Our friend Michael Dante was honored last weekend at the third annual Wild Bunch Film Festival in Wilcox, AZ, which included a special screening of his iconic 1975 film, Winterhawk. “The audience enjoyed the film and the question and answer session with host Charlie LeSueur after the showing,” the actor and author told us. “We could have been there for hours talking about my characterization of Winterhawk and the many nuances I used to create the character, all about the magnificent horse I rode in the film and film making in general. A very enjoyable evening all about film! Many thanks to Rock and Brenda Whitehead for putting together this awesome event.”
A competitive event for emerging filmmakers as well as screenwriters, and we hope to inspire and encourage them to pursue courageous and bold artistic visions in the Western genre, the Wild Bunch Film Festival embraces the heart and spirit of independent Western films. The goal of the festival is to attract high profile and novice filmmakers so attendees of the festival will enjoy an array of artistic experiences of western films and individuals driven by the true and raw spirit of independent movie making. Winners of all film submissions in this year’s festival were at an awards ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 21.
Known for his appearances in hundreds of films and television shows over his five-decade career, Michael Dante closely identified with the character and principles of the legendary Blackfoot chief when he originally played Winterhawk in the 1975 film. By choosing to make Winterhawk a spiritual man, the actor added many nuances to his performance, which received praise by the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. Dante later wrote Winterhawk’s Land, an original novella that serves as a sequel to the film. Winterhawk’s Land was published in 2017.
Our thanks to Michael Dante for filing this report, and allowing us to share these photos of the weekend with you.