Spanish director Jonathan Cenzual Burley’s critically acclaimed festival hit The Shepherd is to be released in UK cinemas from the 2nd June. Written, directed and produced by the Salamanca-born filmmaker – whose previous work includes The Soul of Flies and The Year and the Vineyard – the film has so far won accolades for its director and lead actor at Raindance 2016 and Latinita Festival de Cine Espanol y Latinoamericano in February 2017, where it took home the Grand Jury prize. The film has been officially selected for many upcoming festivals worldwide.
The film tells the story of Anselmo, a middle-aged shepherd who lives a poor but happy life in a small, rundown house in the middle of the Spanish plains near a small, but growing village. His dog Pillo and his sheep are his only company, and his life life is bucolic enough for him to ignore the offers from a construction company that wants to buy his house and land to build a new residential complex. However, conflicting against Anselmo’s unwillingness to sell is the owners of the neighbouring lands, who are driven by greed and only answer to their own interests.
Born in Spain in 1980 before moving to the UK in 1996, Cenzual Burley initially worked on music videos and video installations for live concerts before shooting his first feature film The Soul of Flies in 2009, which was selected to play at many notable film festivals, including London BFI. Currently, the director is working on a first photography book and his first English-speaking feature.
The Shepherd will be released in UK cinemas on the 2nd June 2017.