Multidisciplinary creative studio Los York
has produced a short film in collaboration with the Compton Cowboys. Created in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM), the film was helmed by Los York roster directors Dane Del Deo and Mikayla Gamble and premiered on the BLM Instagram page on 2nd November in the build-up to Election Day.
Shot in Santa Barbara at Loon Point Beach, the Cowboys rode on the beach for the very first time. With poignant close-ups of the equestrian team, the slow-motion imagery creates a visceral portrait of the riders. Symbols of freedom and healing in their Black community, the Cowboys deliver their call to action - encouraging Black voters to take to the polls.
The Compton Cowboys are a group of childhood friends who, since the late 1990s, have used horseback riding and equestrian culture to combat negative stereotypes about African-Americans in the Los Angeles-area. With their motto 'Streets raised us, horses saved us', the team works to provide alternative life choices and positive mentorship to inner-city youth, giving them a path forward and away from gangs and crime.
The Cowboys made headlines earlier this year when, on horseback, they joined a peaceful demonstration against police brutality in their home city of Compton. Their activism continued on into the election cycle with their 'F*ck Talking. Go Vote!' campaign, which encouraged horseback riders around the country to mount their horses, take to the polls, and vote.
"This project was extremely special to me,” said co-director, Mikayla Gamble. “It’s been a really wild, scary, and aggressive year, so getting to make something that highlights the royalty, beauty, and uniqueness of people I admire and feel so connected to in more ways than one was everything to me. We didn’t want the trauma narrative to be the focus here, so we made it an artful tribute in appreciation for the community.”
“We wanted to highlight the strength and courage that the Compton Cowboys possess and their ongoing commitment to their community and to the country,” commented co-director, Dane Del Deo.
“Mikayla and Dane created a film that captures the Cowboy’s resilience and depth,” added Seth Epstein, founder / CCO / director at Los York. “The film also showcases the Cowboys’ diligent efforts to inspire Black pride and bring light to their community."