Addicted to Sheep, a hit at Doc-Cévennes

We are back from our 2,100 miles drive to France to show Addicted to Sheep at DOC-Cévennes – Festival international du documentaire en Cévennes in the south of France. It all went reasonably smoothly apart from a big scare on a tiny road. We learnt not to trust a GPS in this part of the world and to revert to the good old map! We thought it was the end for us but thankfully we were spared and were able to enjoy the festival!

One screening was scheduled to take place during the festival, however, following a very successful premiere to which about 170 people came, the festival screened it a second time and we are pleased to say that it was also a full house! It was very well received and a lot of people were interested to hear about how tenant farming works in England as it’s something that is disappearing in France, although it was once a practice spread across the country. Thanks to 3 wonderful translators who worked incredibly hard, the audience were able to enjoy the film subtitled in the french language. Subtitles can be difficult to get right to make sure that what is said on screen is not only translated properly and puts the idea across well but also that it is not too long to read and the viewer has the time to enjoy the visuals as well as read the subtitles. We were relieved to see that even with the subtitles the film did retain the meaning and sense of humour too and people laughed in nearly all the same places as an english audience!

Overall we felt that showing the film in France has allowed us to see the potential appetite for the film overthere and are now looking into ways to distribute it further. We did have a little hiccup though! We brought our life-size sheep with us over the border and to our relief didn’t attract the attention of Customs in Portsmouth! They went down a storm at the festival and we even had two 5 years old shepherds for the festival who named the lambs Lalita and Chocolat. They also told us that in our absence the lambs told them that they had a ear ache and so they went to the doctor who gave them cream for it and they were now better! It made us smile! Having the sheep was a great way to interact with younger and older audiences. The little girls also came to see the film and told me ‘c’était génial!’ Unfortunately overnight our lambs were stolen and so with the help of the community and the festival team we spent most of the day looking for them and after a few hours pacing the streets of Lasalle we were thrilled to find one hanging in a tree and the other on a ladder on the back of a van. Let’s say our sheep are very well travelled and are in need of a visit to the vet after their outing to France! It was all good in the end and the locals won’t be forgetting Addicted to Sheep anytime soon!

Here are some pictures of our adventures while promoting the film!