Critically acclaimed documentary Addicted to Sheep to be released in UK

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North East based Provenance Films has announced that its critically acclaimed feature documentary Addicted to Sheep, which had its World Premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 and was nominated for the Environmental Award, will be released in UK cinemas and celebrate its London Premiere on Friday 28th August at Picturehouse Central.

Addicted to Sheep is the feature debut of director Magali Pettier which became an instant hit with sold out screenings at Sheffield Doc/Fest this summer.

It is an intimate portrait of long, hard work in all weathers, everyday life and total commitment for a hill-farming family.

In the North Pennines, devoted tenant farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson spend their days looking after their flock of prized Swaledale sheep, and hoping that this will be the year they breed the perfect one.

Tom said: “You do it for the way of life and because you love it. The local community is very close-knit, it’s a strong force and we all help each other out.”

Director/producer Magali Pettier, herself a farmer’s daughter, follows a year in their lives, capturing both the stark, stunning beauty of the landscape, and the brutally hard graft it takes just to survive.

“Addicted to Sheep has been a labour of love for our team and I’m delighted with the recognition of our work.”

Director/producer Magali Pettier

Their three children are growing up close to the land, attending a school entirely comprised of farmers’ children, thoroughly immersed in their remote rural world. As the seasons change the couple help birth, groom, nurture and sell their sheep – even when the odds often seems stacked against them.

A treat for the senses, Addicted to Sheep which is about the interplay of people, animals, landscape and the elements allows us to experience life on a hill farm – without having to get mucked in ourselves.

Magali Pettier of Provenance Films single-handedly shot and directed the indie film, working alongside producer Jan Cawood of Tin Man Films and editor Matt Dennis to develop more than 60 hours of footage into a feature-length film.

The film was also completed with the input of a top team including sound expert Chris Watson and composer James Burrell. 

The production has spanned more than four years and the post-production was completed with the help of international crowd funding.

Addicted to Sheep has struck a chord with farming, countryside and documentary fans around the world.

Life-size sheep models made from the wool of The Hutchinsons’s flock, by the talented felted sheep maker Julia Knott from F’git-me-Knott Designs in Cumbria, will also be making their way to the city and go on the UK cinema tour too.

Patrick Collerton, the Emmy award-winning director of The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, who was an early advocate of the project and has recently had a sneak preview said: “Magali has a painterly eye and instinct for the poetic in her depiction of a North Eastern farming family through the seasons. This is a beautiful, timeless, unhurried, affectionate film.”

Director/producer Magali Pettier said: “Addicted to Sheep has been a labour of love for our team and I’m delighted with the recognition of our work. It’s a great privilege to be able to present Addicted to Sheep with prestigious partners who really care about indie films including Picturehouse Cinemas, Tyneside Cinema, Bertha DocHouse amongst others.

“Thanks to the Hutchinson family it feels like a real achievement to now be able to share the film with a wide audience to show a world difficult to witness up close, what it’s like to be a tenant farmer, especially given the current headlines about the issues farmers are facing.”

Producer Jan Cawood of Tin Man Films said: “We’ve been blown away by the level of interest and positive feedback for Addicted to Sheep. Our film has packed out the cinemas at Sheffield Doc/Fest and we hope it has the same response in cinemas around the country. Audiences have described it as ‘beautiful, profound and funny’ and it touches people in different ways. Gaining critical and audience success means we’re confident there’s a big future for our film”.

For more information please visit: Twitter @addictedtosheep.