In many parts of the world, dogs are man’s best friend. However, in Spain, an ancient breed of hunting dog, the Galgo, is being horrifically abused and tortured; thousands are killed annually, and countless more are abandoned, but of this, very little is known.
Yo Galgo is the journey of filmmaker Yeray Lopez, who sets out to investigate the plight of the galgo in Spain, after his own galgo helped him get through a heavy depression. The investigation takes Yeray to the breeders, who use the dogs for hare coursing, and deep into the hunting world where galgos are mass bred in hopes of finding a champion. The film explores the passions for competing, breeding and hunting with Galgos as well as the consequences such unregulated practices have for thousands of dogs every year. Yo Galgo sheds a light on the cruel, inhumane practices of modern day hunters who have reduced an entire dog breed to a short-lived commodity. The film also explores the relentless work of organisations striving to help the ever-growing population of abandoned dogs.
Yo Galgo is a film about an invisible genocide taking place while the authorities look the other way. It’s an exposé of the sharp divide between animal rights and the traditions of a nation.
To increase the impact of the documentary once finished, we decided to create digital meeting points in which to share opinions and network. We started with a daily publication on Instagram and Facebook, which soon took off with tents of thusands of followers, but did not stop there. In 2016 Yo Galgo launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to partly fund the production. The campaign became the most successful Spanish Kickstarter in the audiovisual category, with supporters from all over the world.
Shortly after, the idea of creating a subscription channel, a kind of Netflix, to promote the creative exchange among people interested in animal welfare, was presented to Microsoft and they liked it. Thanks to a generous grant in services, we developed the project’s platform (yo-galgo.com), a meeting point and a place from which distribute the film on our own if we can’t find other mayor distribution channels.
In order to continue funding the project we created a t-shirt brand called passing panda, where each product is a collaborative project with artists around the world to amplify the voice of an animal in danger. We have collaborated so far with artists from Spain, Argentina, England, Poland and Belgium.
It’s been an amazing journey to have so many people onboard, and we hope we continue with this co-creative way of working in the future.