They say if you can complete this race, you can do anything.

In “All the Wild Horses,” director Ivo Marloh follows five endurance horse riders from all over the world as they compete in the Mongol Derby horse race, the longest and toughest race on the planet covering more than 600 miles.

“If the only derby you know is in Kentucky, forget everything you think you know about horses,” Bill Weir of ABC News said in a segment on the event in 2013. “Tonight we’re taking you to the far reaches of Mongolia to one of the toughest races of any kind in the world.”

Marloh’s documentary took three years to film, and was a finalist in the Best Documentary Feature category at the 2018 Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. It’s part of the festival’s 2019 Winter Tour, which takes place the weekend of Feb. 8-10 at venues across Vermont. Expanding from six to seven towns this year, the tour includes the top documentaries from the 2018 fourth annual festival.

The second film, “Dateline-Saigon,” won Best Documentary Feature Award at MNFF this past August. Produced and directed by Tom Herman, it profiles Pulitzer Prize-winning, groundbreaking reporting during the Vietnam War that uncovered the truth behind what was initially dismissed as a “nice little war in a land of tigers and elephants.” He follows five young reporters boldly challenging the administration’s version of events.

Herman spent 12 years researching, filming and interviewing more than 50 writers, photojournalists, radio and television correspondents, government officials, and historians for the film, which stars Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham-Carter.

“What was especially compelling about these (journalists) is they were among the first to report (a) story vastly different than that being reported by the government,” Herman has said. “They were all young, unknown and relatively inexperienced when they arrived in Vietnam in 1961 and 1962. Their work … blazed the trail for reporters who followed them.”

“By presenting these two truly outstanding documentaries in a tour across Vermont, MNFF continues its core commitment of actively promoting the work of talented, emerging voices of first- and second-time directors,” said Lloyd Komesar, MNFF producer.

Komesar and Jay Craven created the festival four years ago and began bringing in movies to our area that we might not otherwise have the chance to see in a theater.

“We’re very pleased to be working with venues and presenters in every corner of the state,” Craven said. “(These) two compelling documentaries are timely and relevant.”

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