Dog days: Czech dog movie stars hit the red carpet – and a new refuge


PRAGUE (Reuters) – Four-legged stars dominated the red carpet at the premiere of a Czech film about rescued dogs, first described in a surprise bestselling book and whose stories helped fund a new refuge for other dogs.

“Gump – The Dog Who Taught People To Live” appeared in book form in 2019 and follows the journey of Gump and other abused dogs, told from their perspective.

It was among the 50 most read books in the country last year, according to the website which tracks the book market.

It has sold 140,000 copies, according to the CTK news agency. Its success spawned a popular song and film of the same name, which saw its national release on Thursday after the coronavirus pandemic postponed its initial launch until the end of 2020.

The whole “Gump” project, according to its author Filip Rozek, shed light on the mistreatment of dogs. Profits also raised funds for a new animal shelter slated to open in September in Velke Popovice, 27 km (17 miles) southeast of Prague.

“This whole project made sense to raise awareness about a lot of things and to earn money for shelters and necessary organizations. That’s what we wanted, ”Rozek said at Wednesday’s premiere, where he escorted Gump along the red carpet.

Rozek came up with the idea for the book with a friend while working in an organization that rescues dogs.

Film director FA Brabec said the challenge of bringing the emotions of canine characters to the film drew him to the project, which also starred several prominent Czech actors.

“(The story) is terribly moving,” he said.

Reporting by Jiri Skacel and Jason Hovet; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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