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Moo-vie shows battle to keep farm afloat

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THE Moo Man, one of the surprise hits at this year’s Sundance Festival, is to be shown in Milford Haven starting this weekend.
There will be three separate screenings at The Torch Theatre on Saturday 14, Monday 16, and Wednesday 18.
Scottish director Andy Heathcote’s indie documentary (98min, U) follows a year in the life of Steve Hook and his unruly herd as they battle to keep their family farm afloat.
The film accompanies 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 pints.
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 their number one fan.
The Moo Man is not only the first big screen movie which stars a dairy cow, it is also the first British film to be theatrically released with the help of crowd funding.
The current screening is made possible entirely by public subscription – 565 film fans raised more than £27,000 to put Ida’s name up in lights.
The star of the show 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.
“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.