The film, directed by Jerry Rees (The Brave Little Toaster), stars Emmanuelle Vaugier (40 Days and 40 Nights), Burgess Jenkins (Remember the Titans), and Andrea Powell (Ender’s Game). It’s about the inspirational relationship between a pit bull attack survivor, Donna Lawrence, and Susie, an abused pit bull-mix puppy, who learn to heal and forgive together. The movie is based on the real-life story of Lawrence and a severely abused puppy left for dead that she found in a Greensboro, North Carolina, park.
With the help of the Guilford County Animal Shelter, Susie survived her near-death experience and was adopted by Lawrence. Susie’s ordeal eventually led to the passing of Susie’s Law, which allows stricter punishment for animal abusers in North Carolina.
Susie, who is this year’s Therapy Dog Finalist in the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards, portrays herself in the film.
On August 12, Green Apple Entertainment will release Susie’s Hope on DVD nationwide. The film has been given the Dove Family Seal of Approval.
Kelly received his M.F.A. in screenwriting and film studies at Hollins’ commencement exercises in May. He is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America.