title
    Pariah Dog
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Jesse Alk, Koustav Sinha
  • Cinematography
    Jesse Alk
  • Editing
    Jesse Alk
  • Sound
    Brian Rund
  • Runtime
    76 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Canada
    • India
    • United States
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Festivals
    • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    • Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
    • Krakow Film Festival
    • SF Docfest
    • Eurasia International Film Festival
    • Melbourne Documentary Film Festival
    • Nevada City Film Festival
    • Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
    • Docuwest Film Festival
    • Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
    • Kara Animal Film Festival
    • Docubaku
    • Woodstock Film Festival
    • Sheridan WYO Film Festival
    • Santa Cruz Film Festival
    • Eastern Oregon Film Festival
    • Dharamshala International Film Festival
    • Kolkata International Film Festival
    • Film Southasia
    • Cucalorus Film Festival
    • International Short and Independent Film Festival, Dhaka
    • Docpoint Helsinki
    • Mumbai International Film Festival
    • Docpoint Tallinn
    • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
    • Sleeping Giant Film Festival
    • Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
    • Nitte International Film Festival
    • Ashland Independent Film Festival
    • Baikal International Film Festival
    • Cineambiente Environmental Film Festival
  • Awards
    • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - Best Feature
    • Nevada City Film Festival - Best Director
    • Newburyport Documentary Film Festival - Best Feature
    • Tasveer South Asian Film Festival - Archana Soy Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary
    • Santa Cruz Film Festival - "Spirit of Action" Prize
    • Film Southasia - Jury Special Mention
    • Mumbai International Film Festival - Best Sound Design is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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