In modern society, the horse ownership is often regarded as a luxury of the wealthy or the hobby of eccentrics. But high in the Himalayas of Napal, where the way of life hasn’t changed in centuries, the Lo people of Mustang still depend on the horse for their survival and place the equine at the center of their Tibetan-based cultural and spiritual life. These unique peoples, and their struggle against globalization, are at the subject of the latest documentary from the Horsefly Films’ Rare Equine Trust series.
The cornerstone of Talking to the Air: The Horses of the Last Forbidden Kingdom is the three-day Yartung Horse Festival celebrating the end of the monsoon, and its daring horse race in which riders are said to be “talking to the air” as they careen along on their small, strong horses. But you quickly learn that the horse is much more than just a sports partner. To the people of Mustang, Nepal, a good horse is a promise of good fortune, and superior horsemanship is a skill greatly prized. Watch the trailer to get a better sense of this endangered equestrian culture.
Currently, director Sophie Dia Pegrum and her team are working to put the final touches on Talking To The Air for its premier at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival. Premiering in Kathmandu is a very important part of the film’s wider purpose of encouraging locals to take part in saving this equestrian way of life. But they need your help to get to final cut! Please head over to the indie crowd funding site, Seed & Spark, to make a contribution to the campaign: Talking To The Air on Seed & Spark. Just five days remain!
Talking to the Air, is in fact just one of several past and future project of the Horsefly Films’ Rare Equine Trust. The global mission of this cinematic library is to shed light on diverse cultures, rare equine breeds and unique stories centered around the horse in hopes of preserving these fading equestrian cultures and the ancient bond between man and horse. Past films include Of Gods And Kings, which is about the critically endangered Skyrian Horse of Skyros Island in Greece, and Path To Glory, which chronicles the rise of the Polish Arabian Horse. Path To Glory was also the 2013 Equus Film Festival in Chicago winner for Best Documentary. (Trailers below)
This year, Horsefly Films’ Rare Equine Trust will premier Tarpan: Repainting An Ancient Picture at the renowned Equus Film Festival in New York next weekend. For our story on the Equus Film Festival, please click here. And to learn more about Horsefly Films’ Rare Equine Trust we encourage you to take a look around their website here: Rare Equine Trust.