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Montana Film Office

Dog as Your Copilot: Montana Filmmaker Focuses Lens on Motorcycle Dogs

Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs – Trailer from The Motorcycle Narrative on Vimeo.

With or without sidecars, filmmaker Eric Ristau has a knack for making motorcycles look good on film. Not long after having his short piece, “The Winter Rider” play in the Big Sky Documentary Shorts programs, he’s at it again with “Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs.”

Started as a labor of love (both Ristau and his partner Geneva Liimatta are avid dog lovers and motorcycle enthusiasts), “Sit Stay Ride” is slowly evolving into a project that highlights many facets of the human and canine bond. “Our goal with Sit Stay Ride is to craft a film that will encourage viewers to look differently at the modern human/canine relationship and celebrate the tender and adventurous spirits of our four-legged friends, ” Ristau writes on the film’s Kickstarter page.

Still, the filmmakers are looking to provide more than entertainment by crafting the documentary as “a tool to bolster advocacy for organizations concerned with animal welfare and adoption.” A number of the pups on screen in the documentary are themselves rescue dogs who now relish sharing the open road with their biker partners.

The film is slated to start shooting early in April and will be wrapped and edited by August of this year.

In an effort to raise funds for production and to publicize the project, Ristau and Liimatta have started a Kickstarter page that highlights the project and the goals of the film. Any interested parties can contact the team through their Kickstarter or visit to view more of the pair’s work.

Winter Riding: Sit Stay Ride from The Motorcycle Narrative on Vimeo.