New Zealand’s shearing women wow on screen
Female shearers across the ditch are celebrating the anticipated release of a film shining a spotlight on their industry and gender.
The trailer for a new film featuring five female shearers from New Zealand was released online last week, ahead of its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival on October 11.
Creators of She Shears this week hinted at the film being shown in Australia, with producer Georgina Conder saying its creators were “planning a limited release” internationally next year.
The film profiles five female shearers, two legendary and three in the making, as they head for black-shirt glory at the world’s premier shearing and wool-handling championships, the Golden Shears in Masterton, held each March.
The five women featured are real-life world record holders Jills Angus Burney, of Wairarapa, Emily Welch, of North Waikato, Hazel Wood, of Northland, Catherine Mullooly, of King Country, and Pagan Karauria, of Otago.
The film was created by Miss Conception films, a company created by three New Zealand mothers and designed to showcase female-led stories, and is directed by Jack Nicol and produced by Conder and Ainsley Gardiner.
It cost just $300,000 to make, thanks in part to crowdfunding and sponsorship from Rural Women New Zealand, Trust House and Farmlands.
“She Shears shows a slice of New Zealand that hasn’t been seen on screen before,” Mr Nicol said.
“It’s a heartwarming, feel-good story about five incredible women at the top of the game. We hope people love it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Conder said the piece showed off the best of New Zealand’s female shearing industry.
“I can’t wait for audiences to see the strong, inspirational women featured in our film,” she said.
“Sheep shearing has tradition-ally been a men’s sport, but these women prove anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
As the wool price soars to levels not seen in decades, farmers in Australia have been celebrating good prices as solid demand draws more teenagers into WA’s agricultural colleges.
Instructors say the gender split among shearing students these days is a remarkable 50-50.
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