TIFF Lightbox 1 Fri, Apr 26, 2019 3:15 PM
Isabel Bader Theatre Sat, Apr 27, 2019 3:00 PM
TIFF Lightbox 3 Tue, Apr 30, 2019 10:30 AM
Film Info
Country Listing:Netherlands
Premiere Status:Canadian Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:Special Presentations
Film Subjects:Aging & the Elderly
Animals & Animal Rights
People with Disabilities & Disability Issues
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Heddy Honigmann
Producer(s):John Appel


The exchanges between a service dog and its owner are born of need, but the attachment that develops between them is far more complex. Dutch filmmaker Heddy Honigmann, recipient of Hot Docs' 2007 Outstanding Achievement Award, turns her gaze to the inner workings of six canine and human pairs to reveal what's really given and received. A veteran with PTSD, an autistic child with multiple physical challenges and an elderly soldier blinded by a Second World War explosion each rely on a four-legged partner to assist them with everyday tasks. Impressive dogs like Kaiko and Makker can easily pull drawer handles and signal approaching doorways, but what they actually open is access to the world. From enabling people to occupy public spaces to easing anxieties around social interactions, animals help their humans navigate physical and emotional living. With Honigmann's signature interview and camera style, Buddy captures canine humanity and life-altering trust at work. Myrocia Watamaniuk

Special Presentations program sponsored by
CRAVE logo

Additional Information

  • THE GATE - 4 Stars
  • NOW - 4 Stars, "Elegantly structured."
  • POV - "An unbeatable recipe for a combination of an artful and crowd-pleasing film."
  • Variety - "Tender, generous film."