Furever explores the dimensions of grief people experience over the loss of a pet and the sociological evolution of domesticated animals in the U.S. today, particularly their position in a family unit. Featuring interviews with owners, veterinarians, psychologists, religious scholars, and professionals in the pet memorial business, Furever confronts cultural assumptions regarding attachment and death, and studies the deep psychological and physiological bonds that form between humans and animals. How ‘real’ is grief for a dead pet and who decides what is acceptable or appropriate? The reactions of these owners embody America’s muddled attitudes toward death and dying, touching on our collective fear of aging, and how that fear is shaped by the shifting influences of religion, technology, family, and money.
Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion concerning the film and the subjects that it raises. Panelists include: the filmmaker, Amy Finkel; a grief counselor with special interest in pet loss, Toni Cortellessa; and well-known Montgomery County veterinarian, Dr. Peter Eeg, with more than 25 years in a small animal practice, Dr. Dale Rubenstein, board-certified feline veterinarian in Montgomery County since 1986, and retired veterinarian, Dr. Chet Anderson.
About the filmmaker – Amy Finkel, Director
Amy is a designer, photographer, documentary filmmaker, and writer. She is the founder and creative director of Sailor Beware, an agency that specializes in web design and video work. She is an instructor at both New York University and Parsons, The New School for Design, where she teaches classes in photography, documentary filmmaking, and web design. Finkel has served as a judge for International Documentary Association’s Documentary Achievement Awards and for New York Festivals, and acts as a ‘Doctor’ for New York Foundation for the Arts’ “Doctor’s Hours for Filmmakers.” Finkel holds an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons, as well as a BA in Theater from Connecticut College.