"To see though the eyes of those in need is to inspire progress; only then can the inherent good in man reveal itself." So starts Furthest from the Wild's trailer.
An exercise in humanity using animal captivity as the vehicle, the documentary is also an exercise in compassion, love and understanding.
"I learned a lot on this journey," director Alex Tello tells SFR. "But the one thing I took from this experience was that there is still genuine good people willing to do the right thing in this world. Unfortunately it outbalances the good with bad."
Tello presents the film twice on Sunday at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, as a benefit for one of theater owner George RR Martin's favorite charities, the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.
A journey through the often heart-wrenching work of dedicated animal sanctuaries, Furthest from the Wild was "definitely a labor of love" for Tello.
"I had volunteered at a sanctuary near my house before thinking of shooting this film," the Venice Beach native reminisces. "I realized that no one knew these places existed." And so the project was born.
"I felt an obligation to bring animal awareness to the world and to educate the public," he says. Along with crowdfunding help, Tello recruited family members to help him complete the mission—his wife Tanya, brother Sam, sister-in-law Michelle and cousin Carlos.
"In order for me to get this film done with absolutely no budget in mind or in hand, I had to use my resources," Tello explains. "I had the cameras and some equipment but needed the bodies to fill the cameras."
With the film now completed, the labor continues, says Tello, fueled by the need to give the POV of voiceless creatures. "We continue to fight for a cause that will one day open everyone's eyes for the greater good," the filmmaker finalizes.
Furthest From the Wild
1:30 & 3:30 pm Sunday, Aug. 3. $10-$12
Jean Cocteau Cinema
418 Montezuma Ave.,