Benji is the first film in a series of five theatrical features about the golden mixed breed dog named Benji. It was written, produced, and directed by Joe Camp and filmed in and around Denton, Texas. Released in 1974, it was a critical and box office success, grossing $45 million on a budget of $500,000. The film also received an Academy Award nomination for the Best Original Song for the theme song "I Feel Love," written by Euel Box and performed by country singer Charlie Rich. The film was turned down for distribution by every studio in Hollywood and Camp had to form a distribution company to distribute the film worldwide, without the help of Hollywood. Despite the challenges, Variety reported that Benji ranked #3 among the top Box Office films of 1974.
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