The writer of an internationally acclaimed short film has launched for her latest book in Aberystwyth.
Kiran Sidhu rose to fame when she wrote and co-produced the ‘Heart Valley’ short film about the Cellan Sheep Farmer Wilf Davies in 2022. The film was featured on the BBC and won an award at the Tribeca film festival in New York.
Since then, she has been working on her latest book called ‘I can hear the Cuckoo.’ The book explores the lessons Ms Sidhu, who used to live in London, has learned after she ‘ran to the hills’ of Cellan following the loss of her mother.
Ms Sidhu said: “The book is about the loss of my mother, and my choice to move from London to Cellan. It’s about the community I’ve met there and how being here has allowed me to reflect on my life, and find more poignancy in the things that make it up.
The people of Cellan showed Ms Sidhu new ways of living, and changed her perspective on what brings value into someone’s life.
Mr Davies was one of those inspirations, it was him who taught her to listen for the Cuckoo, a bird which migrates to the area to lay its eggs. Unlike other birds, the Cuckoo doesn’t raise its young itself, instead, it finds another bird’s nest, and replaces one of their eggs with one of her own.
Ms Sidhu has always believed ‘variety to be the spice of life’, Cellan’s residents showed her that that isn’t always true. Mr Davies taught her how to be ‘still’, and tune herself into a ‘different frequency’ to what she used to tune into.
“Wilf really taught me to be still, to listen and hear sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to sit still enough to listen to that. I’ve learned a lot from the friendships I’ve made here, and I definitely live much more potently now thanks to them.
The Heart Valley writer held the premier in Waterstones bookstore, in the heart of Aberystwyth. After the premier, Ms Sidhu said: “Last night seemed quite surreal - the turnout was great. I couldn’t quite believe how all this started; a Guardian article about a humble farmer which turned out to be the 13th most shared article in the Guardian in 2021.
“The launch went fantastically well! So many of my neighbours attended - most of them are in the book! I felt really supported and by the whole community which was really important to me.”
Ms Sidhu’s book is available online and in most book retailers, but it’s only in Waterstones where you can buy a copy signed by the author herself.