Student video of endearing friendship between a boy and his dog goes viral

Viral: A Boy and his Dog by Shannon Fitzsimmons

Viral: A Boy and his Dog by Shannon Fitzsimmons

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A filmmaker has been blown away after a short documentary she worked on went viral on the internet.

For her final project at university, Shannon Fitzsimmons, 21, from Morden, and her group were set the task of making a 10-minute film on a subject of their choice.

They settled on the story of eight-year-old Owen Howkins and his Anatolian shepherd dog, Haatchi.

Miss Fitzsimmons said: "We are all dog lovers so we looked for that type of story.

"As soon as we read about Owen, we knew it would make a good film."

The documentary, ‘A Boy and his Dog’, follows Owen, who suffers from Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, but finds comfort with his helpful hound, who himself lost a leg in a train accident.

The group’s video has already won them the ITV Award for Documentary and has been shortlisted for this year’s Screentest Festival Student Film Awards.

It has also earned over two million views on Youtube.

Miss Fitzsimmons, of Morden Road, said: "We knew it had a big following but we had no idea it would get this big.

"Owen was fantastic throughout and a massive thank you should go to this father, Will, who helped us organise everything."

Having completed her Film and TV Production degree at the University of Hertfordshire, Miss Fitzsimmons is now determined to pursue a career in the field following her success to date.

She said: "I’m working on a few ideas for films at the moment so hopefully they’ll generate some of the same interest." The Screentest Festival will be held from Friday March 21 to Sunday March 23.

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