Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge is an anonymous poem about beloved pets who die and are eventually rejoined by their people when they cross Rainbow Bridge.

  • Katherine Walsh Ryan
  • Katherine Walsh Ryan
  • Katherine Walsh Ryan
  • Elliott E.W. Ryan
    Director of Photography
  • Marianne Tomasic
    Creative Consultant
  • George "Paddy" Alter
    Voice Over Talent
  • Katherine Walsh Ryan
  • Betty Jo Rockwell
    Music and Lyrics performed by
  • Scott Rockwell
    Music and Lyrics performed by
  • Chef Phillippe
    Craft Services
  • Katherine Walsh Ryan
    Key Cast
  • Betty Jo Rockwell
    Key Cast
  • Ann Alter
    Key Cast
  • Marianne Tomasic
    Key Cast
  • Cheryl Durst
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 10, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Katherine Walsh Ryan

Katherine Walsh Ryan is Writer/Director/Editor/Executive Producer of Rainbow Bridge. She grew up outside of Chicago along Lake Michigan's shoreline; and now lives in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, in Shepherdstown, overlooking the Potomac River. She is proud of her son, Elliott E.W. Ryan, who worked as Director of Photography, and trained through Teen Filmmakers' Workshop since its inception. He returned from college in NYC to help with this production.

She is Founder and President of Ryan Film Institute and its Teen Filmmakers' Workshop which she teaches at a local university. Her short films have been Official Selections and Finalists at C2C Film Fest, Shepherdstown Film Festival, and WV Filmmakers Guild Film Fest.

Active in The Arts from a young age, she has been a theatre actor/scriptwriter/director; an award-winning magazine writer/editor/photographer; health care marketing executive; and filmmaker since she launched some of the earliest hospital videos for broadcast on newsworthy medical procedures and advancements in the 1980s.

Mrs. Ryan has degrees in Journalism (BA) and Strategic Leadership (MS) and is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC). She is also certified as a Master Gardener and Tree Master. She completed Leadership Berkeley in 2005, and is accepted into Leadership Jefferson's Class of 2016.

She has a life-long love of dogs, including Zoey the Goldendoodle pictured here, which she shares with her husband, Philip J.A. Ryan, M.D. Sadly, their daughter, Lindsay, actually has the audacity to prefer cats.

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Director Statement

This story idea has been percolating for 18 years, after a very traumatic family event. Participants in our short film share five heart-felt stories of love and loss as pet parents, including a message of hope during times of deep despair.

Coincidentally, each of our story tellers has an almost mystical bond with their dogs who sadly crossed Rainbow Bridge before their time. Many believe a former pet helped their grieving by sending them to a new pet that ultimately lifted their spirits and confirmed their canine love.

It took much soul-searching and several days of working through tears to tell my story of a tragedy that has haunted me since 1997. Working on Rainbow Bridge was a cathartic experience for all of us, and I hope viewers will recognize the deep love and caring we all have for our fur babies.

I also hope viewers consider rescuing TODAY one of many fine, lonely pets that can be found at animal shelters and rescue organizations. Then please don't hesitate to get them spayed or neutered! That's the truest show of love for your pet.