I know some of us like to complain about boring desk jobs. Maybe you complain cause someone turned the heat up to high in the office, or you complain that it's not warm enough: the thermostat wars as we like to call 'em.

I remember getting a call from a rancher last winter when it was 30-some degrees below zero. I asked him what he's been up to. "Just checking on cows." Alright, I'll stop complaining.

Well, if you want to take "a journey through winter calving" it looks like a cool new documentary will soon be unveiled at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival coming up on February 23rd at The Wilma in Missoula.

And it's not just any documentary. According to The University of Montana "this documentary took first place in the Hearst Journalism Awards – one of the most prestigious honors for college-level journalism – for his look into Montana ranching:

Jiakai Lou will receive a $3,000 scholarship as the first-place winner in the Multimedia 1/Narrative Video Storytelling Competition for his piece “32 Below,” which he created for UM’s Montana Kaimin student newspaper.  

“32 Below” takes an intimate look into the hard work, dedication and passion of one ranching family as they tend their cows and calves during last year’s frigid winter in Helmville, Montana.

The UM news release added this:

Lou, who goes by JK, is an international student from China. He said he came to Montana for the outdoor activities and American western lifestyle.

Lou eventually connected with members of a ranching family who wanted to share their story – the Bignells – and he filmed the hardships and joys of calving from February to the end of April. The experience was eye-opening to him, and his truck got stuck in snow a few times on his way out to the Helmville ranch.

While the full film can't be seen until the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, check out this trailer posted by the Montana Kaimin:            


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