The “Unbranded” crew may not have ridden through Colorado, but ahead of Telluride’s Mountainfilm festival last weekend, Ben Masters and his very lovely wife, Katie, came to Spring Creek Basin to see our “beautiful” mustangs.
We talked about wild horses and wild burros and public lands and challenges and solutions. As you might imagine, Ben’s mustangs, partners in his and friends’ trip of a lifetime, have made him a mustang advocate. “Unbranded” has catapulted him into a unique position of being respected by a variety of disparate interests.
One does not travel from Mexico to Canada with mustangs and friends alone. It requires preparation and support from numerous people along the way. When traveling across public lands with a pack string and a camera man (at least one), one needs permits from the government: the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service. Observant travelers notice the tread of others on those lands, and Ben and Ben and Thomas and Jonny were no different. To say they made the most of their observations and appreciation of America’s remarkable public lands is a huge understatement.
“Unbranded” is a journey story, and like all good journeys, it includes challenges and obstacles and perseverance and education. While their physical journey may have ended at the Canada border, their education is ongoing, and their search for solutions for America’s wild horses and burros likewise is ongoing.
Not surprisingly to the sold-out crowds fortunate enough to see “Unbranded” in Telluride (350 people in line were turned away from the Saturday showing after the theater filled), the film won the Audience Award.
This was the second film festival for “Unbranded”; it was the second Audience Award. Ahhhhhhhhhh-mazing!
When you get the chance to see “Unbranded,” see it. It’s not the typical mustang film. It will leave you wanting more – more mustangs, more conservation of public lands, more involvement, more “what can I do.”
We were so fortunate to meet Ben and Katie Masters and some of the rest of the “Unbranded” crew. What an amazing film. They’re carrying an important message, as Ben says, to show the worth of America’s mustangs.