Equus film festival equitopia

Photo above: Bottom row on the left is Equitopia’s L.A. Sokolowski, Kathryn Lauritzen of Padma video – the director of “Don’t shoot the Zebra Pony” and Megan Phillips and Jody Ambrose of Train with Trust (Photo from Equus International Film Festival).


From the 14th to the 17th of March Missoula, Montana was flooded with equine enthusiasts, as the Equus International Film Festival took place in the Roxy Theatre. The Festival featured outstanding documentaries, short films and other horse related artwork and proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for any horse lover. Equus International Film Festival is the only international event of its kind. It strives to spur international awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the world of the horse through collaboration with film makers and other talented artists. Four days of screenings and presentations were followed by an award ceremony for the best films shown.

We are very proud to announce that Equitopia’s documentary short “Don’t Shoot the Zebra Pony” won two awards! Our film chronicling the story of Equitopia’s beloved “Ziggy” the zebra-pony hybrid walked away with “Best Educational Film” and “Best Film of Rescue and Rehabilitation.” We were so proud to be included amongst such a passionate and talented group of filmmakers. It was four full days of inspiring, beautiful, funny and poignant films, all of which championed our bond with horses.

Equus film festival equitopia

Ziggy, the star of “Don’t shoot the Zebra Pony” is making great progress under Equitopia’s care. 

Several of the films featured the plight of wild mustangs. Everything from gut wrenching stories of mustangs being rounded up by helicopters only to languish in holding pens or fall into the slaughter pipeline, to incredible success such as the film “Follow Your Heart: from Wild to World Champion,” documenting Cobra the mustang, who went from an extremely dangerous, branded “unadaptable” horse, to a world champion in dressage. One of our personal favourites was “My Paintbrush Bites” the story of a reclusive artist who adopts a broken, off the track thoroughbred and teaches him to paint. Check it out – but bring a hanky.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFvzKCjRSbM  Another favourite was “Skydog Sanctuary” the story of “Goliath”, a wild stallion who was captured and separated from his family, then adopted and re-released back into the wild only to… well, we can’t tell you what happens but we will say bring an even bigger hankie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQuj6kQmmTo


Janet Rose, the festivals’ Founder/Director not only supports and celebrates our relationship with horses in art, but believes in the ripple effect of the media. So do we. Our job is to educate, inspire and help shine the light of compassion.

As an aside, Missoula is a great town… with great beer! Highly suggest you attend the Equus International Film Festival next year. It’s a horse lovers dream.