Film tells story of epic 25,000km horseback journey


The award-winning feature documentary about an epic horse ride from Canada to Brazil is to make its debut on New Zealand movie screens at the end of the month.

The Canadian-produced film The Long Rider tells the story of Filipe Leite as he leaves his adoptive home of Canada and sets out to ride from Calgary to his family’s home in Brazil – and later beyond – entirely on horseback.

Inspired by Aimé Tschiffely’s 1925 equestrian journey, Leite battles intense heat, drought, speeding transport trucks, nature’s wrath and corrupt border guards on his history-making long ride home.

His journey started in 2011, when he enlisted the help of other “long riders” to prepare for his first expedition in 2014.

Leite shared his story in three books: The first about his ride from Calgary to eastern Brazil, Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle; his ride to Ushuaia on the island of Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost point in the Americas, Long Ride to the End of the World: A Lonely Long Rider’s 7500km Journey to the Land of Fire, and his final ride, from Fairbanks, Alaska to Calgary in Last Long Ride: A Journey of Adventure, Freedom, and Love Ends Where It All Began.

Leite said: “During my Long Ride home, my three horses and I have walked parallel to the grim reaper many times. It is a miracle that the four of us are still alive and healthy.”

The film The Long Rider, completed last year, has won nearly two dozen awards. It is being released in New Zealand in a series of special one-off screenings under the Demand Film model from May 29.

Filipe Leite's 25,000km horseback journey has been told in the award-winning feature "The Long Rider".
Filipe Leite’s 25,000km horseback journey has been told in the award-winning feature The Long Rider.

A minimum number of tickets for each screening need to be reserved ahead of time in order for a screening to be confirmed. Those interested are urged to reserve tickets now before the deadline for each screening to reach the minimum needed to proceed.

» For more information on group discounts and screenings, contact promoter Sue Thompson, from Demand Film, on 0274 400914.

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