Milk

A young employee of a rural dairy farm is experiencing anxiety regarding her unexpected pregnancy. She finds it difficult to ignore her feelings as she is surrounded by pregnant cows on the farm whose milk she helps to collect after they give birth.

Creative team

Writer/director/editor: Heather Young

Filmmaker’s statement

The idea for Milk began to form while visiting my cousin who had recently moved to Truro, Nova Scotia to live with her boyfriend Alex, a large animal veterinarian. In addition to being a vet for cows, his family owns and operates a dairy farm.

I have always been fascinated by animals and was eager to visit the farm and meet the cows. While being shown around I learned something that I couldn’t believe hadn’t occurred to me before: in order for cows to produce milk they have to have recently given birth. I felt very foolish for not having thought about this before, somehow assuming that, like chickens produce eggs, cows are just always ready for milking. A dairy cow is in a constant cycle of being pregnant, giving birth and then being milked.

During one visit I saw a calf a few minutes after it was born. The mother cow knew exactly what to do and immediately began licking her calf. It was after seeing this I began to think about maternal instincts in animals vs. humans, and the doubts and anxieties that can exist for people surrounding reproduction.

About Heather Young

Heather Young

Heather Young is a filmmaker originally from New Brunswick now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

After graduating from the University of New Brunswick and NSCAD University she made several short films. Fish (2016) played at festivals all over the world, including Palm Springs Shortfest, Vancouver International Film Festival, Vienna Independent Shorts and TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Festival.

Her latest short Milk had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (where she also participated in the TIFF Talent Lab), won best short film (Canada) at Festival du Nouveau Cinema, and played TIFF Canada’s Top Ten, Aspen Shortsfest, Maryland Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and many others.

Heather is now in post-production on her first feature with support from Telefilm Canada’s Talent To Watch program.

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