(NewsUSA) – Hosting a major film industry event is not for the faint of heart. Ask James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Or David Niven. It takes charisma, flexibility and endurance. Attributes like those of the horse, whose place in history and our hearts will be celebrated through more than 145 films, videos and documentaries Nov. 21 and 22 at EQUUS Film Festival NYC at the Village East Cinema. Its two Oscar-worthy hooved celebrities welcoming filmgoers are Li’l Herc and A Sunday Horse.
Based on Hercules, the real-life Lusitano owned by author Suzanne Kopp-Moskow, Li’l Herc is an equine literary character returning to New York to host his free Family Fest on Saturday morning. “This horse,” she says, “re-awakened my heart to the power of goodness,” and inspired a children’s book about globetrotting goodwill. Beatrice Bulteau, renowned artist and multi-media illustrator, is working with Kopp-Moskow to bring Li’l Herc from paddock to paper in a book to debut next year.
The classic story of a girl with a dream and a horse who beats the odds is behind Li’l Herc’s official selection, “A Sunday Horse,” screening at 10:15 a.m. It’s the true story of Ocala show jumper Debi Connor, played by “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed, who overcame hurdles bigger than a Grand Prix course — a near-fatal accident and epilepsy diagnosis – to prove her horse deserved to be called a champion.
“It’s the first American-based movie set in Grand Prix show jumping since Disney’s 1968 classic, ‘The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit,’ starring a young Kurt Russell,” says director Vic Armstrong, a lifelong horseman and action stunt coordinator and director (six Bond movies, Mission Impossible 3, Terminator 2 and all the Indiana Jones films). “It was a terrific challenge, working with 30 actors, 300 extras and about 150 horses. It was important to tell this great story, but equally important to get the world of show jumping right onscreen.”
Early screenings suggest “A Sunday Horse” might be the most authentic movie ever made about show jumping. It will hold its U.S. world premier at EQUUS Film Festival.
When the “barn doors” open to Li’l Herc’s Family Fest, it will be the first time a novel Lusitano and show jumping star like A Sunday Horse have joined up anywhere, including the Oscars, to introduce so many horse films at one time (while ‘horsin’ around’ better than Franco and Hathaway). Tickets and information at www.equusfilmfestival.net.