Tarpan film won the Best Short Documentary award at the Equus Festival

November 24, 2014

“TARPAN: Repainting An Ancient Picture” won last night the Best Short Documentary award at the Equus Film Festival in New York, the first film festival with equestrian themed content from around the world.

The story of the Tarpan, an extinct type Eurasian wild horse and its resurrection, features in this unique half-hour documentary which is the worthy result of over a year of work by Jen Miller and Sophie Dia Pegrum, two American filmmakers at Horsefly Films.

The Tarpan (Equus ferus ferus) was a prehistoric wild horse type that ranged from Southern France and Northern Spain east to Central Russia. Tarpans went extinct in wild nature between 1875 and 1890. Since 1930s, several attempts have been initiated to bring back a look-a-like Tarpan through selective breeding with domestic races which allegedly retained much Tarpan DNA in their genome. This look-a-like Tarpan is also known as the Konik (Polish for ‘little horse’) Polski. This breed has originated from Polish tarpan re-creation projects. Konik Polski is listed in the study “Rewilding horses in Europe”, recently released by Rewilding Europe, as one of the horse types most suitable for rewilding.

“TARPAN: Repainting An Ancient Picture” is shot on location in Poland and Bulgaria. In 2011 and 2013,Tarpans were brought from the Netherlands to Bulgaria as part of the New Thracian Gold project. Currently, 55 Tarpans are freely roaming in the Rhodope Mountains, which on 13 November has been announced as a new rewilding area of Rewilding Europe.

Jen and Sophie plan to create screening events in New York and Chicago for the Bulgarian Consulates, and a Bulgarian premiere in Sofia, as well as local screenings throughout the Rhodope region.

Wild congratulations, Jen and Sophie! Keep doing your fantastic work!

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