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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

There is tremendous controversy regarding what the right course of action our country needs to take to preserve the lives of the Wild Mustangs.   There are two distinct sides to this debate and the focus of this film is to inform its audience of the very serious issues that exist in protecting these magnificent horses.

I have personally reached out to the producers of this Documentary to find a way to host this important film here in Santa Cruz.  It has had wild success and has been featured in many theaters here in California.  I am posting a review by the Denver Post that clearly highlights the merits of this documentary.  I have also included The Official Trailer for everyone to view.

As soon as I secure a date and time for a film screening, I will post where the venue will be so that everyone and their families may attend.

Thank you for caring about plight of the American Mustang.


Official Trailer "American Mustang"

By Joanne Davidson, Denver Post | March 5, 2014
Phipps Price, who is the Producer of this documentary, is shining a light on the plight of the country's wild horses and the debate over land-use rights in her first film, "American Mustang."
The 70-minute movie shot in 3-D and narrated by actress Daryl Hannah isn't a documentary filled with talking heads droning on about how these icons of the American West are in danger of extinction. Nor does it dwell on shock with slaughterhouse scenes.
What producer Phipps Price and her partners have turned out is a powerful, yet family-friendly, docu-narrative that tells the story through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl played by indie-film veteran Julia Putnam.
Putnam's character introduces viewers to the mustangs' saga as she watches real-life cowboys/brothers Jim Neubert and Luke Neubert start to gentle a wild horse and she comes to appreciate what its life would have been had it been left on the range.
Cattle ranchers and Bureau of Land Management officials have their say, too.

Long commitment

Her commitment to wild horses was solidified when she accompanied him to an adoption day held at a BLM facility in in Cañon City. There she saw 3,000 horses who'd been rounded up from six Western states, separated by age and gender, and placed in pens of 100 horses each.
"They were standing in the dirt, looking very sad. I said, 'OK, we've got a problem. The lucky ones will be adopted or put in long-term holding. But truckloads of them will be sold to middleman contractors, for $10 or $11 each, and put on a semi, 33 at a time, and taken to slaughter.'
"Nine mustangs were adopted that day; two by me."
It was that visit to Cañon City that inspired "American Mustang."

Her goal was to tell the story in a way that "wasn't Hollywood," so she reached out to two professionals she felt could do the story justice:
Henry Ansbacher, an Oscar-nominated producer and writer with Denver-based Just Media, signed on as producer/writer. Monty Miranda, founder of Denver's Incite Films, agreed to direct. Miranda also directed the 2007 South by Southwest Film Festival Audience Award-winning feature film "Skills Like This."
In a gentle but convincing way that reflects many points of view, the film relates what happens to wild horses when they are taken into captivity. "We capture the magnificence of these horses on the range and how people revere them as icons of freedom. We also show how an often inhumane management doesn't respect who they are, animals with a complex family structure that belongs in the wild.
"I'm from a ranching background, so I'm not looking to demonize anyone," she said. "I'm looking for solutions and compromise."
Since 1971, when the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act designated public land for the protection of wild horses, some 270,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from those lands in roundups where low-flying helicopters herd them into trucks and take them to government holding facilities which they enter via narrow chutes that cause some to fall and be trampled.
Ranchers believe that federal land used for cattle and sheep grazing is threatened by the grazing habits of wild horses; wild horse activists argue that cattle outnumber horses on federal land by a 50-to-1 ratio and that the protected land has steadily shrunk since 1971. Only 32,000 horses are believed to be left in the wild and more than 50,000 in captivity.
"Most ranchers that I talk to would like the horses to remain in the wild, not gone, but managed so their livestock is not competing with them for grazing," Phippa Price said.The takeaway for "American Mustang" viewers, she hopes, will be what she has learned over the years. "Horses reinforce something I always knew but sometimes lose touch with, and that is things that are the most valuable are the ones we don't possess."