Horses and Posh Puppies Star at EQUUS Film Festival Meadville Tour Stop
Posh puppies, face painted smiling kids and horse films were just a small part of the second annual EQUUS Film Festival Meadville PA Tour Stop, April 12-14. What’s great about these tour stops is while they all have the same theme of horse films, the activities that surround them is unique to the location and to the person organizing it.
In Pennsylvania, that person was Heather Reichel, who jumped through hoops to make this a home run for its second year. Heather beat the pavement knocking on doors and engaging people from throughout Meadville to take part in this local event, thus bringing national attention to this small but quaint town.
Posh Puppy Parade
Who Let The Dogs Out to the Posh Puppy Parade
Dr. Zane Cheropovich Talks About Saving Rescue Animals
Posh Puppy Parade Sponsors
Friday Night Began with Posh Puppies and Life in the Doghouse
The biggest coup was that thanks to sponsorship, seeing all the films was free to attendees and began with a Welcome Reception on Friday night, April 12th at The Italian Civic Club. The evening included a Posh Puppy Parade Fashion Show in the Downtown Meadville Mall, to keep in line with the theme of that night’s featured film and benefiting the Crawford County Humane Society.
Life in the Doghouse is a film that is all about Danny and Ron’s Dog Rescue. Directed by Ron Davis, who also directed the well circulated Harry & Snowman movie, this film is a visit to the home of Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw and their rescue dogs. Yes, the 70+ dogs share their home. It’s one of those films that warms your heart and leaves you with a few tears. It has been so well received that it was shown on the Hallmark Channel last year.
The evening ended with a screening of “Hold Your Horses: The Limit of the Law,” followed by a Q&A with Heather Reichel and H. Leroy Stearns, Mayor of the City of Meadville. The concept behind this film, produced by filmmaker Julianne Neal, is awareness of the fact that some places mistreat their horses. While Heather had a chance to talk about some of the cinematography she took for the film, the Mayor enlightened those present about how you can help. The biggest message was to not take the law into your own hands, the best thing you can do is call law enforcement and let them do their job.
Hold Your Horses: The Limit of the Law was Showcased at The Italian Civic Club
Heather Reichel and Mayor Stearns talk about Julianne Neals'f Film, The Limit of the Law
Carnival Against Animal Cruelty Brought Out the Families
Saturday Fun and Films at The Market House
Saturday and Sunday featured a host of horse films shown at the Gardner Theater in the Market House, with other activities happening around town, including the Carnival Against Animal Cruelty. On Saturday morning, Bruce Anderson, star of the documentary “The Edge,” talked about his “Natural Humanship” method of working with children and horses, while local vendors shared their wares.
Among the films being shown that day was Neal’s film A Pony and His Boy for the children of the community who have special needs and sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds. The film focuses on an 8-year-old Down Syndrome boy, Josh, who has made major strides thanks to his 28-year-old pony, Berry.
Saturday evening The Great Flip-Off was showcased. This is a film that centers on bareback riders facing extinction from the American circus. These extreme riders, along with their majestic horses, united for one final death-defying performance. What made the showing of this film extra special was that filmmaker Dafna Yachin was also in attendance and talked about the many riders she worked with to put together this film.
Dafna had a fun weekend since she was also one of the judges for the Posh Puppy Parade. She was hosted by Allegheny College for a luncheon and talk with their film students.
Filmmakers Julianne Neal and Dafna Yachin Took Part in the Festivities
Dafna Yachin Talks About Her Film, The Great Flip-Off
Speaking with Sandy Cheropovich and Travis Crytzer
The Weekend Ends with a Tornado Watch and a Thank You to the Sponsors
It was truly an electrifying weekend with a tornado ending. Just as the last films were about to finish, sirens could be heard around town and the wind was in full force. All the news networks were warning people in Meadville to take cover.
Fortunately, the festival was finishing up its final films and the tornado missed Meadville. Yet, this small town owes thanks to all those already mentioned and more for bringing a world of horse films to this amiable town. Even EQUUS Film Festival founder Lisa Diersen and Co-Organizer Diana De Rosa were able to enjoy its charm. De Rosa stayed at Mayor Lord’s House Bed & Breakfast, that took you back in time. Lisa stayed at the cozy Bethaven Inn.
Special thank you’s also go to Travis Crytzer, whose Loeffler’s flower shop is like walking into Alice’s Wonderland. Right next door great artwork is what Sandy’s Art Works is all about. Owned by Sandy Cheropovich, here you can find jewelry, works of art, photos and even get your pictures framed. Right around the corner Java Tree Café was giving out free tea and coffee all weekend and had a great selection of enticing desserts.
The Crawford County Convention and Visitor Bureau headed by Juanita Hampton, was a huge supporter of the weekend activities
In addition to showcasing her films, Neal also created a Marley Project Kid’s Corner where children of all ages could learn more about horses and could show off their artistic skills.
For more information about any of the above, contact Heather Reichel through her website: www.reichelfilms.com. For more about Meadville, PA go to www.visitcrawford.org.