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Equus International Film Festival Rides into Missoula, Montana Bringing Horse Films to the Big Screen

An international group of equine and equestrian filmmakers, trainers, wilderness, and horse enthusiasts from all disciplines will gather in Missoula September 18-20, to watch the world’s best horse films and to talk horses and other equines. But you don’t need to be a horse owner to enjoy or participate. Filmmakers and equine specialists from around the world and across the U.S. will be on hand to focus attention on a range of topics and issues, with an equine theme. Their destination will be the EQUUS International Film Festival & Conference, a premier venue for equine and equestrian films, with a message, a mission, or simply sharing great stories on the big screen. In addition to breathtaking films with broad messages, many of the Official Selections will be regional, U.S. or world premiers. Many filmmakers and equestrian experts will also be part of the three-day event.

The mission of this new film festival and conference is “education and understanding to enhance the equine/human bond & to improve the welfare of the horse and other equines through film, television and other media.” EIFF is an outreach and education project of an equine rescue and adoption organization with a goal of raising awareness. Organizers say they hope that by increasing our understanding of equine issues, communications, and training, as well as understanding the role of the horse in our lives, the bond between equine and human will be enhanced. It is also a celebration of all things equine.

The EQUUS International Film Festival celebrates the horse, the filmmakers who tell their stories, and educates in the “ways of the horse.” According to founder Janet Rose, “The horse has been integral to cultures all over the world, to our social histories, in every society, and even, to the development of nations. EIFF hopes to capture that diversity and importance.” Rose adds that a primary theme running through this year’s film festival will be the role of the horse in Native American life, culture and history. The film festival this year is co-sponsored by Native American Studies of the University of Montana. The Chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Vernon Finley, will give the welcome on behalf of Montana’s tribal nations to the start of the film festival in the atrium of The Payne Family Native American Center.

Friday, September 18 will focus on films about horses in Native American life with some incredible stories. In addition to the Native American focus, the festival and conference will feature films on many issues including the controversy over wild horses on federal lands; horses as therapy animals for war veterans as the physically and mentally challenged. There are breathtaking films about horses in wilderness, such as “Untrammeled,” the quintessential wilderness film, as well as films on unique training programs, performance and cultural topics. “The stories,” Rose adds, “and the range of films featured, are far reaching and cinematically stunning. The films are beautiful, inspiring, and heart warming. There will be tears, laughter and moments of holding your breath. The quality of the films entered this year was amazing.”

The three days of film screenings and special presentations will be held in two venues at the University of Montana including The Payne Family Native American Center and the University Center Theater. A Welcome Reception, sponsored by Ride TV, will be hosted at the Dana Gallery Friday, September 18, opening day of EIFF. A filmmaker reception Saturday evening at the UC theater, follows several of the top films, including “Running Wild,” “Unbranded,” “Horses That Heal,” and “The Equestrian,” all finalists for best cinematography and Best of Category. Sunday, September 20, the Awards Ceremony announcing Best Of will be held at the UC Theater, emceed by former president of the Dude Ranch Association and well-known horseman, Robert Foster. For more information, a schedule, or to reserve tickets, visit

Mobile: 406.880.0683


EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival is the premier global venue for award-winning equine film, television and other media that bring focus to the horse and other equines and seeks to enhance the equine/human bond & improve the welfare of the horse.
We welcome partners and friends around the world.*

EIFF 2019
New Dates
March 14 – 17, 2019
Missoula, Montana

Healing, Hope and the Promise of the Horse/Human Bond

Check Out EIFF 2017 Award Winning Films!

EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival is the only international event of its kind, headquartered in the heart of the American West.  EIFF strives to spur international awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the world of the horse (and other equines) by recognizing and celebrating the talent, ideas and creativity of film, television and multi-media artists; to celebrate and highlight the significance of the equine/human bond; and to give a voice to worldwide efforts to improve the welfare and well-being of our equine partners.

*In order to continue to spread this message around the world, EIFF partners with organizations and other entities across the globe, helping them to bring these incredible equine films and issues to audiences worldwide.  We accomplish this through the EIFF “On the Trail” Post-Festival Tours.  Please contact us to learn more or to arrange a tour in your hometown.

The EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival showcases a wide range of programming and media, on equine stories, topics and issues that bring
awareness and understanding to all things equine.
EIFF celebrates the magnificence of the horse and the people who value and treasure the equine arena and devote their lives to giving a voice to Equus.

FilmTrailers Button EIFF2015

EQUUS International Sponsors

Mission EIFFThis is a unique and important film event and that fills a vital niche in equine welfare and the equine arena. For those who want to reach equine enthusiasts, advocates, riders and participants in new and unique ways, this event provides  that platform.  As EIFF continues to grow in global outreach and national and international impact, your audience reach will extend as well.   For those whose interests are devoted to all things equine, and with a deep understanding of the equine arena, this will become one of the most exciting and important events on the equine scene.  A touring EIFF will also soon be available to communities, cities, and groups nationwide and  worldwide.

If you love equines, enjoy film and television, and great story telling, we hope you will support the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival®.  You can make a difference and help us meet our mission, through your support of this international film event. Partnering and sponsoring the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival®, an education and outreach project of the not-for-profit, Horse Haven Montana, will make a difference and a good portion of your sponsorship support is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. EIFF® is a special project of Horse Haven Montana, a 501c3 not for profit equine organization.

Learn more about becoming an EIFF sponsor.

The Resort at Paws Up

Photo of the Resort at Paws Up

The EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival is pleased to announce that the breathtaking Resort at Paws Up is an official partner/sponsor with the film festival this year.  If you are coming to Montana and looking for real western luxury and hospitality, the Resort at Paws Up just might be it and make for an unforgettable, real Montana experience.  

For Festival Dates: March 14th-16th, 2019 the five star resort offers special discounted rates for festival attendees.  Although film screenings and panels will be held at the historic Roxy Theater in Missoula, we are planning several events at the Paws Up and for those who are not staying there, we will provide bus transportation to and from the special events.

Photo of Rider and horses at the Resort at Paws Up in MontanaIf you are interested in splurging and enjoying incredible western hospitality, the following rates apply during the film festival.  When you call to make your reservation, be sure to mention the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival. 

If you are staying closer to downtown Missoula, our official in-town hotel is the Holiday Inn Downtown, recently renovated and walking distance to everything.  Please call the hotel directly and mention EIFF, the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival for special rates and accommodations. Visit the Lodging page for more opportunities to visit Missoula.

Meanwhile, The Resort at Paws Up Special Festival Rates are as follows:

Meadow Home
BAR: $1,012
with discount: $607.20 per night

One bedroom Big Timber Home
BAR: $1,260
with discount: $756 per night

Glasstail (special one bedroom Big Timber Home)
with discount: $869.40 per night

Two bedroom Big Timber Home
BAR: $1,615
with discount: $969 per night

Three bedroom Big Timber Home
BAR: $1,830
with discount: $1,098 per night

Wilderness Estate/Blackfoot River Lodge
BAR: $2,180
with discount: $1,308 per night

20% off meals: $120 per person per day
20% off activities

Photo of the Resort at Paws UpThe Resort at Paws Up will also host several events with EIFF, beginning with Friday night, March 15 in the Wilderness Outpost, a western venue experience like no other, complete with art gallery, videos, shopping, and even museum style exhibitions, the likes of which we have never seen before. The fact that this breathtaking space is in the middle of western wild lands is amazing.

Remember when you call, in order to receive a discounted festival rate, you must mention the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival.

EIFF Icon Award

The recipient of the first-ever EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival Equine Icon Award is Monty Roberts!

Horseman Monty Roberts

Just named as Horse and Hound Magazine’s Top 50 All Time Greatest Horsemen, Monty Roberts is the creator of the world-renowned and revolutionary equine training technique called Join~Up®. Monty travels the world demonstrating that non-violent, gentle, training creates breakthrough performance as you partner with your horse. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world’s championships in the show ring. Today, Monty’s goal is to share his message that “Violence is never the answer.” Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.

For Educators


Registration for the EIFF2017 Youth Program is now open.

Registrations are due by September 12, 2017.  We will accept late registration forms according to seating availability. Please register using this form or contact us for additional information.

All Screenings & Special Presentations will be held at
the Roxy Theatre
718 S. Higgins Avenue
Downtown Missoula

The 2017 EIFF Youth Matinee Program date is Friday, September 15.
Films are suitable for grades 4th up to and through high school.

Youth Program Updates

  • Price of admission to the matinees is $4 per person through the Roxy Theatre website or at the box office on the day of. Cash, check or credit card accepted.
  • Price for screening/presentation includes students, teachers & chaperones


And don’t forget!
This year’s kick-off of the festival will be at the Missoula Carousel

Thursday, September 14
A Carousel for Missoula

Come & Ride the Wild Ponies:  Opening Event for EIFF 2017 
Missoula Carousel in Caras Park
EIFF Free Community Event
This is a Welcome event with great, local refreshments right off the farm!
Free Carousel Pony Rides
Pick up a festival program, meet some of the filmmakers, and maybe a real horse or two

Click Here to View Trailers for Films


Friday, September 15
The Roxy Theatre

Registration at the Roxy

Music Video – Finalist featuring “Whisper” highlighting the Equine/Human Bond
Monty Roberts Productions
Run Time:  2:44 minutes

Special Welcome & Presentation:  Diana Webster, Founder/Director
The Native America Humane Society

Film Screenings
“Indian Relay Racing
(America’s oldest sport, it is also one of the most exciting and most dangerous, but its emphasis is also on the safety of the horse, the participants and the spectators.)
Run Time:  11:00 minutes

“Badger Creek”
Badger Creek is a portrait of Native resilience as seen through a year in the life of three generations of a Blackfeet family.  Introduced by Executive Producer,  Rhea Ashmore & Cinematographer, Doug Hawes Davis
Run Time:  30:00 minutes

Special Presentation
What Equines & Other Animals Can Teach Us About Mindfulness
Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Director
Tribal & Indigenous People’s Studies at North Dakota State Univ.

“Palm Island:  Horse Sense for People” – Finalist
U.S. Premier
Monty Roberts was called in to help save wild horses on Palm Island, Australia.  When he arrived, he began to work with local Aboriginal youth and as they learned Join Up, so much in their lives began to change.
Run Time:  45:00 minutes

The Girl and the Horse”
Written, directed & animated by Rebecca Manley. A small girl is crying because there is a hole in her stomach, suddenly a mysterious horse appears and things begin to change.
A charming message and a great little animated film for all ages
Run Time:  3:14 minutes

“The Wild Ones”
A group of teens begin an alternative learning program at a horse rescue and sanctuary
Run Time:  30:00 minutes

“El Caballo-The Wild Horses of North America”
EL CABALLO documents one of the most complex wildlife management issues today.  Introduced by Producer, Doug Hawes-Davis
Run Time:  54:00 minutes

Special Presentation

“Talking to the Air:  Horses of the Last Forbidden Kingdom
In modern society, horse ownership is often regarded as a luxury of the wealthy or the hobby of eccentrics.  But high in the Himalayas of Nepal, the Lo people of Mustang still depend on the horse for their survival and place the equine at the center of their Tibetan-placed culture and spiritual life.  These unique peoples and their struggle against globalization, are at the heart of a beautiful documentary by Horsefly Films’ Rare Equine Trust.  Filmmaker Sophie de Pegrum will introduce the film.
Finalist-Best Documentary Feature
Run Time:  58:00 minutes


For more information about the EIFF Youth Program, please contact:
Festival Director Janet Rose

EIFF2019 Sponsors & Partners

Mission EIFFThe EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival® brings the world of the horse into focus, giving us a global view of all things equine, bringing award-winning films to public audiences from our home in the heart of the American West and for horse lovers everywhere

Healing, Hope,
& the Horse/Human Bond

NEW DATES:  MARCH 14-17, 2019

Sponsorship of the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival reaches an INTERNATIONAL audience with a message of all things horse and equine well-being.  Sponsors include organizations, corporations, businesses and individuals, who support the mission of EIFF and believe in and support the far-reaching impact of the horse.  As an outreach project of Horse Haven Montana, a not for profit, 501c3 charitable organization, a portion of your sponsorship support may be a charitable deduction.

We invite you to EIFF to spur international awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the world of EQUUS by recognizing the talent, ideas and creativity of film, television and multi-media artists; to speak to the significance of the equine/human bond; and most importantly to speak for those without a voice in worldwide efforts to improve the welfare of our equine partners.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about a Sponsorship/Partnership with the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival.

Special thanks to the following sponsors, who support the mission of EIFF — education and understanding to enhance the equine/human bond and to improve the welfare of the horse and other equines through excellence in film, television and other media. 

Interested in sponsoring EIFF2019? Learn more.

Contact Us

PO Box 599, Frenchtown, Montana 59834
Mobile:  (406) 880-0683

Past Sponsors

The EQUUS International Film Festival®
is gearing up for the next big 2017 event in Missoula, Montana. We still want to feature and highlight our first-ever, first-year sponsors.  Thank you for your support and participation in this all equine international film festival.

Interested in sponsoring EIFF2017? Learn more.





AMBASSADORSBar W Guest Ranch LogoPaws Up Foundation


William E. Rideg Law Office


Festival Award Winners 2017

And the winners are …

Congratulations to all EIFF 2017 Award Winners!