‘The Mustang,’ filmed in Carson City, to show at Galaxy Fandango | FirstNationsFocus.com

‘The Mustang,’ filmed in Carson City, to show at Galaxy Fandango

First Nation's Focus
Thomas Smittle (Paiute, Cheyenne) makes his acting debut in "The Mustang."
Courtesy IMDB

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A movie filmed in Carson City that depicts the Bureau of Land Management’s rehabilitation program for inmates who train wild horses to be sold at auction for adoption will be shown next week at the Galaxy Fandango 10 Theater.

Robert Redford is the executive producer of the Sundance movie, “The Mustang,” which premieres at Fandango at 7 p.m. April 11 and will be shown at numerous times at the theater through April 17.

The movie was filmed at the historic Nevada State Prison in Carson City, which closed in 2012; you can go here to see scenes of the state prison in the movie’s trailer.

Based on a true story, the movie follows Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who’s given the chance to participate in the rehabilitation program involving the training of wild mustangs.

Matthias Schoenaerts portrays Coleman, who’s spotted by a no-nonsense veteran trainer portrayed by Bruce Dern and helped by an outgoing fellow inmate and trick rider (Jason Mitchell).

The movie also marks the acting debut of real-life horseman Thomas Smittle, a Native American who plays Tom, one of the prisoners in the wild horse rehab program.

According to Smittle’s IMDB biography, he was born in Mehama, Ore., and is the son of Jean L. Wood (Blackfoot/Paiute), a housekeeper; and Howard Smittle (Cheyenne/Euro), a horseman and fabricator.

Thomas once participated in the wild horse program depicted in The Mustang (2019). Over the years, he has become a well-known advocate of wild horses and works closely with Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservancy, Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation and other wild horse sanctuaries and rescues.

The movie is directed by French director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Schoenaerts is known for the Academy Award winning film “The Danish Girl” and Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow.”

The film was shot at the Nevada State Prison over a six-week period in 2017. Others featured in the film include Connie Britton (“Spin City,” “Friday Night Lights” television series, “9-1-1”), who portrays a psychologist, and local actor Jack Waggon of Carson City.

Other Northern Nevada residents also participated with the film crew and as extras. There were more than 1,200 volunteer hours associated with the film.

The movie parallels the mustang rehabilitation program in Carson City, the Northern Nevada Correctional Center/Stewart Conservation Camp Saddle Horse and Burro Training Program.

Go here to learn about scheduled showings of “The Mustang” at Fandango.


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