Monday, 19 August 2013

Moo-Man comes to Tyneside Cinema

An extra-ordinary tale of British independent moo-vie making
(or how one farmer and his cows went to Sundance!)

A special screening of the most talked about British documentary of the year with Scottish filmmaker Andy Heathcote at


The filmmaker who led a cast of dairy cows to surprise stardom comes to Newcastle this week with a special showing of hit indie documentary The Moo Man (97 mins, U).

Described as the “number one movie of the Sundance 2013 Film Festival” The Moo Man follows a year in the life of farmer Steve Hook and his unruly 55-strong herd as they battle to keep their family farm afloat.

Director and cameraman Andy Heathcote took four years to make the movie, most of them spent flat on his stomach in a damp field, trying to keep the shot steady while half a tonne of dairy cow nibbled at his sleeve. 

Andy will be at Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle on Thursday August 22 to lead a question and answer session with the audience on the most challenging film of his career. There will also be an earlier showing on Wednesday August 21.

Undisputed star is leading lady Ida, a shapely Friesian Holstein with a natural talent for showmanship and Steve’s secret weapon as he pulls out all the marketing stops when he breaks from the big dairies to go it alone.

We accompany Steve through night-time calvings and punishingly early dawn milkings, as all the while he builds a doorstep delivery service for the herd’s organic pintas. It’s a job he undertakes with passion and great dollops of humour but one he knows is impossible without the co-operation of his cows. A farmer all his life, he’s still they’re number one fan.

“The film started out being about one farmer bucking the trend by not going down the big numbers route. In the end, though, what came across most strongly were the cows’ characters. They’re just beautiful animals,” says Steve.

A heart-warming and often hilarious tale set on the stunning Pevensey Levels in East Sussex, The Moo Man takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride of emotions that brings you face to face with the reality of farming in an era driven by supermarket economics.

In a charming, understated way Andy’s film challenges our relationship with food, the environment and the person we rely upon for both – the farmer.

This is what people have been saying about it:

“As an advert for steering clear of supermarket milk, this is hard to beat...
A low-key pleasure.”

The Guardian

“The charming documentary The Moo Man captures an England lost long ago, a green and pleasant time when farmers actually knew their animals’ names.”
The Times

 The Moo Man is a very old-fashioned documentary, a gentle, bucolic account of a man at peace with himself and his environment.”
Daily Mail

You can watch The Moo Man trailer at 

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