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Equus Film Festivals


Horses are a popular subject for films. Two film festivals – all about horses – take place this year: one in Missoula, Montana, and the other in New York City.

The EQUUS International Film Festival® returned to Missoula, Montana September 18, 2015. The first EQUUS International Film Festival® was held in Montana in 2011, billed as “the first all-equine international film festival and conference.” The mission of the film festival is “education and understanding to enhance the equine/human bond and to improve the welfare of equines through excellence in film, television, and other media.”

This year, the film Unbranded won the Best of Festival award. A Special Award for the most inspiring portrayal of the equine-human bond went to Horses That Heal. Both these films also tied for first in the Best Documentary Feature category. Unbranded also won Best Storyline.

Best Narrative Short film winner was The Equestrian, producer Sybil Mair. This film, a short length feature about a young dressage rider and his relationship with his stallion, also won the Best Cinematography award.

Winners of the Best Documentary Short (tie) were: Emma Massingale – No Reins, No Rules, No Limits and Untrammeled, produced by USDA Forest Service. This film also won the Best Wilderness Film category and Best Portrayal of Youth, Equines & Wilderness award.

The Best TV Program winner was Wild About Barns, produced by Pamela Kettle, which also won the Merit Award for Creative Presentation. Best TV Series winner was Rock Star Vet.

Best Portrayal of the Wild Horse Issue was Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde, produced by Suzanne Mitchell, a documentary that chronicles a cowboy’s triumph in his quest to protect wild horses and the American West.This film also won the Equine Hero award, Best Editing, Best Sound, the Merit Award for Storyline, and the Merit Award for Cinematography.

There were several winners in the Equine Heroines and Heroes In a Film category. Equine Heroine: Margaret “Gigi” McIntosh and Fork in the Road. Equine Hero: Rudy Shebala and Horse Tribe.

Dakota 38 won the Best Native American Film Presentation.

The Best Conservation Message award went to: The Man From Coxs River, Amy Scully executive producer.
Of Gods & Kings: The Skyros Horse won Best Narration, Best Music Score, and Best Historical Presentation.
The Most Compelling Message award went to The Freedom of the Heart: The Foal Story, producer Jolanda Ellenberger.

View trailers of the films at:

The 2015 festival poster, “Cimarron, A Peace Offering,” was created by artist Shari Montana. Drawing, painting, and a passion for horses are her lifelong interests. Her artistry influenced by horses manifests in ceramic sculpture, encaustic painting and mixed mediums. She is founder of River Pines Horse Sanctuary, a permanent home for hard-to-place horses, and of MontanaQuest, where she collaborates with horses to teach social and emotional intelligence skills, leadership, personal development and creativity. She also offers Nature Immersion workshops for children and adults. Find more information at: www.riverpinesfarm.organd at
The Equus Film Festival in New York City runs Friday and Saturday, November 20-21, 2015 at the Village East Cinema on Second Avenue at 12th Street. Founded in 2013, this festival is oriented around equestrian themed content from all over the world, empowering storytellers to show the rich history and diverse tapestry of horses in human culture through equestrian content. There will be feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials, training educational materials, art and literary.  The festival will present more than 100 films from around the world and has 28 Winnie Award categories, including Equestrian Art Film, Commercial, Director, Documentary, International, Music Video, Series, People’s Choice and Best of Festival. The Li'l Herc ™ Kids Fest, sponsored by Suzanne Kopp-Moskow, offers free Saturday morning family films and fun, plus Sunday tours of the Clinton Park Carriage Horses Stable.

Organizer and founder Lisa Diersen announced that EQUUS Film Festival will host the World Premier of The Caravan Film directed by Margot McMaster and photographed by Douglas Munor of HDTV Productions, Inc. of Calgary, Canada, based on the true story of a 2,500-mile drive across America. Also joining more than 100 horse-themed screenings is the critically acclaimed Unbranded, chronicling the real-life Mexico to Canada trek by a handful of horsemen and the mustangs they choose as partners.

After the festival, winners and special select films from the Equus Film Festival will go on tour to the Kentucky Horse Park, Silver Springs International Film Festival, Mackinac Island Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado and to where ever the horse world invites them.

Several posters have been submitted for the Official Equus Film Festival Artist.

A new addition to the 2015 Equus Film Festival is the Literary Corner, where the visitors can visit with authors and purchase some of the most interesting equestrian reading available.

Find more information about the films, artists, tickets, and schedule at: and on facebook at EquusFilmFestivalNYC

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