(2016 by Patricia N. Saffran)

New Yorkers, international film makers and guests were fortunate to attend the fantastic third annual Equus Film Festival. Founded and directed by Illinois horse breeder, Lisa Diersen, the festival was held on November 19-20th at the historic Village East Cinema on 12th St and 2nd Ave. A boisterous well-attended kickoff party took place at Manhattan Saddlery, one of the sponsors. The number of films was overwhelming with 145 full length features, shorts, music videos and ads. Some of the films were partially funded by Kickstarter, the new megaforce in the arts. A festive atmosphere was provided by art, photo and book displays at the theater and at the Equus Pop Up Gallery at the nearby Ukrainian Village East Banquet Hall. Many of the artists, photographers and authors were on hand for discussions. Equus Magazine Directors’ Panels on horse issues took place concurrently to the screenings, with top experts speaking about horse health, abuse, therapy, legal issues and much more. After each panel, in the theater lobby, it was possible to ask the experts and film makers to further explain their views. The Whinnie Awards, equine equivalent of the Oscars, topped off the action on Saturday night. On Sunday, ticket holders visited Clinton Park Carriage Horse Stables on West 52nd Street. Some festival highlights follow:

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