South West Farmer:

New film 'She Shears' is soon to be released in UK cinemas

Sheep shearing has traditionally been a male dominated industry.

In New Zealand in the 1980s there were over 15,000 full time sheep shearers and only five of them were women. New film 'She Shears', soon to be released in UK cinemas, follows this industry in New Zealand today.

Although things are rapidly changing, in the gruelling world of competitive shearing in the country there is still no women's section, and women and men compete against each other.

'She Shears' follows four female shearers: Hazel, 22, Catherine, 26, Pagan, 26 and Emily, mid-30s, in the build-up to 'The Golden Shears', the world’s most prestigious shearing competition.

For these women, competing requires enormous tenacity and much back-breaking work. They are driven by passion and a competitive spirit, and strive to take their beloved occupation to the next level.   

South West Farmer:

As the competition draws nearer, the women contend with exhaustion, injury and self-doubt, and family obligations are an ever present demand. Win or lose, heartbreak or joy, what persists is their passion for what they love to do the most - shearing. 

Director of the film Jack Nicol said: "I have a huge amount of admiration for the women in particular who do this work; there’s no way I could do what they do.

"Shearing sheep is bloody hard work. The tenacity and passion that fuels professional shearers is astounding. If you’re a female in the shearing world, it’s doubly hard: you’re an underdog. 

“Shearing is a dark art - it looks like brute strength is required to shear these 70kg animals, but in actuality, knowledge, skill and animal control are far more important. I loved how by using their brains and their guile, women are able to be just as good as men. 

"I hope our audience experiences 'She Shears' as an emotional rollercoaster of a film - they’ll laugh, cry, cheer, and ultimately be empowered and inspired to chase their own dreams".  

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