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Filmmaker Offers Message of Healing at Joel Barlow

EASTON, Conn. – Joel Barlow High School will get a taste of Hollywood as filmmaker Cindy Meehl screens her award-winning documentary, “Buck,” followed by a Q&A with the audience at the high school auditorium.

The documentary is about Buck Brannaman, who overcame an abusive childhood to become one of the most celebrated horse trainers in the world. Meehl films Brannaman as he conducts workshops with a unique, compassionate approach to building a partnership between horses and their owners based on trust rather than anger, fear and intimidation.

Horses have always been an important part of Brannaman’s life. As children, he and his brother were physically abused by their father. Brannaman found solace in his horses.

“There is a huge message you can see by looking at this man’s life. By watching the film and looking as his life you see that you can’t live in the past,” said Meehl, who is a Redding resident.

Meehl, an avid horseback rider, met Buck nine years ago at a riding clinic in Pennsylvania and immediately knew he was someone special. “I think he is the best horseman in the world. The talent he has leading these horses is just amazing,” she said.

“The message of this film is that you need to live your life and you need to live in the now. I think with all of us, in our own way, we can get stuck in something that happened in the past. In 'Buck,' I think we will all learn that we can move forward and become something better,” Meehl said.

“Buck” is her first film. Since its release, it has received awards from the Sundance Film Festival, the U.S. Documentary Audience Award, the Full Frame Doc Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival, among others worldwide.

“Buck” will be shown Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at Joel Barlow High School, 100 Black Rock Turnpike, Redding. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the door or online at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=etk86ncab&oeidk=a07e55ir24d5745bbcd .

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