Hollywood, April 24th, 2023 – The film is called Rowdy Girl but “rowdy” doesn’t even begin to describe this intense exploration of one woman’s evolution from being a Texas cattle rancher’s wife to becoming a leading voice for animal rights and the vegan lifestyle.
What’s so fabulous about this film is its plainspoken honesty. No hair and make-up crew for this film’s star. Renee King-Sonnen rolls out of bed and dives into her monumental mission with the cameras rolling.
King-Sonnen burst onto the national scene after she had a spiritual experience while hanging out with her husband’s herd. A former country singer, King-Sonnen would play guitar and sing to the cows. Then, in what some might call a psychic shift, she realized she could communicate with the cows and they with her. “They are just like us,” she is fond of saying. Her epiphany leads to a rip-roaring adventure, Texas-style. No spoiler alerts here. You will have to see the film to get the full, incredibly dramatic and compelling story.
Renee’s husband Tommy is a key character as well. His family’s ranching heritage was no match for the passionate determination of his wife who turned him vegan, turned his cattle operation into a vegan farmed animal sanctuary and is now also transitioning other ranchers and chicken farmers into plant-based food production through her Rancher Advocacy Program.
Could Rowdy Girl End Up at the Oscars?
Rowdy Girl’s Hot Docs premiere is a milestone for animal rights. Despite its biographical nature, the message of this film is clear: go vegan. The fact that Rowdy Girl is being showcased at such a prestigious event is a huge leap for the animal rights movement, which often struggles to get mainstream recognition due to corporate and cultural resistance. So, this film’s potential to change hearts and minds is enormous. Who knows? Could Rowdy Girl end up at the Oscars? We shall see.
Moby is the executive producer. Jason Goldman is the director. Goldman says he was drawn to the story because, “Renee’s method of activism was disarming, displayed vulnerability, and was authentically holistic. I could see how she embodies the core philosophy of animal liberation: that animals are sentient beings who have their own interests, desires, and complex emotional lives.” Shout-outs are also in order for the brilliant editing by Pilar Rico, the raw and enjoyably unpredictable cinematography by Bridget McQuillan, Dmitri Borysevicz and Caleb Kuntz. The unique sound mix by Calvin Pia is also a stroke of genius. A sizable team, including Lindsey Hicks, head of development at Little Walnut, made this a reality.
Be a Part of HERstory…
There will be two screenings at Hot Docs, one on Saturday, April 29 at 8:15 pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre, and one on Wednesday, May 3 at 9:00 pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 1. Each will be followed by Q&As with Renee King-Sonnen and Tommy Sonnen, along with director Jason Goldman.
Renee King-Sonnen hopes this film supersizes her message of compassion noting, “Documentaries remain a strong avenue for change. According to a Faunalytics study, 37% of animal advocates got their start in the movement after being exposed to some form of media, like a film.” So, go… and bring a friend!
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Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning TV journalist and New York Times best-selling author. She is the founder of UnchainedTV and the host of several shows on the network.