Drafthouse Films, Cinedigm to Release 'Dog Day Afternoon' True Story Doc

Directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren's film "The Dog" compiles ten years of interviews with John Wojtowicz, the inspiration for Al Pacino's infamous bank robber character.

After successful bows at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival and New York Film Festival, Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and Cinedigm are teaming up for the domestic release of The Dog, a documentary examining the true story behind Dog Day Afternoon.

The film chronicles the true story of John Wojtowicz, who robbed a bank in 1972 to finance his male lover’s sex-reassignment surgery. Wojtowicz, working with two other men, held Chase Manhattan bank employees hostage for 14 hours. In 1975, Al Pacino would play a fictionalized version of Wojtowicz in Sidney Lumet's Academy Award-winning film.

After learning of Wojtowicz's story in 2001, directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren tracked down their would-be subject. They spent ten years speaking to Wojtowicz, amassing hours of interviews and archival footage.

"The Dog was made over the course of a decade, but we knew it was something special from day one. The story was surreal, the characters unique. We wanted to let them be themselves and knew that audiences would feel that authenticity, as we did,” says directors Berg and Keraudren in a statement.

THR's review from TIFF says that The Dog, “offers both a fascinating expansion of the feature film's narrative and a picture of a sad but intriguing character.” The film has been praised for its extensive talking head interviews, although the review notes that “the movie gets a big boost from the wealth of news footage and post-standoff reportage the filmmakers cull from archives.”

A theatrical and VOD release of The Dog is planned for Summer 2014.