SEE THE CHAMBER IN WELSH CINEMAS R I C H A R D B I L L I N G H A M S H O OT S R AY & L I Z
GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR OF THE FILM INDUSTRY WOW FILM FESTIVAL BRINGS W O R L D C I N E M A T O W A L E S w w w. f f i l m c y m r u w a l e s . c o m
T u r n e r - p r i z e n o m i n at e d a r t i s t R i c h a r d B illingham shoots his first feature R a y & L i z Production is underway on Turner-prize nominated and Deutsche Börse Prize winning artist Richard Billingham’s first feature film, Ray & Liz. Filming commenced on the three week shoot on 30 January, with a variety of Black Country locations in and around Cradley Heath and Dudley. The project has been developed over five years with Producer Jacqui Davies. Working with cinematographer Daniel Landin (Under The Skin), Richard Billingham returns to the striking series of photographs that he captured of his family during Thatcher-era Britain to tell a universal story of everyday conflicts, loneliness, love and loss. Scenes incorporating the older Ray and Liz, played by Patrick Romer and Deirdre Kelly (UK reality star of Benefits Street and Big Brother) were shot in Cradley Heath, on the estate where Richard Billingham lived, in 2015. The cast includes Justin Salinger (Everest, Humans) and Ella Smith (The Voices, Kill Your Friends) as the younger Ray and Liz, Tony Way as Uncle Lol. (High-Rise, Sightseers) plus a number of young newcomers playing earlier incarnations of Billingham and his brother Jason as children.
Ray & Liz is a Jacqui Davies Production in association with Rapid Eye Movies. The BFI backed producer Jacqui Davies in making her first theatrical feature, The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers and through its BFI Producer Vision Awards, part of its strategy for supporting emerging producers and filmmaking talent. Ray & Liz is financed by the BFI and Ffilm Cymru Wales with National Lottery funding, in association with Severn Screen. S y n o psis On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break cultural taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humour, three-interlinking episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of the artist’s personal experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat. In 1990, alcohol makes Richard’s father Ray a prisoner in his own bedroom. Ray’s estranged wife Liz and neighbour Sid battle for control of Ray, who remains hopeful that Liz will return to him if he manipulates her through his selfdestruction. A decade or so earlier, Richard’s younger brother Jason – then three years old – is left alone with his hapless Uncle Lol. The lodger tricks Lol into drinking the stash of alcohol hidden in the house and neglecting Jason. Liz violently punishes him upon her return. In the mid-‘80s Jason, now 10 years old, goes out with a friend on Bonfire Night but can’t find his way home and ends up sleeping in a shed. He is finally taken into care. When a social worker breaks the news to Ray and Liz, Liz cries a little, but quickly forgets…
S ee T he C hamber in W elsh cinemas Welsh audiences will get their first chance to see tense underwater thriller The Chamber at special screenings in March. Screenings of the film at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Cardiffâ€™s Chapter Arts Centre will feature Q&As - more details to be announced soon. The Chamber stars Swedish actor Johannes Bah Kuhnke, in his first film role since the critically acclaimed Force Majeure propelled him to international recognition. A special ops unit commandeer a commercial research vessel and its submersible off the coast of North Korea to locate a mysterious item at the bottom of the Yellow Sea. When an explosion causes the sub to overturn and take on water the crew begins to understand that not all of them will escape and a fight for survival ensues. The Chamber also stars Charlotte Salt (The Musketeers), James McArdle (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Elliot
Levey (Spooks: The Greater Good), and features the debut original film score by James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers.
As The Raid director Gareth Evans shoots his new film in South Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ new scheme Foot in the Door presents an exciting new opportunity for 10 people to kick-start their future. Ffilm Cymru Wales and creative industry consultancy Our Colab are working in partnership with US production and worldwide sales company XYZ Films and Welsh production company Severn Screen to provide a programme of training and production placements on the set of the Welsh filmmaker’s new feature Apostle. The film will shoot in April in South Wales, and Foot in the Door is offering 10 people over the age of 18 that are not otherwise engaged in employment, education or training the opportunity to spend a week learning valuable new training and skills, and to experience a live film set. With the support of Charter Housing Association, Foot in the Door will recruit keen and ambitious people from communities in the Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Monmouthshire areas. These participants will first embark on a free fiveday film training course led by industry experts, introducing them to the roles and responsibilities on set. With the guidance of individual mentors and industry experts, participants will then spend a week with the production. We are also pleased to announce that with the support of Charter Housing and Creative Skillset, successful eligible applicants can receive support with costs that may otherwise have proven to be a barrier for them, including support with travel and childcare. From costume to construction, and design to administration, a film set presents a wealth of transferable skills that can launch a career in the creative sectors and be relevant to careers in other sectors. Full details and online application forms can be found at www.ffilmcymruwales.com. Ffilm Cymru Wales and Our Colab are also hosting an information drop-in day in the local area, where prospective participants can meet us and find out a bit more in person. Foot in the Door is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund under their Innovation Pilot programme, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds. Full details and online application forms can be found at www.ffilmcymruwales.com.
FOO IN T HE
R U O Y GET R O O D HE T N I FOOT E H T F O Y R T S U D N I FILM
“I’m really pleased to be backing the Foot in the Door initiative, helping people from communities across South Wales break into the industry.” Gareth Evans
W ales ’ creative sector benefits from latest funding awards Ffilm Cymru Wales has invested over £100,000 in its latest development round, supporting nine innovative new film and cross-media projects from Welsh talent. From Shakespeare to sci-fi, these distinct proposals reflect the diverse voices of Welsh filmmakers. A third of the films are in the Welsh language, and two thirds of them include women in lead production roles, whilst three of the filmmakers awarded funding in this round have progressed to their debut feature following previous grassroots support from Ffilm Cymru Wales, who have developed programmes to support progression from start-up careers through to maturing companies. As part of Ffilm Cymru Wales’ systematic approach, all of the filmmakers are encouraged to increase the value of their ideas by exploring additional intellectual property and audience strategies, aimed at maximising revenue and market reach. The nine projects awarded funding are:
A n o smiac Novelist Fflur Dafydd follows her film debut Y Llyfrgell / The Library Suicides with this Welsh-language sci-fi thriller, which follows a woman awakening in a strange clinic with no memory of who she is. Robbed of her sense of taste and smell, she begins to piece together the memories of the life she has lost.
A t o mfa A Welsh and English language documentary about a rural community bidding farewell to the nuclear power station that provided employment opportunities and maintained a vibrant Welsh speaking heartland in the mountains of north Wales. Atomfa is directed by Welsh filmmaker Joanna Wright, with a pilot to be produced by Margaret Matheson (Sleep Furiously).
C and y li o n An animated family adventure adapted from Gruff Rhys’ immersive musical show with National Theatre Wales. Produced by Catryn Ramasut (Separado!, American Interior) and Jon Rennie (Ethel & Ernest), this inventive new film will feature songs from the Super Furry Animals frontman’s album of the same name.
E ch o es In 1906 a young Welsh family emigrate to Canada and build a new life alongside the indigenous people – a life of inspiration, tragedy and hope. This epic yet intimate trilingual drama is written by Phil Rowlands and Jordan Wheeler, and produced by Gethin Scourfield and Juliette Hagopian.
I n C amera An innovative cross-platform project fusing film and live performance based on the Jean-Paul Sartre play Huis Clos. The film element will be written and directed by Welsh filmmaker Catherine Linstrum, whose Ophelia Lovibondstarring short film Things that Fall from the Sky was also produced through BFI NET.WORK Wales’ Beacons scheme. This project is being co-developed with the National Theatre of Wales.
The depth of Ffilm Cymru Wales’ commitment to nurturing new talent is demonstrated in their recently published Annual Report, which reflects on the organisation’s decade of support for the Welsh film sector.
R o me o & J uliet A dark new vision of Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy, brought to life with CG animation by Delicatessen director Marc Caro. Adapted by Andrew Offiler and Welsh writer-producer Robin Lyons, Romeo & Juliet is a European co-production with French and Italian partners.
S unset Over C h o c o late M o untain Based on Susan Elderkin’s novel, the film follows a young Irish couple with a baby on the way, who are forced to flee to the Welsh countryside when they become embroiled in a murder. Produced by Ruth Coady and Alan Maloney (Brooklyn), this dramatic thriller is written by Amber Trentham and will be the feature debut of Welsh photographer and filmmaker Venetia Dearden.
W rit in W ater Welsh writer-director Liam Gavin and producer David Collins follow their critically-acclaimed occult horror A Dark Song with a thriller that finds a north Wales village haunted by the return of a host of recently drowned children.
Chief Executive, Pauline Burt, comments “it’s truly rewarding to have been part of more than 50 feature films that we have funded with Welsh writers, directors and producers at their helm. From the start, ten years ago, we committed to supporting Welsh talent – through their early careers through to those that are growing and consolidating into successful international businesses. This has resulted in c.£15m directly spent in the Welsh economy (a surplus of more than £8m on our investment); more than 840 jobs supported and more than £20m in private and market money leveraged through Arts Council of Wales lottery funds, which Ffilm Cymru Wales manages. Filmmakers take Wales to the World, consistently innovating and telling stories that resonate at home and abroad. It’s notable that some 25% of productions have been international co-productions, and that ambitious, outward facing approach is likely to stand the sector in good stead.”
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The Annual Report also details how Ffilm Cymru Wales has developed access to a breadth of film, supporting independent venues reach over 1,250,000 people across Wales, and enabling more than 30,000 people to participate in film and digital education within schools, colleges, online and within communities.
Ffilm Cymru Wales’ 10th Anniversary Annual Report is available to read at www.ffilmcymruwales.com
W O W F ilm F estival ’ s V oices of R esistance call for a better world The festival opens on Friday 17th March in Cardiff then traveling to Aberystwyth, Swansea, Cardigan and Mold. WOW Wales One World Film Festival takes festival-goers on a trip around the world to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mali, Palestine, Thailand and Nepal, bringing the very best of world cinema to Wales in an eclectic celebration of global filmmaking’s wonderful diversity, and the human stories that unite us all. Among the festival’s excellent programme of dramas, comedies, documentaries and thrillers, are thought provoking films that hope to inspire us to take action and change the world for the better. These form WOW’s Voices of Resistance season, which, with poetry readings, songs, discussions and workshops running alongside the film programme, is a chance for anyone who cares about the state of the world to join in and speak up on what matters most to them. Chilean director Pablo Larraín (Jackie, No) turns his sights on Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda in Neruda, a playful, stunningly inventive detective thriller that fuses history, legend and fiction to ask ‘How does a man create his own myth?’ Self-styled hero of the people Neruda is on the run from a government crack down with a dogged detective on his tail. Beautifully made with a razor sharp script, this is a lot of fun. Tomorrow (Demain) is an inspiring, feel-good movie about how to reinvent agriculture, energy, the economy, democracy and education and solve our ecological crisis. Shedding light on initiatives that are already working and solutions that are accessible to everyone, Tomorrow puts power firmly in the hands of the world’s citizens. If we rise to its call to action, this could seed the emergence of a brighter tomorrow.
Shadow World is a smart, hard-hitting look at the global arms trade, the only business that counts its profits in billions and its losses in human lives. Masterfully edited, WOW has selected this film in the hope that raising awareness of how the arms trade operates, both globally and here in Wales, we can act to bring about a more peaceful future. The author Andrew Feinstein and members of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade will be touring Wales with the film. The programme includes three documentaries that present extraordinary raw, first person accounts of stories that dominate the news – migration, Syria and Palestine. Unfolding during the last war in Gaza, Ambulance begins with filmmaker Mohamed Jabaly picking up his camera and joining an ambulance crew. As they speed to the aftermath of each attack, this vividly conveys the anger, grief and resilience of people trapped in a situation over which they have no control. The WOW Film Festival is supported by Ffilm Cymru Wales and the BFI’s Festivals Fund which provides National Lottery funding to film festivals which give audiences the chance to see and engage with UK and international films and filmmakers that otherwise they may not have the opportunity to do so and boost audiences for film across the UK. WOW Film Festival opens at Chapter cinema in Cardiff on Friday 17 March before heading to Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Small World Theatre Cardigan, Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea, and Theatr Clwyd in Mold. See www.wowfilmfestival.com for full details.
AUDIENCE ACCESS AWARDS Ffilm Cymru Wales’ latest Audience Access awards will provide a new opportunity for independent film to engage, entertain and educate communities across Wales. The organisation has offered over £70,000 in funding to community pop-up cinemas and film festivals to broaden the range of films available to people around the country. In addition to the continued support of flagship festivals such as the Iris Prize LGBT Short Film Festival, and Aberystwyth’s annual Abertoir Horror Festival, funding awards were also made to innovative projects that will engage new audiences with independent film. Cardiff Community Housing Association will use their grant to expand their FLIX free cinema in Butetown’s Culture and Media Centre, and employ an outreach officer to engage a broader audience across the district’s diverse and under-served communities. Funding was also awarded to community cinemas in the Afan valley. Following the pioneering pop-up cinema scheme Film in Afan, funded by a £250,000 BIG Lottery grant secured by Ffilm Cymru Wales, two community centres in Gwynfi Miners Hall and Cymmer Library continued their own screenings of family favourites and arthouse gems. This new award will allow them to sustain their audience and leverage additional funding after recent Local Authority cuts to public services. The FfCW-supported Wales International Documentary Film Festival will host documentary filmmakers and fans from across the globe in a series of events, screenings, and workshops in Blackwood this spring. Following their successful inaugural festival last year, the team also launched a new Digital Learning Centre in Blackwood Miner’s Institute that offers training and support for individuals and organisations seeking to develop their digital skills. The Wales International Documentary Festival 2017 will take place between the 5th and 7th April. Ffilm Cymru Wales provided continued support to the Wales One World film festival, which brings the best in world cinema to audiences across Wales, in addition to satellite events that reach out to BAME communities, including their Bollywood music and film event, and WOW Women’s Film Club. Also awarded funding was Caernarfon’s PICS Young Persons Film Festival, which promotes short films made by children and young people in the Welsh language, and the Cardiff Mini Film Festival, which brings the work of emerging and first-time filmmakers to a burgeoning millennial audience.
Berwyn Rowlands, director of the Iris Prize Festivals, comments “The funding and support from Ffilm Cymru Wales has allowed the Iris Prize to reach new audiences beyond the capital. We were delighted with the response from local communities across North Wales who attended the inaugural Iris on the Move at Cineworld, Llandudno Junction. Following two days of screenings and talks, we are already planning for 2018 and have committed to co-ordinating an advisory committee to advise and support our activity in North Wales.”
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