Last November, Horse-Canada wrote about the reboot of the classic story Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. In the latest Disney version, the setting was changed to the American west and Beauty was a Mustang mare.
Ashley Avis, the writer/director of Black Beauty, is also the president of the Wild Beauty Foundation, an organization dedicated to the protection of wild mustangs and burros. This week, Avis, alongside Marty Irby, the executive director at Animal Wellness Action who has been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for his work to protect horses, announced a joint venture to produce Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West, a feature documentary that focuses on the issues facing America’s iconic wild mustangs that have long faced eradication by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The film is currently in production and promises to be a sweeping cinematic epic, while also not holding back on the controversial decisions made by the BLM such as paying $1,000 to people to adopt a mustang only to have them sold on to the slaughterhouse, as well the ongoing fight with ranchers over land use and grazing rights.
It may seem like an uphill battle, but the filmmakers want to expose the issue so that something can be done.
“Growing up with horses, it wasn’t until I began writing the screenplay for Black Beauty that I realized what wild horses were going through in our country,” said Avis in a press statement. “The helicopter roundups, the tearing apart of families ‒ it’s devastating and deeply antiquated. My partner Edward Winters and I knew that we had a unique platform in entertainment to help raise awareness, and we are fortunate to be supported by an outstanding team. Few people know about what is happening to our wild horses, and that’s a huge part of the problem. We are working tirelessly to change that.”
Follow the film on social media as it gets finished – release date will be in 2022 – and check out the gorgeous images of the mustangs.
Watch the promo video below: