About this time last year WOVEMBER became aware of a wonderful new buzz around the Internet; we heard tell of a film-maker seeking support to produce an amazing documentary detailing the lives of a tenant farming family living in Upper Teesdale. Entitled “Addicted to Sheep” and with the support of 167 people & The Heart of Teesdale & HLF, the film has now been produced by independent film-maker Magali of Provenance Films, and work is now underway to get it out there and into the world. The trailer promises a film that is a rich celebration of the cultural heritage of tenant farming in the North of England.
It’s really interesting to see the role that social media has played both in spreading the story of this film and enabling it to find both financial support and an audience. It’s also heartening to see it happening in the same cultural landscape as the project we profiled last week: One Hut Full. Perhaps these grassroots projects evidence a growing cultural need for stories that reconnect us with the landscapes which are the provenance of our food and our clothes. We think Addicted to Sheep presents the story of wool’s origins in the landscape in a very moving and intimate way: move over John Lewis Ad with your fake polyester penguins: Here is a story that really merits tears. All content borrowed here from the official website for Addicted to Sheep by Magali Pettier.
Addicted to Sheep is an intimate portrait of a year in the life of a tenant farming family who live 1300 feet above sea level in Upper Teesdale.
Nothing about their lives seems easy, but with passion and dedication Tom, Kay and their 3 young children (Jack, Esme and Hetty) aspire to succeed in this beautiful, but also harsh landscape.
Although sometimes life may seem like the survival of the fittest, with the parent’s positive approach to life and the children’s maturity, we learn to reconnect with the people behind the landscape and value the importance of small communities and family life.
Thanks to Magali Pettier for telling this important story; if you would like to help support the mission to get wider exposure for the film, you can consider donating to the project here. We would like to do a follow up story next WOVEMBER about how the film has been a Hollywood Box Office Smash hit!