Addicted to Sheep: A hit at Sheffield Doc/Fest!
It’s already been a month since Addicted to Sheep was screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest!
What a wonderful experience the team, and the Hutchinson family who took a rare weekend off to join us, had. We are still buzzing. We couldn’t have wished for a better response to the film.
Our 24-hour tour of Sheffield City Centre with the life-size model sheep created quite a buzz! It took 9 of us to herd 3 sheep in the city, with a wood pen that is! Our sheep tour also brought some dramas for the team as one of our lambs was stolen! But thankfully it was returned 36 hours later!
Two screenings had been scheduled to play at the festival and both were sold out with over 170 people at the first screening and over 260 at the second screening. Due to its popularity, Addicted to Sheep was selected as one of the 2 hits of the festival and was screened an extra time on the last day of the festival. That was quite a surprise for us but were so pleased to know that the film had generated a lot of buzz in Sheffield. Our sheep made by Julia Knott from F’git-me-Knott Designs no doubt played their part in this!
As other filmmakers will know, one never really knows how different audiences are going to react to a film so we couldn’t help but be a bit nervous! But as soon as people started to laugh, we relaxed a bit!
We’d like to say thank you to Agnes Wilkie from BALTIC who joined us during our Q&A at our first screening and to Christopher Hird from Dartmouth Films, a leading figure in UK independent documentary making and a former chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Foundation who was the Moderator for our Q&A at the second screening. It made the 2 screenings even more special.
Sheffield Doc/Fest being an international film festival meant that the people in the audience came from all walks of life. We even had 2 people who flew from Canada specially for the premiere! It was a relief to hear that they enjoyed the film! We also had the chance to meet the owner (and his family) of the ram that produced the yow which features on our poster! What a small world!
During our 6 very intense days at the festival, we have had great conversations with wonderful and passionate people about the future of Addicted to Sheep so watch this space as we are planning on taking the film far and wide!
As Addicted to Sheep was nominated in the Environment Award category, we attended the award ceremony presented by Jeremy Hardy on the last day of the festival. It was a great honour to be amongst such talented filmmakers and ‘How to change the world’ was the proud winner of the Environment Award this year.
Finally, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of those involved in making this happen, whether they made the sheep, the wood pen, helped us with spreading the word or helped us carry the sheep around town and to each screening. Some people walking in the street even got roped in! And a big thank you to Sheffield Doc/Fest for supporting us throughout! It was a real privilege to be able to collaborate with people who believed in the spirit of our DIY approach and to see talented artists coming together to share a passion for sheep! (More pictures in our gallery below!)
We have had some great comments about the film so far. Here are a few quotes following the festival.
The Chair of Sheffield Doc/Fest Alex Graham tweeted after viewing
“Addicted to Sheep is the kind of film – simple, humane, authentic, passionate, profound – which just makes me glad Sheffield Doc/Fest exists”.
The Guardian Journalist Tom Levitt also tweeted about Addicted to Sheep “reminding us that farming should never be just about genetics & margins”.
“It has more in common with the works of Nicholas Phillibert and Frederick Wiseman than first appears…. there is a joy and an appreciation to this film that many others with far more production heft can only dream of.” Read the full review here
“One of the big hits of the festival was ‘Addicted to Sheep’… Their attempts to breed the perfect sheep, make for a beautiful, often laugh-out-loud funny film, and I urge you to see it when it gets a theatrical release.” Read more here