Jeff Theman

image by Greg Murray Photography
Jeff Theman’s Social Media:

Born on July 28, 1977 in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Jeff was a creative person the moment he was able to pick up a pencil and put it to paper. Through the years he has dabbled in many forms of artistic expression – from drawing and painting, creative writing, photography, and later filmmaking. While researching all forms of animal cruelty in the beginning of 2007 in an attempt to narrow down a subject matter to base a documentary film on, like a sign from above – the topic came to Jeff.

On the morning of April 25th (2007), breaking news of NFL star quarterback – Michael Vick, suspected of running a dogfighting operation when federal authorities raided his rural Virginia home. Jeff immediately began an anti-dogfighting film that day, with an emphasis on the victims – the dogs.

In September 2007, Jeff formally established his Cleveland-based video production company – River Fire Films, out of his one bedroom Lakewood (Ohio) apartment, pursuing his aspirations of becoming a documentary filmmaker.

River Fire Films Social Media:

While researching dogfighting and setting up interviews with experts in their appropriate fields, Jeff stumbled upon a law he had never heard about called breed specific legislation (BSL), which targeted the ownership of dogs -specifically “pit bulls”, by either restricting or prohibiting them from within a municipality, which is how he learned his home state of Ohio had statewide BSL since 1987 with a laundry list of restrictions.

A little over one year after beginning his dogfighting film, Jeff returned from his first trip conducting interviews with animal welfare organizations, and then began reaching out to area dog rescues who helped “pit bull” dogs. For the Love of Pits (FTLOP) was the only organization (at the time) whose mission was to specifically rescue dogs labeled “pit bull”, so Jeff sent an inquiry email to them in hopes they could accommodate an interview request, get footage of dogs in their care, and some guidance deciphering credible information.

After multiple prior phone conversations with the founder of FTLOP – Shana Klein, Jeff visited her home on May 15th (2008), which is where he met Preston.


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Synopsis | “The Dog” | “The Filmmaker” | “Their Story