The short documentary film “73 Cows” has won a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for best short film.
Last year the film won the “Best Overall Film Award” and the “Best Lifestyle Film” award out of the 29 movies screened at the first-ever Ottawa International Vegan Film Festival (OIVFF).
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Alex Lockwood, “73 Cows” provides snippets from the journey of Jay Wilde, the “first farmer in the UK to trade beef farming for sustainable organic vegan farming,” as he and his wife Katja undergo the unheard-of transition.
The reason for the change? Wilde became “friends” with the cows, realizing that each has a unique personality. Wilde said he could no longer cope with the ethical dilemma of continuing the family beef farming business. Instead of living with the guilt, Wilde makes the decision to give custody of his cows to a sanctuary and he and his family transition to organic farming instead.
The 15-minute documentary premiered at the Raindance Film Festival, received a nomination for “Best Local Film” at the Birmingham Film Festival, and trended on video platform Vimeo upon upload.
But the BAFTA nomination – and win – was unexpected, Lockwood says. “I didn’t quite believe it at first. Never in a million years did we think it would get through, and so we’re all delighted and can’t wait for the night itself.”
After its OIVFF win, the jury had high praise for the film, stating: “’73 Cows’ is a beautiful and moving film that traces Jay’s journey through the changes he never expected. It is an exquisite meditation about the bond between man and beast, and a profound portrait of a man awakening to the call of conscience, compassion, and courage.”
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