TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


The Future Is an Elder Cow

Janis Rafa, Konstantinos Kontovrakis


In a small rural community, between the mountains and the sea, no child has been born in the last eight years. This inexplicable long run of infertility is coupled with rumours about women giving birth to animals.
Lara has just discovered she’s pregnant with a calf, throwing her marriage to Marco into crisis: Marco begs her to end the pregnancy, but Lara seems unable to sever her visceral connection with the fetus and gradually decides to carve her own path forward.
Marco’s brother, Vladi, and his wife, Merry, hold a special place in the community, being the parents of the last child born, 8-year-old Balthazar, though they are harbouring a secret of their own: Merry recently gave birth to a baby wolf, kept hidden away at home, putting a strain on the family. Meanwhile, Balthazar is revered and doted on by everyone as perhaps their last hope but is fated to get caught up in the adults’ world, stuck between its traditional past and uncertain future, as well as Lara’s journey.


As the owner of several animals, a rescuer of many more, and a mother, I often wonder what makes a person love another being unconditionally, even if non-human. What if I’d given birth to my dog? Would I care for it more? How do we consume the child of another species, forgetting that we are not the only creatures that deserve to grow old? And how would humanity react to its possible end, if nature decided to retaliate? Could women lead the charge into a different way of being, of thinking about the world?
In my story, humans have ceased having babies, standing as defeated witnesses to men’s failure to build an empathetic world and nature calling women to stand up for life on the side of all beings. I intend to approach it through naturalism, dark humour, earthy tones, and a visual language blurring the lines between human and animal, in a film that doubles as existential allegory on our failure to accept change and acknowledge animals – and any “other” – as equal beings on this planet.

In a world ravaged by infertility, rumours spread that women have started giving birth to animals.
Janis Rafa

Film Director

Konstantinos Kontovrakis


production notes

original title
The Future Is an Elder Cow

produced byHeretic
Metaxa 28
10681, Athens

in co-production with
SNF Film - Netherlands

total production budget
€ 2,445,161.00