The tradition of cowboying is alive and well—in Brooklyn. In former New York Film Academy Documentary student Amy Wright’s film, Legacy, which premiered at DOC NYC in 2015, Wright takes a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who comprise The Federation of Black Cowboys. From trail riding in Virginia, to giving riding lessons to kids back in Brooklyn, The Federation ensures that the legacy of America’s forgotten black cowboys will live on for generations to come.
This Wednesday, July 20, Wright’s film was recognized and awarded Best Short by the March on Washington Film Festival, which was held at the White House. The March on Washington FF strives to increase awareness of the events and heroes of the Civil Rights Era and inspire renewed passion for activism. The festival uses the power of film, music, and the arts to share these important stories.
In her film, Brooklyn’s own Federation of Black Cowboys ride the trails, transport inner city kids off the streets and onto horses, and work to preserve and celebrate the legacy of the forgotten 1/3 of old west cowboys who were Black. Wright shines a light on the lesser-known aspects of Black history. Her journey with the Federation of Black Cowboys, from urban Brooklyn to rural Virginia, reveals the nuanced intersection of Black culture and American iconography.
“The making of Legacy has been a whirlwind experience, from pitching it in the one year NYFA doc program to its screening today at the White House,” added Wright.
“These cowboys have character in every sense of the word, from their quiet integrity to their colorful personalities,” says Andrea Swift, Chair of the Documentary Department, New York. “Seen through the lens of Amy Wright’s camera, scions of the American West like Captain Lee, Rabbit, Momma, Bug, Magic and Mountain Man fill the screen and the imagination with an unconventional vision of life on the range—if the range was Brooklyn.”
Wright’s film is yet another shining example of the high quality, award-winning films that haven been produced with the New York Film Academy’s Documentary Program.