Freestyle Digital Media Acquires THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired U.S. rights for the digital release of director Mary Haverstick’s feature documentary THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK. THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK debuts on VOD and will be available to rent and own on digital HD across cable, internet, and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media on May 15, 2018. THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK will also be released theatrically in select locations in New York City, Lancaster, PA and other cities beginning May 11, 2018.

THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK is a documentary feature that follows leaders of New York’s historic horse carriage industry as they fight Mayor Bill De Blasio, who had vowed to eliminate them on day one of his term. Haverstick’s cameras captured the struggle for two years, with the working-class carriage drivers (and their working-class equine charges) under assault from animal rights activists on one side and politicos funded by billionaire real estate developers with an eye on the horsemen’s West Side stables on the other. Christina Hansen and Stephen Malone, the two industry spokespeople, are thrust by necessity into the limelight and find themselves in a bare-knuckle brawl in a city known for political hardball. The ongoing saga frequently captures the headlines of every New York newspaper and has even launched investigations into the mayoral election and financing surrounding this issue—with revelations continuing to this month. Di Blasio himself has retreated from the issue, claiming the City Council won’t back a horse ban. With a political stay of execution and joined by Liam Neeson, the carriage drivers and their horses remain on the street, but in a changing world, the question remains: For how long? The film’s exploration of money and influence in elections is even more timely now than when filming began.

Featuring extensive interviews with Oscar-nominated actor Liam Neeson, THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK was written and directed by Mary Haverstick, and produced by Mary Haverstick, Michele Mercure, and Sarah Chase. Freestyle Digital Media Acquisitions Director Rachel Koehler negotiated the deal for THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK with filmmaker Mary Haverstick.

Haverstick & Mercure presents THE LAST HORSEMEN OF NEW YORK. Directed by Mary Haverstick; Executive Producer, Sam Lombardo; Producers Mary Haverstick, Michele Mercure, and Sarah Chase Composer, Michele Mercure

Haverstick says, “We’re delighted that audiences will get to see THE LAST HORSEMEN. While the film was years in the making, the story is very much of today. We thank Freestyle Digital Media for bringing the film to a national audience.” She continues, “The horse carriage controversy captivated New York while our cameras followed the action of this colorful controversy for over two years. We filmed in vérité style as the two elected spokespeople for the carriages fought, and eventually won, their battle against City Hall. In this era when elections can be bought and sold by foreign or domestic powers, this film offers a sober warning of how easily electoral interference can be accomplished by special interests. It also adds a much-needed glimmer of hope that our democratic system is not yet beyond repair.”

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