When I first heard about the documentary film Dark Horse MS, I was instantly intrigued. I felt as though creators, Erisse Peterson and Ariel Terrell, ...
When I first heard about the documentary film Dark Horse MS, I was instantly intrigued. I felt as though creators, Erisse Peterson and Ariel Terrell, were kindred spirits because I too had recognized all of the amazing music and art that was being created by young people right here in Mississippi. The film follows several artists from various regions of Mississippi and allows them to tell their stories and their personal struggles as artists coming from a place where the industry rarely treads.
The film is inspirational, entertaining, touching, sad, happy and triumphant all in one. The interviews with each artist resonate with you long after you’ve finished watching. Helen Le’s story and the realness of Tito Lopez really struck a chord with me.
Ariel “Coco” Terrell and Erisse Peterson both hail from the West Coast originally but came to Mississippi because it was going to give them a chance to express themselves through their art at the Mississippi School of the Arts. Terrell is from Arizona and Peterson is from Los Angeles. I think it’s crazy that someone can come from a place like Cali to Mississippi and see the artistic beauty and raw creativity that so many natives overlook.
I got the chance to interview co-director Ariel Terrell and get her insight on why she and Erisse felt it was important to make the film and to also see what inspired them to take on such a task.
One major inspiration for them was the untimely death of their friend Pooh Hefner, who was also an artist in Mississippi and close friend of Lil Chris Manne. ” He was an artist in Mississippi that passed before he had the chance to be heard and that made us want give other artists from here an opportunity to be heard before their voice is gone” says Ariel.
Another event that really jump started the duo to get to work on making the film was both of them being involved in a car accident ,along with two other friends, in 2012. Erisse and Ariel suffered the brunt of the injuries. “We really got away from what our purpose in life was and that car accident brought us back to the realization that we’re artists. We were wasting our chance of expressing ourselves using our art forms to help be a message and a voice for others.”
The film is excellent and very well shot. The artists seem very much at ease on camera and expressing themselves. The stories of struggle are inspiring for anyone that has ever had a dream and was willing to put in the work to make it real. Dark Horse MS is a great grassroots film, made by and featuring some great artists.
Dark Horse MS has even gained the attention of superproducer/artist Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes and his IamOTHER campaign for budding artistry that is not being recognized by many mainstream outlets.
If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check it out now!
Here’s the trailer for the film:
Here’s the link to purchase the digital copy of the film:
And finally here’s the official website and Twitter so that you can stay updated on the moves being made by the filmmakers:
Ariel Terrell: @co_director