Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award Winner: Pick of the Litter

Film Info
Type of Film/Event:Feature
Rating:Not Rated
Additional Info
Production Country:United States
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Dana Nachman
Don Hardy
Producer:Don Hardy
Dana Nachman
Screenwriter:Dana Nachman
Music:Helen Jane Long
Cinematographer:Don Hardy
Kurt Kuenne
Jake Stein
Naomi Ture
Steve Pitre
Dana Nachman
Jeff Streich
Editor:Don Hardy


Each year, one of the world’s most life-affirming films receives the coveted Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award at Cinequest. It is a great honor to present Pick of the Litter as this year’s winner. The movie exemplifies the work of caretakers who help people thrive in their health and their lives.

Artists Dana Nachman and Don Hardy continue to create inspirational, compelling, and empowering documentaries. Batkid Begins and the Sean Penn narrated Witch Hunt have mesmerized past Cinequest audiences and the globe.

With Pick of the Litter, we enter the world of a litter of puppies and follow their lives until they either become Guide Dogs for the Blind or get cut from the program.

Being a boisterous and playful puppy is easy. But learning to behave and save someone’s life is another matter. That’s the journey for Patriot, Potomac, Phil, Primrose, and Poppet. Follow this litter of Labradors from birth to working service, where only the best make the cut. Can volunteers, who raise them for 14-16 months, prepare the puppies to pass the tests? After monitoring the puppies for temperament, health, and suitability for work, Guide Dogs for the Blind chooses the top dogs for careers in service to their human partners who anxiously wait months for a match. At any point in this journey, the dogs could be “career changed.” Who will triumph? – Kelly A. Harrison

Nachman and Hardy have found a highly entertaining and fun way to tell a story that is about extraordinary human/canine connection and the connection of community. These connections improve lives and help them to thrive!

Sponsored By Kaiser Permanente
Presented In Honor Of Jim Boyce