Works-In-Progress: RUFF LIFE

Reserve Tickets

Date and Time

Thu, Jun 20
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM


Free and open to AFS members of all levels.


Austin Public
1143 Northwestern Ave, Austin, TX 78702

Documentary Feature

Detroit and Houston, cities heading in opposite directions, share a growing issue regarding the abundance of homeless dogs on their streets. Volunteer dog rescuers who no longer accept the situation the dogs are in, battle to change cultures and save lives.

Director Tom McPhee is a story-teller / documentary filmmaker. He creates original digital stories as they relate to human – animal interaction. He is the Executive Director of the World Animal Awareness Society, an award winning producer & director of film, TV, and multi-language interactive media, and owns two media companies, Cave Studio and Man Smiling Moving Pictures.

Tom’s producing roots go back to the mid 90’s when he created and produced FLIXTOUR, one of the first travelling, advertiser sponsored film tours that offered a leg up to indie filmmakers of all types.  FLIXTOUR helped launch Kevin Smith’s highly successful ongoing speaking tour when Tom programmed ViewAskew’s A Better Place starring Eion Bailey, Brian Lynch (Secret Life of Pets) and Jason Lee.  Kevin crashed the FLIXTOUR party in Pittsburgh while filming Dogma – the rest is history.  Tom’s FLIXTOUR helped give birth to Paul Feig’s (SPY, Bridesmads) cult classic series, Freaks & Geeks as some of the characters were developed by Paul while he was presenting on tour his film, Life Sold Separately, starring Penn Jellete and Feig.  MovieMaker Magazine called “FLIXTOUR” the next big thing in distribution.  From Indiewire 12-97: Fledgling alternative distribution outlet  FlixTour grabbed a big sponsor recently when Movieline Magazine joined the second-year effort as an associate partner with a six-figure commitment.

Tom sold FLIXTOUR to a large media company and proceeded to launch 2 TV series’ he starred in on Canadian Cable Channels, The i-Channel and The Pet Network.  Tom hosted and was Showrunner on Tom McPhee’s Pet Rescue and was a character voice and Showrunner for Rock & Roll Dogs, a partially animated series with a very irreverent look at being a dog.In 2005 Tom found himself in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina and produced and directed his first award-winning feature doc, An American Opera – The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever!  An American Opera spent 2 years on the festival circuit and is still playing on TV around the world a few times a year.  The Rescue Party Tour followed – raising thousands for animal rescues around the world.

In 2010 Tom created the now award-winning World Animal Awareness Society & WA2S Films non profit media company – hosting animal rescue viral video shows on the WA2S Films YouTube Channel in support of animal rescues.

RUFF LIFE is the culmination of the last seven years work attempting to understand the world of dog rescue and convey that world to as many people as possible.

This Works-In-Progress Screening with be open to the public.

AFS’s Works-In-Progress series provides the growing, diverse and vibrant filmmaking community of Austin peer-level critiques of rough or fine cuts of their work. Screenings are free and are followed by moderated audience feedback sessions. Do you have a film you want to submit for Works-In-Progress consideration? Make level members and above can apply here? Not an AFS MAKE member? Register your membership here

Thanks To Our Annual Sponsors