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Rescue Dog to Film Star

Posted November 2019

Screenshot 2019-07-17 at 13 38 49

Last year former RSPCA resident Sunny took on a starring role in a Sci-Fi Short Film called Contenders. 

Sunny (formerly known as ‘Frank’) was adopted from RSPCA York Animal Home in 2017.  Despite having no formal acting training the director, Rebecca King saw something in Sunny and took a chance on his ability to perform.  On the coldest week of the year he stepped up to the plate in the wilds of Haxby. With lots of hugs and attention from the cast and crew, he shone on screen and gave an award worthy performance.

The film has been released and has won awards in LA and London, including a first time director award and Best Sci-Fi film at London Film Awards.

The short film is being shown in York this week (8th and 9th November) at the Yorkshire Museum as part of the Aesthetica Film Festival -

Contenders – Written and Directed by Rebecca King.

Titana Muthui played Theo

Petre Dobre played Andrei. 

Canine Frank played by Sunny England.


A series of gateways have appeared across the globe leading to a place people call Point B.  One farm worker Andrei is guarding a gateway in the North of England where six young people have arrived ready to cross over.

Contenders explores the nature of anonymous heroic acts from the younger generation and how they are often, despite often criticised the first to respond to a calling.

Frank is by Andrei’s side as he guards a portal. Andrei and others eventually ascend through the Gateway.  Frank is left behind and sadly watches them leave.  

Contenders Still 8 (2)


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We are primarily self-funding and the money we spend in York is raised in York and Harrogate and surrounding areas. Income is also generated by our charity shops in Goodramgate, York, Acomb and Selby.

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RSPCA York, Harrogate & District Branch

RSPCA York Animal Home
Landing Lane, YORK
YO26 4RH


Opening times:
Monday - Sunday 11:00 - 15:00Please note that the York Animal Home is closed to the public and all visits are by appointment only for potential adopters.

RSPCA York ShopRSPCA YorkCharity ShopGBPMonday to Saturday 9:00am - 4:30pm Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
5B, Goodramgate, York
Telephone: 01904 466140

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43 York Road, Acomb
Telephone: 01904 788616

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3 New Lane, Selby
Telephone: 01757 707100

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Telephone: 01653 918000

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