Film that’s udderly captivating at Lewes Cinema

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The East Sussex farmer who led a cast of dairy cows to surprise stardom comes to Lewes Cinema this weekend for a special showing of hit indie documentary The Moo Man.

Described as the “number one movie of the Sundance 2013 Film Festival”, The Moo Man (97 mins, U) follows a year in the life of Steve Hook and his unruly 55-strong herd as they battle to keep their family farm afloat.

Steve will be at the Lewes Little Theatre venue in Lancaster Street on Sunday (September 22) with the film’s co-producers Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier, from Trufflepig Films in Selmeston, to lead a question and answer session with the audience following a screening of the film at 4pm.

Undisputed 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 audience 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 pintas.

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 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,” said Steve.

A heart-warming and often hilarious tale set on the stunning Pevensey Levels, The Moo Man takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride of emotions that brings people face to face with the reality of farming in an era driven by supermarket economics. In a charming, understated way the film challenges our relationship with food, the environment and the person we rely upon for both – the farmer.

For more information ring the Lewes Cinema Box Office on 01903 523833. Tickets are available on the door and in advance online at www.lewescinema.co.uk

The Guardian said of The Moo Man: “As an advert for steering clear of supermarket milk, this is hard to beat ... A low-key pleasure.”

The Times said:“The charming documentary The Moo Man captures an England lost long ago, a green and pleasant time when farmers actually knew their animals’ names.”

You can watch The Moo Man trailer at http://themooman.co.uk/