Gravitas Ventures will release the award-winning documentary feature UNBRANDED in theaters nationwide and on VOD on September 25.
The film took home the Audience Awards from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival – where it had its world debut – as well as from the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival this year.
In this story of rugged independence, UNBRANDED reveals the true interdependence of man, animal and nature — their 3000-mile gauntlet through five states that is indescribable and unforgiving. UNBRANDED follows the story of Ben Masters, Thomas Glover, Jonny Fitzsimons and Ben Thamer as they travel through the deepest backcountry from Mexico through the American West up to Canada, with 16 Mustangs chosen and trained for this purpose. The ride took five and a half months through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, in famously challenging and beautiful country such as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Glacier National Park.
Unbranded initially made waves with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign where they raised $171,000 from 1062 backers. In addition, the team set out to inspire adoptions of the 50,000 wild horses living in holding pens in the American West and to bring attention to the fragile ecosystem and this vast stretch of uninterrupted land.
Unbranded was directed by Phil Baribeau (“Mountain Men”), who also served as a co-cinematographer with Korey Kaczmarek (“American River Renegades”). Dennis Aig (“Guide Season”) produced. Cindy Meehl (“BUCK”) is the Executive Producer.
Synopsis: Sixteen mustangs, four men, one dream: to ride border to border, Mexico to Canada, up the spine of the American West. The documentary, UNBRANDED, tracks four fresh-out-of-college buddies as they take on wild mustangs to be their trusted mounts, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime. Their wildness of spirit, in both man and horse, is quickly dwarfed by the wilderness they must navigate: a 3000-mile gauntlet through five states that is equally indescribable and unforgiving. In this story of rugged independence, UNBRANDED reveals the true interdependence of man, animal and nature.
As we see first-hand, Ben Masters, Jonny Fitzsimons, Thomas Glover and Ben Thamer, relied upon the incredible strength and energy of mustangs – these wild horses – who had been chosen and trained for this purpose. The group set out to inspire adoptions of the 50,000 wild horses living in holding pens in the American West and to bring attention to the fragile ecosystem and this last uninterrupted vertical stretch of public land in the West. Along the way, the support they receive from others, including a veteran horseman and cowboy poet whose life has been deeply connected to horses and the back country, creates a meaningful bond among the men and the animals.
With exquisite cinematography of breathtaking terrain from the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone to Glacier Park, UNBRANDED offers both an edge-of-your-seat, death-defying intensity as well as captivating and immersive experience of a journey through a stretch of North America most people never have an opportunity to experience.