British equestrian filmmakers have scooped two awards at a prestigious festival in New York.
Equine Productions, based in Chepstow, won prizes for a moving tribute to Grand National hero Many Clouds and a fun commercial featuring Emma Massingale at the Equus Film Festival (17-19 November).
Nathan Horrocks (pictured, top), the 2015 Grand National winner’s former work rider, was awarded the best international director accolade for Many Clouds, The People’s Horse.
“I entered the film into the festival to share the Many Clouds story with an American audience, to show how much he was loved, but I never expected to win,” said Nathan.
“This is my tribute to him, to say thank you for what he has done for me, both personally and professionally; he literally changed my life.”
The film follows the gelding’s career on the National Hunt circuit, from his first bumper in 2012 to winning the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National and his tragic death after beating Thistlecrack at Cheltenham in January.
“Thank you to the Equine Productions team who put up with my tears and emotion whilst piecing together the Many Clouds footage,” added Nathan.
“A special thank you to trainer of Many Clouds, Oliver Sherwood, and owner Trevor Hemmings, for bringing him into my life.
“The investment and hard work that goes into these top horses allows us to appreciate and love these incredible animals.”
The best international commercial award went to Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store.
Inspired by Night At The Museum, Emma Massingale trained a horse, several ponies, a Dalmatian, chicken and a duck to star in the advert.
The film imagines what the animals would get up to if they could visit a Mole Valley branch and the camera follows them as they take on tasks including moving sacks of feed, posing as mannequins and pushing trollies.
“I love thinking of crazy ideas and then seeing the horses’ amazing ability to bring them to life,” said Emma.
“You can teach horses and other animals pretty much anything but only when they make it their own does it look truly magical on screen.”
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Dave James, creative director at Equine Productions, said the film would have been “unachievable” without Emma’s “dedication and talent”.
“The reaction at Equus Film Festival was unbelievable and the commercial was incredibly well received,” he added.
“The team at Mole Valley Farmers were brilliant at taking on such a brave creative and allowing us free rein – especially in their brand new store.”
Equine Productions’ managing director Sam Fleet added the awards are “great recognition” for the team’s talent and dedication.
“We’re proud of every film we produce and to have these accolades is really special for everybody,” he said.
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