A film festival benefiting Pennsylvania Warhorse this weekend has been postponed to next spring in deference to the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood.

“Pennsylvania Warhorse has decided to honor the SAG/AFTRA Strike,” Donna Simpson, executive director for Pennsylvania Warhorse Inc., told LebTown in an email, “and we have rescheduled the festival for March 2024 at the Allen Theater in Annville.”

Pennsylvania Warhorse is a locally based, not-for-profit corporation that was established to help military and first responders suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury).

Participants interact with the agency’s horses – under the watchful eye of trained equine professionals – because “horsemanship has a proven effect in helping people deal with stress and build better relationships and find a renewed value in their life,” according to the Pennsylvania Warhorse website.

“Statistics show that horses have a calming effect on the nerves, lower blood pressure, cause a chemical change in our brains and relieve stress,” the website explains. “Even if they aren’t horsemen or horsewomen they can benefit from what horses have to teach us.”

The strike, with the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists on one side, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on the other — has been dragging on since earlier this summer. The Writers Guild of America went on strike in May, while SAG-/AFTRA followed suit in July.

The film festival was scheduled as a fundraising event for Pennsylvania Warhorse at the Allen Theater in Annville beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. Besides several short movie entries, the festival was also going to include a documentary made about the organization and a Q&A session with the cast and crew of “Lone Rider.”

All of the short films were produced by Outhouse Productions in Reading.

The featured short, “Lone Rider,” features Nebikon, an agency-owned horse, along with a horse owned by a group volunteer. Nebikon is an off-the-track thoroughbred, having raced 101 times, and works with the Horses Healing Heroes program in Grantville.

A specific date for the event in March was not included in Simpson’s email.

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Tom has been a professional journalist for nearly four decades. In his spare time, he plays fiddle with the Irish band Fire in the Glen, and he reviews music, books and movies for Rambles.NET. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and has four children: Vinnie, Molly, Annabelle and Wolf.


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