Audience Award Winner at Hot Docs. "Don't miss 'Unbranded,' which follows four young men riding mustangs from Mexico to Canada." Toronto Star

“Four University graduates adopt a dozen or so wild mustangs, train them, and make a 3000 mile journey from the Arizona-Mexican border up the spine of former 'wild west' to the Canadian border. Using a route through almost exclusively public lands that took two years of planning, they desire to live out our collective dream of the 19th century frontiersmen -- albeit in true 21st century fashion, they document and mythologize their own rite of passage.

“There is often disagreement in the problem solving and challenges en route between the four men. Maps are out of date, trails are not what once were, and private lands often bear the sweetest routes, but have owners that refuse trespass. What is striking is that the journey is documented, warts, farts, and all. Evidence of modernity peek into the frame subtly. The image of a cowboy hat with a Go-Pro camera strapped to it is a curious one, but looking down from horseback at the spectacularly steep drop-offs alongside dozens of switchbacks in the Grand Canyon, I'm glad they went that route.

“Interspersed with the high-adventure, is the practical reality of the ongoing debate about what to do about wild horses on public lands. A Mustang is a wild horse, and apparently, they breed like rabbits and eat like pigs interfering with the commerce and ecology of the landscape. The Bureau of Land Management frequently gets into scraps with activists and cattle ranchers in regards to penning these horses and trying to get people to adopt them.

“Many shots of natural landscapes, in full sunset and starry sky'd glory, are worthy of seeing on the big screen. And in terms of emotional content, the interplay with the cowboys and their mentor is touchingly sweet. And if Unbranded succeeds in raising issues around sustainability and preservation of the Public National Parks, beyond being the most elaborately produced video diary of one golly of a vacation, then all the better.” - Twitch Film


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