Filmmaker Amy Finkel will bring her film Furever—a documentary about pet loss, attachment, and the many processes by which we preserve more than our pet’s memories—to Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre on Monday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. The film is free and open to the public. There will be a panel discussion with Monmouth University Psychology Professor Kristen Coppola and Social Work Professor Chris Costello, along with the filmmaker immediately following the screening. Communications Professor and Coordinator of the On Screen/In Person series Andrew Demirjian will moderate the panel.
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.
Amy Finkel 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 M.F.A. in Design and Technology from Parsons, as well as a B.A. in Theater from Connecticut College.
The event is sponsored by Monmouth University’s Department of Communication and the Center for the Arts, and part of the “On Screen: In Person” film series, which brings six films and filmmakers to Monmouth University as part of a tour of the Eastern seaboard. “On Screen: In Person” is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.