A Dog Race in Alaska (lost student short film; 1993)

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Bartholomew "Bart" Freundlich.jpeg

Film director, screenwriter and producer, Bartholemew "Bart" Freundlich.

Status: Lost

A Dog Race in Alaska is a lost student short film by director Bartholemew "Bart" Freundlich. Created in 1993 as a school project, the short was notable for starring several celebrities, including Sam Waterston, Robert Sean Leonard, Cara Buono, and James Waterston. Despite the famous celebrities involved, there is little information available about the short, and it has remained lost for an unknown amount of time.


Bart Freundlich spent a year studying at Northwestern University and also spent a semester with the British Film Institute. He later transferred to New York University, earning a double major in Film and Television Production and Cinema Studies.[1]

During his time at Tisch—the arts school division of NYU—Freundlich directed and wrote a short film as his end-of-year graduation project.[2] This short film, titled A Dog Race in Alaska, was notable for several reasons.

The film starred several big-name celebrities. Though there are no reliable sources on the entire cast list, Sam and James Waterston are confirmed to have starred as the father and son characters.[3] IMDb claims that Robert Sean Leonard, Cara Buono, Jamie Harold, Bruce Altman, and Rick Seefried also starred in the short.

The film premiered as part of a Tisch film festival on April 30, 1993 at 2 p.m. The film was approximately 38 minutes long. [4]

Freundlich was able to access all of these elite actors due to him being an intern at the John Lyons Casting Company. This allowed him to gather the contact information of several notable stars. Freundlich was also successfully able to sell A Dog Race in Alaska sometime in the mid-1990s. The funds from this transaction allowed him to become a filmmaker full-time.[5] It is unknown who purchased the film and if they still have access to it.

Little else is known about the short’s history. No stills, video clips, or behind-the-scenes photos have surfaced online.


Very little is known about the storyline of A Dog Race in Alaska. The film festival schedule’s description of the film reads:

"A young man comes to terms with his alcoholic father."

This is the only known confirmed description of the film’s storyline. It is confirmed that Sam and James Waterston played the father and son respectively, though their character’s names are unknown.


The film seems to have never been publicly available, however it has been rated positively on IMDb, suggesting that some members of the public may have been able to view it. To public knowledge, there has never been an official VHS or DVD release of the short, despite being sold to an unknown company. Although the afformentioned IMDb reviews could indicate a limited home media release or a TV airing

The short has gained particular interest due to the celebrities that star in it. Having celebrities of that caliber is uncommon in a student short film, and fans—specifically of both Waterstons and Leonard—harbor an interest in viewing the short.

Due to the nature of short films, it is unlikely that it will resurface unless members of the cast, crew, or the company that purchased the film release a copy.

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