The Shepherd

The Shepherd

LENGTH: 105 min
YEAR: 2016
GENRE: Neo-Noir Drama
LANGUAGE: Spanish w/English subtitles
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Cenzual Burley
CAST: Miguel Martin, Alfonso Mendiguchia, Juan Luis Sara, Maribel Iglesias, Jaime Santos, Maite Iglesias, Pablo Malaga
CREW: SCREENWRITER: Jonathan Cenzual Burley; CINEMATAGRAPHER: Jonathan Cenzual Burley; EDITOR: Jonathan Cenzual Burley; MUSIC: Tim Walters; ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Norberto Gutierrez; EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Murray Dibbs; ASSOC PRODUCER: Pilar Bartolome


Watch Now on Amazon
Watch Now on Vimeo
Buy Now on DVD


Anselmo, a middle-aged shepherd, lives a poor but content life in a small, shabby house in the middle of the Spanish plains near a growing village. His dog Pillo and sheep are his only company, in addition to a few friends in town. Anselmo’s bucolic life is deterred one day when a pair of executives from the Espanax Construction company pay him a visit with an offer to buy his house and land on which they plan to build a new residential complex. Much to their dismay, Anselmo turns down their offer on the spot. However, the owners of the adjacent lands, Julian, Paco and Ignacio, are eager to unload their plots and homes in return for the construction company’s cash. This presents a conflict with Anselmo’s unwillingness to sell; he soon learns that if Espanax cannot purchase his land, they will not buy the surrounding plots either.

Unbeknownst to Anselmo, Julian has entered into a dodgy agreement for Espanax to finance his deeply indebted slaughterhouse business using his house as a down payment, in return for seeing to it that the land owners sell…no matter what it takes. As the film’s biblical theme begins to unfold, forces quickly conspire against Anselmo as Julian grows more desperate to save his house and business.



“A raw but evocative rural drama.” read more

“There’s admirable craftsmanship in the use of sound, music and light, especially in the final stretch, when skies glower with magic-hour hues and sheep bleat worriedly.” read more

“A thoughtful parable on the corrupting nature of avarice … Echoing Miguel Martin’s quiet intensity, this solemn slice of rustic realism compels until things go all tele-novelettish in the final reel.” read more

“Your pulse rate slows to the rhythms of lost rural life at the start of The Shepherd, but by the end it has hearts racing in a western-style stand-off.” read more

“Burley (who acts as cinematographer, too) has a fine eye and a Renoir-esque compassion for his often quixotic protagonists.” read more

“A visual metaphor for the harsh repercussions of greed and self-serivce…Sure to stay with you long after it’s left the screen.”

“A poignant and expertly restrained meditation on greed and financial hardship in rural Spain.” read more


  • WORLD PREMIERE – Montreal World Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • WINNER – BEST FILM, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST ACTOR (Miguel Martin) – Raindance Film Festival
  • Raindance Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • Cinespana Toulouse  – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • LEEDS International Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • Mannheim-Heidelberg International FF – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • Brussels International Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION / WINNER – BEST ACTOR (Miguel Martin)
  • Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • Guadalajara International Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • Cleveland International Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • Gijon International Film Festival – OFFICIAL SELECTION