Sheep farming ‘addiction’ portrayed in new film

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A FILM portrait of sheep farming in the northern Pennines is set to be premiered in Sheffield next month.

Five years in the making from concept to screen, the 85-minute film ‘Addicted to Sheep’ shows how a devoted tenant farming family and their local community keep sheep rearing at the heart of their livelihoods despite the hard graft and tight financial returns involved.

The film is set to make its screen debut at Sheffield Showroom on June 6 as part of an event billed as the ‘Cannes for factual filmmakers’ - Sheffield Doc/Fest.

French filmmaker Magali Pettier, of Provenance Films, and co-producer Jan Cawood, of Tin Man Films, are behind the production.

Miss Pettier shot the footage in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Raby Estate in Upper Teesdale - the borderlands of Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland and County Durham.

Among the film’s stars are farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson and their three young children who run a herd of pedigree Swaledale sheep.

Miss Pettier, who grew up on a small pasture and dairy farm in Brittany, said: “Farming often runs in the blood, but, as we don’t have tenant farming in France, I wondered why would anyone opt in to this way of life for such little financial return? My initial quest revealed that for some, despite the difficulties, upland farming is not only attractive but compulsive - hence the film’s title.”