The Horsemen

Capturing the Graceful Spectacle of Andalusia’s La Saca de las Yeguas

At the end of each June, over 1000 horses that for most of the year run semi-wild in the marshland, plains and forest that surround the Andalusian town of Almonte are rounded up by yegüerizos, the horsemen who hold sway over these large herds. The annual La Saca de las Yeguas dates back over 500 years, and characterizes the rural Spanish landscape as much as Pamplona’s bull run, Buñol’s La Tomatina, and Haro’s La Batalla de Vino. Filmmaker Glen Milner spent four days with the riders, capturing the scale of the custom and the elegance of the horses as the animals were driven past the Hermitage of El Rocío to be blessed, and then into the town to thunder through the narrow streets. “Themes of tradition, and where tradition sits within modern society, really interest me,” explains Milner, who traveled to Greenland to shoot the first dawn of the year with Ben Hilton for Return of the Sun, a film that was shortlisted for Best British Short Film at the 2012 Leeds International Film Festival, and is currently working on a longer documentary about the Middle East. “After speaking with the horsemen in Almonte, and in particular their sons, it became apparent how much of their identity comes from their relationship with the land,” he says. “Horsemen as young as 15 talked of living in harmony with their surroundings and respecting the animals that share it.”

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Conversations (9)

  • Doñana
  • Doñana
    a Wonderful way of life.
  • Doñana
    More info about "Saca de las Yeguas" and Tourism in Doñana in
  • Franco De Rose
    Would love to partake in a drive like that- beautifully done
  • raydemesa
    Where are the horsewomen?
  • mozart
    For those boys that want to grow to be strong men,for those men who wish to find their courage,convictions,and moral being,and for those who want to find a moral compass for their country would do well to watch this film over over again until they understand really understand that honesty and pride in oneself is so much more important than wealth. To date the finest thing I've seen here.
    • Posted By mozart
    • August 03, 2013 at 3:10PM
    • Share Comment:
  • Delphine Bresson
    Magnifique et très touchant - a beautiful film, very touching. I think I may pay Andalusia a visit!
    • Posted By Delphine Bresson
    • August 03, 2013 at 5:35AM
    • Share Comment:
  • cbures
    • Posted By cbures
    • August 03, 2013 at 5:25AM
    • Share Comment:
  • Christine Losecaat
    Beautiful !

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    Return of the Sun

    Filmmakers Glen Milner and Ben Hilton Witness Greenland's First Dawn of the Year

    Set against the expansively beautiful and iridescent landscape of Northern Greenland, Glen Milner and Ben Hilton's subtle and touching short visits the annual sun-welcoming ritual of the country’s Inuit population, which celebrates the dawn after more than 40 days of complete winter darkness. Following the daily routine of an Inuit ice fisherman and his son, Return of the Sun examines the affects of the changing climate on their livelihood and community, and pays tribute to the locals’ innate adaptability. “While we were there our fisherman lost hundreds of pounds of fish due to ice breaking away and lines being lost, rare for this time of year,” explains Milner. “The fishermen were already thinking of new ways to hunt and the Inuit attitude in such a harsh environment proved inspiring.” Although the pair had previously worked together on diverse projects including Rwandan genocide prisoners and a short on experimental rock band Rolo Tomassi, filming in Greenland’s harsh environment offered unique new challenges. “Filming in such low temperatures with high winds is grueling. Keeping the camera out of the battering snow, keeping it warm and getting sound away from the winds was really tough, and it's so dark,” says Hilton. “But emotionally, you see nature at its most inspiring and its most intense.”  


    Ilulissat, Greenland. 

    Longitude and Latitude
    69° 13 min N; 51° 6 min W.

    Average daily temperature

    Average daily wind speed
    5.6–11 km/h (Force 2, Beaufort Scale).

    Affect of changing climate
    Ice depleting by up to 15 meters (49 feet) per year in Ilulissat, meaning 20 billion tons of iceberg break off and pass out of the Ilulissat fjord annually.

    Hours of darkness per day while filming 

    Days of total darkness per year 

    Average sunlight per year 
    On balance, 1,878 sunshine hours––approximately 5.1 sunlight hours per day.

    Traditional first annual sunrise
    January 13 (13 minutes before 13:00).

    Sunrise in 2011
    January 11.

    Number of inhabitants 

    1 x 4x4, 6 x planes, 1 x small fishing boat, dog sleds.

    Number of dogs per sled 

    Sony F3 with Zeiss ZF lenses.

    Length of shoot 
    Two days traveling to location, six days filming, two days traveling back.

    Clothes worn while filming 
    North Face everything.

    Average number of layers of clothing 

    Skin care 
    Arctic skincare packs and lots of ChapStick.

    Food during filming
    Equal mix of fine dining and Pot Noodle.

    Safety equipment 
    Not enough.

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  • On Replay
    On Replay

    Hallberg at Work

    The International Ballet Sensation Shows Off Some Bold New Moves

    Through the bustle of Manhattan’s busy streets, down a nondescript hallway and into American Ballet Theater’s bright NYC studios, one of the world’s preeminent male dancers, David Hallberg, invites us into his fervid world in this dynamic short by director Eric K. Yue. “It’s less about the dance or context of a story, but rather a state of mind,” says Yue of his glimpse into the dancer’s tender preparation. “David makes the most difficult and complex moves seem effortless and elegant.” Contemporary Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds’ track “Brim” taken from From Now I am Winter accompanies the progressive movement as Hallberg leaps through the space, twisting and contorting to original choreography created specifically for this film, by friend and fellow ABT dancer Marcelo Gomes. “There was no preconceived notion of how a role has been portrayed in the past, like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty,” says Hallberg of performing for the short, which was produced by Forever Pictures. “It is really intimate because the camera is so close, whereas at the Met you have to project to an audience hundreds of feet away.” Principal dancer at New York’s American Ballet Theater, the Dakotan bridged the transatlantic gap in a historic milestone as the first American to join Moscow’s prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in 2011, now spanning the distance as leading man at both. The cultural polymath dominated the pages of April’s American Vogue, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz in a dramatic editorial, and he also featured in the latest issue of CR Fashion Book, now seating him firmly in the eye-line of the fashion masses, and dance enthusiasts, alike. 

    David wears white shirt by SIKI IM, khaki pants and shoes by Marc Jacobs.

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