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M AY

S U P E R N AT U R A L H O R R O R 2 0H 1A U 7 N T S w elsh C I N E M A S

R u n g a n o Ny o n i ’ s d e b u t f e at u r e t o H AT C H F U N D B R I N G S K IeDs S ’ S T O R I E S T O L I F E p r e m i e r e at C a n n

WINDING SNAKE ON INDIAN ADVENTURE FOOTBALL & FILM TA C K L E H O M O P H O B I A

P L US T R A INEES GET T H EI R FOOT IN T H E DOO R OF T H E FI L M INDU s T R Y W IT H M I C H A E L S H EEN PE C A DI L L O C H E C K S INTO B & B

M AY 2017

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CHILDREN’S STORIES COME TO LIFE WITH

Ffilm Cymu Wales’ new initiative will look to broaden the independent film offer available for families and young adults and inform filmmaker and exhibitor understanding of how to cater for these audiences. Beginning with a launch event in July, Hatch will focus at first on live-action family and kids films. Centred around a 12-month structured development lab for 6 feature films based on existing IP, Hatch 2017 will also include screenings and activities, which bring kids and parents into the development process, facilitating two-way learning. A partnership with respected children’s book publisher Chicken House books, Hatch will be open to applications from filmmakers to develop pre-selected Chicken House books OR from filmmakers with their own existing IP that they’d like to develop into live-action family films. We’re keen to receive Welsh language propositions. As with all of Ffilm Cymru’s activity, Hatch is driven by the Magnifier ethos – putting audiences first and getting the most out of intellectual property in a collaborative and entrepreneurial environment of shared learning and experimentation. As with Film Cymru’s other strands of development funding, applications will be accepted from teams with one or more Wales born or based talent in the director, producer or writer role. Details for the launch event will be available soon. In the meantime, if you’d like more information please email kimberley@ffilmcymruwales.com

Ffilm Cymru Wales’ new Head of Creative Business, Kimberley Warner comments: “Family-orientated films have never been bigger. Yet the vast majority of these films are huge blockbusters or animated fayre, lacking the kind of cultural and social diversity that is reflected in children’s books, for example. As ever, independent filmmakers have the potential to challenge and revitalise the film industry and I’m excited to see what they come up with in this often overlooked but most influential of genres.”


tC P “I thought that The Apprentice Witch was a good book and I especially liked the characters and magical animals. I think that this book would make a good film because the magical things, creatures and spells would look good on a screen. The sets would be amazing as well.”

Here’s what some of the children on our summer reading challenge with Chicken House Publishing thought about the books.

“I really enjoyed Longbow Girl because it is different and is written really well. I have never read anything like this before, which I quite like about it. It is different because the girl is the warrior, and not the men or boys. I for one would really like to see a film being made of this book.”

“I really enjoyed reading Beetle Boy because it was funny and exciting. I think it would make an excellent film because it’s full of action and powerful imagery. I liked Virginia because she’s funny and a feminist.”


I AM NOT A WITCH WELSH-ZAMBIAN FILMMAKER

R ungano N y oni ’ s debut feature

W I L L premiere at C annes


Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch has been selected for Directors’ Fortnight at the most prestigious film festival in Cannes. A present-day African drama about beliefs in witchcraft, the film revolves around a nine-year-old girl – Shula - who is accused of being a witch. As she navigates through her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom. Writer-director Rungano Nyoni was born in Zambia and raised in Cardiff, Wales, which remains her home. Before making her feature debut, she made several short films, including BAFTA Cymru winner The List, and was supported from an early stage by Ffilm Cymru Wales through the BFI NET.WORK, Wales’ emerging talent fund. Produced by Emily Morgan of Soda Pictures and Juliette Grandmont of Clandestine Films, I Am Not a Witch is a UK- Zambian- French- German co-production, financed by Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film4, the BFI, Aide aux Cinémas du Monde (CNC-Institut français), the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund and HBF+Europe: Minority Co-Production Support. Kinology are handling international sales, and will be brokering deals at the Cannes Film Festival market (Le Marché du film). I Am Not a Witch is just one of more than 30 films from home-grown Welsh talent that Ffilm Cymru Wales executives will be representing at this year’s Cannes Marché. Exciting new projects being brought to market include:

ETE R N A L BE A UT Y Eternal Beauty is Submarine star Craig Roberts’ second film following his Ffilm Cymru Wales-supported directorial debut Just Jim. The darkly-comic drama stars Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky, Submarine, Paddington) as a woman waging a 20-year war against her paranoid schizophrenia with a dream of beauty pageantry. Roberts reunites with producers Adrian Bate and Pip Broughton on Eternal Beauty, while Bankside Films are handling international sales.

Q UEE R A M A Produced by Catryn Ramasut, of Welsh company ie ie Productions (American Interior), Queerama has been mined from the treasure trove of the BFI National Archive, capturing the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women in the 20th century. The feature documentary will seek sales and distribution deals in Cannes, before opening Sheff Doc/Fest in June, marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.

R AY & L I Z Ray & Liz is the debut feature film of Turner Prize-nominated photographer Richard Billingham. Working with producer Jacqui Davies and Under the Skin cinematographer Daniel Landin, Billingham returns to the celebrated and striking series of photographs of his family during Thatcher-era Britain to tell a universal story of everyday loneliness, love and loss. Ray & Liz is financed by the BFI and Ffilm Cymru Wales, in association with Welsh production company Severn Screen.

DEN M A R K This comedy from Welsh writer Jeff Murphy and producer Ed Talfan (Hinterland, The Passing) will star Rafe Spall (The BFG, Jurassic World 2) as Herb, a down on his luck Welshman with no job, bad neighbours and even worse prospects. Upon discovering Danish convicts live a luxurious life he could only dream of, Herb finally has something to aspire to: a life in Denmark… in prison. Ffilm Cymru Wales developed Denmark with BBC Films, with WestEnd Films newly announcing the title in Cannes.

T H E E X ISTEN C E OF L IBE R T Y W H ITE Milkwood Productions will also be presenting their highconcept sci-fi The Existence of Liberty White at the first ever Frontières Platform in Cannes. Co-hosted by the Fantasia International Film Festival, which celebrates genre fare from around the world, including this cyberpunk consciousness-transferral thriller from producer Zack Winfield, director Nick Parish, and Welsh writer Gwilym Davies. Ffilm Cymru Wales CEO, Pauline Burt, comments that “this is a bumper year for Wales in Cannes – reflecting a maturing film sector rich with talented writers, directors and producers that are telling stories that resonate internationally and apply agile market thinking from the earliest stages. As part of Ffilm Cymru Wales’ ‘Magnifier thinking,’ the talent is supported to plan for maximising their audience reach and the value of their intellectual property – including developing additional assets such as games, education resources, stage/television adaptations, for example. Wales’ film talent has always been progressive and outward facing – with around a third of our films being international co-productions – and that’s more important than ever. We’re looking forward to working with our colleagues across Europe, including through the Cineregio network and its documentary, animation, kids and green spin-outs, and progressing the many international projects across our slate. We’re also delighted to be attending alongside our colleagues at Pinewood Wales and aligned with Welsh Government’s creative industries offer, which makes Wales amongst the best places to come and film with world-class crew, facilities and locations.”


FOO IN T HE

T

DOO

At an emotional gathering in Newport last week, trainees on Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Foot in the Door scheme celebrated the end of their placements and looked forward to their future. Foot in the Door offered 11 people that were not otherwise engaged in employment, education or training the opportunity to spend a week training with sector experts, before embarking on a week learning valuable new transferrable skills on the set of a major new film. The trainees joined Welsh director Gareth Evans (The Raid) on the set of his new film Apostle - a period thriller starring Michael Sheen. Speaking to BBC Wales’ Huw Thomas from the set of Apostle, Foot in the Door trainee Norman Porter said “Working in this industry seemed unattainable - but I jumped at this chance and now here I am and I’ve been working in the art and design department. The sets are phenomenal - I’ve been using my painting, carpentry and arts and design skills; it’s hard work but rewarding.”

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Jaimie-Leigh Grierson added “From when I was a little girl, I always wanted to work on the other side of the camera, watching how things are made and I’ve got a passion for make-up. It’s been amazing, and opened my eyes to where I can look to get further jobs in the industry, and it isn’t such a strange world now.” At last week’s celebration event, the trainees reflected on their experiences alongside Ffilm Cymru Wales staff, as well as special guests from the BBC, the Arts Council of Wales, and the Apostle production team. Check out the photos from this great evening opposite! Foot in the Door was devised and delivered by Ffilm Cymru Wales, in partnership with creative industry consultancy Our Colab, US production and worldwide sales company XYZ Films, and Welsh production company Severn Screen, with with vital support from social housing provider, Charter Housing Association. Ffilm Cymru Wales are now working to scale the pilot with existing and new partners to provide follow-on training and extend the geographic and cross-sector reach of the programme.


P eccadillo picks up B & B


UK distributor Peccadillo has picked up the UK and Ireland rights to Joe Ahearne’s thriller B&B, produced by Jayne Chard. B&B won Best LGBT Thriller at the London Independent Film Awards on the 25th April and has just played in competition at the ECU Independent Film Festival in Paris and is also playing in competition at the MiFo LGBT Festival in Miami, OUT Film CT in Connecticut and a number of other festivals. “Peccadillo is very excited to be working with Jayne Chard and Joe Ahearne on his first feature film project and to have the opportunity to bring this unique thriller with such amazing performances to the UK and Ireland.” Tom Abell, Peccadillo Pictures. Marc and Fred went to war when they were refused a double bed at a remote Christian guest house. They won in court and now they’re back to claim their conjugal rights. Triumph turns to terror when a Russian neo-Nazi checks in. A brutally funny thriller, B&B is a very different kind of gay film. The couple are played by Tom Bateman (Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express, Amy Schumer’s Snatched) and Sean Teale (Bryan Singer’s Gifted, Ben Affleck’s Incorporated) and the B&B owner is played by Paul McGann (Withnail & I, Doctor Who). Joe Ahearne, writer/director says: “I wanted to do a thriller in the Hitchcock vein but with gay characters at the centre, making the wrong choices and getting terrified out of their wits.”

B&B is backed by Creative England, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Pont Neuf Productions. Executive Producers are Jon Finn (Billy Elliot, Hunky Dory); Ricky Margolis and Simon Graham-Clare of Future Films (Transsiberian, Flawless, Fifty Dead Men Walking), while Co-Producer is Isabelle Georgeaux (Resistance, Jadoo, Keeping Rosy) whose company Pont Neuf Productions helped finance the film. Hannah Thomas, representing Ffilm Cymru, says, “It was a great opportunity for us to support Welsh producer Jayne Chard and we are delighted to have been able to work with Joe and Jayne on B&B and look forward to their next project together.” Paul Aston, Head of Film at Creative England says, “At a time when LGBT film is enjoying such a resurgence, we’re really pleased for Jayne and Joe that their thriller is hitting festivals worldwide and will be supported by a great distributor in Peccadillo.”.” Producer Jayne Chard says “We are thrilled that B&B is playing in competition in prestigious festivals and delighted to be working with Peccadillo.”


We are pleased to introduce Kimberley Warner as our new Head of Creative Business. In her new role at Ffilm Cymru Wales, Kimberley manages the Talent department, applying the company’s Magnifier ethos across its work. The department offer includes BFI Talent Network Wales, Company Support and Hatch, for example. By baking in additional IP exploration and the knowledge networks required, Magnifier systematically places audience and IP at the centre of film development and company growth strategies from the earliest stages. Informed by her previous work as Development Executive at Ffilm Cymru, as well as her work in distribution, sales and production, Kimberley comments: “I’m excited to bring my appreciation for the writers, directors and producers of Wales (whose talent and drive are the lifeblood of this industry) to this new strategic role. The local film industry that Ffilm Cymru set out to develop just ten years ago is beginning to show its muscle, with a Cannes-selection complementing an already award-winning slate of feature films. Many of these films are accompanied by games, educational resources or other IP and our talent are reaping the rewards: we have the potential to be the most agile and entrepreneurial small nation entertainment industry in the world and through targeted funding, support and partnerships, I’m confident we can bring that ambition to life.”

The former Head of Acquisitions and Development at sales agents/distributors Mercury Media and Journeyman Pictures, Kimberley built the world’s first SVOD platform for documentaries in partnership with The Guardian, broke the landmark Wikileaks’ and Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s ‘Iraq War Files’ report, and worked with filmmakers of the calibre of Ken Loach, Kim Longinotto, Franny Armstrong and James Moll. Her work as a creative producer on ‘Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah’ was Grierson, Cinema Eye Honor, IDA and Oscar-nominated in 2016.

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Ffilm 17 Issue 02  

Welcome to the latest update on Ffilm Cymru Wales news, events, and more.

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