Excitement at the Equus Film Festival

The weekend began rainy and cold, but it didn’t stop equestrians worldwide from converging on Midtown New York City for the 2017 Equus Film Festival. This was the first year in the new event space at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space.

Equus Film Festival 2017

Helen Mills Theater Equus Film Festival

Exciting Equus Film Festival

Artists, authors, and filmmakers with a passion for horses brought a little bit of country to the Big Apple and we rocked it.

The Equus Film Festival is summed up best by their website:

“Our festival has been created to highlight and award the diverse and creative efforts of those who artistically pay homage to the horse. The festival empowers storytellers to show the rich history and diverse tapestry of horses in human culture through equestrian content.  We have feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials, training educational materials, art and literature.”

As my readers know, Bridle & Bone is just about to turn a year old in December. I’ve been on an amazing journey, and through my membership of American Horse Publications my sassy little book, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses was chosen as a literary selection 2017 Equus Film Festival. Attending as a new author, I had no expectation of winning a WINNIE award. I did, however, hope to meet other creative equestrians and build relationships with them.

 

Heather Wallace, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses

 

 

My experience exceeded my expectations. The event space was intimate and allowed film goers a chance to meet the authors in the pop up gallery, even little old me, as they walked in. More, while the films were running we were able to watch a few movies and chat with each other. Several of us exchanged books or simply got to know each other and share our love of horses. I can say I have a lot of amazing books to read in the next few weeks, and even bought several for my daughters’ holiday gifts. I will be writing a separate post focusing on the authors of the Equus Film Festival, but the overall atmosphere was social, engaging, and truly a team approach.

Friday, November 17th

Welcome VIP Party Equus Film Festival
Left to right: Callie Meadus, Maria Fernanda Garza, Heather Wallace, Lorie Duff

 

Friday began with the artist and authors’ pop up gallery, as I mentioned. Several films played through the day and the evening held a Welcome VIP Party. What an amazing time! With refreshments sponsored by Jarlsberg Cheese and Einstock Beer, we hobnobbed with equestrians who use art to better the lives of horses throughout the world.

Saturday, November 18th

Saturday the emphasis was definitely on the films. As an attending author I couldn’t disappear too often to watch the films, but I was able to watch Apple of My Eye and Dyna Does Dressage. Two very different films, but both equally stirring and educational. Excitingly Paul Cohen has been working with the organizers of Equus Film Festival to launch an online platform to digitally stream the films and I cannot wait to catch up on those films I missed. In the meantime, check out Ride TV, a subscription network that is all horses all the time.

As a special treat, two mounted police offers stopped by for a visit with their partners, Spartan and Scout. The officers were extremely patient and answered many questions we had about training.

 

NYPD at Equus Film Festival

 

Spartan is 12 years old and has been with his partner 6 years. A Quarter Horse/ Percheron cross, he is sturdy and stood patiently for over an hour with traffic, bystanders, photos, and more. That is until he tried to eat my friend Maria’s Nikon. The nerve!

 

 

Scout, a Belgian Cross is 7 years old and stole the hearts of many with his kind eye and dinner plate sized hooves. They drew quite the crowd for the festival as well as New Yorkers just passing by.

Sunday, November 19th

Roberto Dutesco Wild Horses of Sable Island Gallery
Roberto Dutesco, Photographer, Wild Horses of Sable Island Gallery

 

Sunday the two big draws were the WINNIE awards and the Carriage House Tour. Sadly, I was unable to stay for the tour, but I was able to attend the awards hosted at the Wild Horses of Sable Island Gallery. For those of you who do not follow Roberto Dutesco’s work on Instagram, go now and follow. Better yet, if you are in the NYC area visit the gallery at 64 Grand Street. His work in person is even more stimulating. The texture, light, and natural beautfy of these wild horses is unique and stirring.

Winnie awards were announced in all categories and very well-deserved. I’m so happy that we have this opportunity to share our love of horses artistically.

I want to give thanks to co-organizers Lisa Diersen and Diana de Rosa. Their hard work and the efforts of all the volunteers made this event such an amazing experience. 

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