Since bowing at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival this past April and then picking up the Toronto fest’s Audience Award, Phillip Baribeau’s Unbranded - which follows four young college grads shepherding a herd of 16 wild mustangs from Mexico to Canada - has been described as a cross between The Hangover and a National Geographic natural history doc.
The five-month journey, which spanned five states and 3,000 miles, was intended to bring awareness to the 50,000 wild horses living in holding pens in the American West, and to encourage adoptions. But alongside the doc’s message of animal welfare and conservation is a compelling – and often comedic – story about friendship, adventure and our interdependence with nature.
In this exclusive clip shared with realscreen, the group’s plans are thrown into disarray when a cantankerous donkey that answers to no one joins the journey north to Canada.
Unbranded was exec produced by Cindy Meehl (Buck) and produced by Dennis Aig (Guide Season). The film is being released in U.S. theaters and on VOD by Gravitas Ventures on Friday (September 25), and will also hit Canadian theaters via Mongrel Media the same day.
UK distributor Dogwoof has taken the global rights to the doc, excluding North America.