September 20, 2017 Solvang, California: As Monty Roberts readies himself to tour from October to December demonstrating his Join-Up® techniques to audiences across Europe, he made a side trip to Montana for the Equus International Film Festival (think Sundance Film Festival in Aspen, but everything about equestrian). Roberts was there to accept the Equine Icon Award from Janet Rose and the Equus International Film Festival, but was surprised and honored by four additional awards across a spectrum of media his production team had created and entered.
This first annual Equine Icon Award recognized the individual who has had a dramatic and critical impact on the lives of horses and who represents either directly or indirectly, an Icon of the Equine/Human Bond. EIFF recognized Roberts with this premier award, also on the 10th anniversary of the founding of Horse Haven Montana, the horse sanctuary cause behind the film festival.
“The festival we feel, truly has the potential to make a difference in the lives of thousands (of horses and humans), with the right messages, exposure and stories. Monty and his daughter Debbie certainly exemplify the hope we all share for the future of the horse/human relationship.” said Janet Rose, founder of EIFF. https://equusinternationalfilmfestival.com/
Monty opened the festival by introducing himself as “the luckiest man on earth” able to at age 82 travel and train horses globally. He noted that his team was responsible for delivering footage of Monty’s work in creative ways which appealed to and inspired a broad audience of interested persons. He introduced his daughter Debbie Roberts Loucks as his Legacy Strategist and as the inspiration for creating the production company that delivers the message of non-violent training in the many forms.
Monty Roberts and director Jeanine Moret won for “Whisper” in the Music Video Category which opened the Festival as the featured music video. The song was written by Rick Caballo, Bill DiLuigi and Mike Ward. The song was performed by Carl Jackson. The content was filmed during Monty’s Gentling Wild Horses course in Solvang, California by Dawn Perrine.
The award for Best Short Series went to Palm Island: Horse Sense for People about the indigenous youth of Australia being helped by Monty and the horses, directed by Tara King.
The award for Best Series went to Backstage Pass from Monty Roberts Productions filmed by Simon Palmer and edited by Dawn Perrine and Jeanine Moret.
The award for Best Equine/Human Bond went to Shy Boy The Horse that Came in from the Wild from Monty Roberts Productions directed by LaVoy Shepard.
The festival devoted an hour to a Monty Roberts Retrospective, incorporating several works entered which demonstrated Monty’s work with horses and with people too. For more about all the awards, see the festival website here: https://equusinternationalfilmfestival.com/festival-award-winners-2017/
The Best of Festival award went to Talking to the Air The Horses of the Last Forbidden Kingdom directed by Sophie Pegrum. Talking to the Air also tied for Best Documentary with Herd directed by Stefan Morel.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Smoke Elser for his extraordinary work in the Back Country with people and horses.
Monty Roberts’ life’s goal is “to leave the world a better place than I found it, for horse and for people too.”