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Stourbridge film-maker claims Bafta for 73 Cows

By Thomas Parkes | Stourbridge | Entertainment | Published:

A film-maker who lives in Stourbridge has received a Bafta for his documentary about a beef farmer who gave up his cows.

Film-maker Alex Lockwood

Alex Lockwood and his team won a Bafta in the British Short Film category at the 72nd ceremony on Sunday for the 73 Cows film, which tells the story of Jay Wilde – the first farmer in the UK to trade beef farming for sustainable organic vegan farming.

The Derbyshire farmer gave up his entire herd of cattle in the process, with some staying as pets and others being sent off to a sanctuary – inspiring the title of the short film.

More from the Baftas:

Alex said: "That was the number of cows he saved from slaughter.

"I think it was the best I could come up with.

"I originally came up with some bad names – like Farmer Jay – which sounds naff now."

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Alex, who studied digital film production at Gloucester University, said: "It feels amazing, to be fair.

"We're very shocked by it just because we never expected to even get nominated.

"I nearly didn't submit it the film to Bafta because I didn't think it would get into it.

WATCH the trailer here:

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"My cinematographer, Ollie, said we had nothing to lose and we entered it.

"It was all a bit 'woah'.

"I'm vegan so there's that about it, but the main reason to make it was because it's such a cool story. I thought Jay did something that whether you're a meat eater or whatever, anyone could appreciate – an act of courage."

The team of four included Ollie Walton as cinematographer, Nishat Rahman as production assistant, John Roddy as sound designer, and Alex as the director.

The 30-year-old added: "You're sort of aware of who is around you – your heroes are sat metres away. When it comes to your bit, they come round and just before reading they put a camera in your face.

"You're practising your reaction for when you don't win – then they read out 73 Cows and it's a bit of a blur after that.

"I thought I stood up and shook Ollie's hand and I watched it back and it's like I legged it up to the stage."

Budget

"There was no budget really," Alex said.

He added: "The only cost was probably petrol and just travelling around and taking time off work – probably not more than a couple of hundred pounds."

Future

Alex, originally from Bromsgrove, said: "I want to make more documentaries and narratives but because we're independent filmmakers, most of our stuff is corporate stuff because that pays the bills.

"We hope this will give us a platform – look at what we can do without a budget. We're hoping people will more readily get behind us.

"There's a few projects, but one of them I really want to make is a documentary exploring domestic abuse."

Richard Billingham's Ray and Liz, based on his life growing up in Cradley Heath, missed out on the Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer award to Beast by Michael Pearce and Lauren Dark.

Stan and Ollie, which was partly filmed in the Black Country Living Museum, missed out on the Outstanding British film and Best hair and make-up award to The Favourite.

Steve Coogan, who starred as Stan Laurel in the biopic, lost out on Best Actor to Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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