G W E N J O I N S R AY & L I Z I N TO R O N TO I A m N ot A W it c h p i c k e d as U K O s c ar entry 3 5 S H O R T F I L M S C O MP E T E F O R T H E I R I S P R I Z E p lus m ore wels h fil m & fun d ing news
G wen joins R ay & L iz in T oronto
William McGregor’s gothic drama had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival last month. Gwen is centered on a close-knit family, led by BAFTA nominated actress Maxine Peake (Funny Cow, Peterloo, The Falling). The young actresses playing her children are Eleanor Worthington-Cox, the youngest recipient of the best actress Laurence Olivier award for her role of the theatre production of Matilda, and newcomer Jodie Innes. The supporting cast includes Richard Harrington (Hinterland, Poldark), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (The Commuter, Ghost Stories) and Mark Lewis Jones (Yr Ymadawiad, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Game Of Thrones). Eleanor Worthington-Cox was also selected as one of four TIFF 2018 International Rising Stars, alongside Stéphane Bak, Ahmed Malek, and Josh Wiggins. In the stark beauty of 19th Century Snowdonia a young girl tries desperately to hold her home together. Struggling with her mother’s mysterious illness, her father’s absence and a ruthless mining company encroaching on their land. A growing darkness begins to take grip of her home, and the suspicious local community turns on Gwen and her family.
Gwen has been developed by the BFI and Endor Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, with Endor’s Hilary Bevan Jones and Tom Nash as lead producers. The BFI’s Lizzie Francke, Paul Grindey and Charles Moore of Viewfinder Films, Fergus Haycock of Great Point Media and Adam Partridge of Ffilm Cymru Wales act as Executive Producers, while Angharad Elen is Associate Producer. The production is co-financed by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery, and Ffilm Cymru Wales. Gwen was joined in Toronto by another Ffilm Cymru Wales supported film - Ray & Liz. The debut film of Turner Prizenominated artist Richard Billingham recently celebrated its World Premiere at Locarno Film Festival, and has been selected for the BFI London Film Festival in October. With Ray & Liz, 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. The project has been developed over five years with producer Jacqui Davies. Ray & Liz is financed by the BFI and Ffilm Cymru Wales with National Lottery funding, in association with Welsh production company Severn Screen. Worldwide sales are being handled by Luxbox, and the film will be distributed in the UK by New Wave Films.
3 5 s h ort fil m s c o m p ete for t h e 2 0 1 8 I ris Prize Organisers of the Iris Prize have announced details of the 35 short films competing for the Iris Prize at the 2018 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. The winning director will be presented with £30,000 to make their next short film here in the UK, supported by the Michael Bishop Foundation. Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented: “This shortlist represents the very best in LGBT+ storytelling, offering a window into queer lives of the past, present and future. From love stories to tales of persecution, and from moving documentaries to joyous celebrations of freedom and pride.” “I can’t wait to see them on a big screen and enjoy the conversations that flow after each screening. I’m always pleasantly surprised how much is packed into a short film.” David Llewellyn, Iris Prize Media Co-ordinator, commented: “In previous years we’ve taken a kind of “Revels” approach to programming – you never quite know what to expect. There’s a lot to be said for that, but we’re also aware that audiences often want something a little more focused or tailored to their interests.” “Certain themes always seem to emerge as the shortlists come together. In previous years, we’ve had an abundance of stories about parenting or disability or ageing. This year, we’ve noticed a number of films that tackled masculinity in interesting and provocative ways, and so we have a programme that brings together contemporary dance, brutal violence and challenging stories about gender.” “Another programme deals with the idea of new beginnings. Stories tackling LGBT+ issues can be dark and upsetting, but the films in It’s a New Day are all life-affirming and positive, from the animated tale of a woman’s deepest desires, to a meditation on bottoming that features an animated talking poo (an Iris first).” The Iris Prize Festival runs from 9 – 14 Oct 2018. Explore the full programme at www.irisprize.org
FFILM CYMRU WALES INVESTS
IN WELSH FILM AUDIENCES
Ffilm Cymru Wales’ latest round of Audience Access awards will continue to support Welsh venues and festivals to provide a dynamic and diverse variety of cinematic experiences for people right across Wales. For the first time, new funding awards were made to Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and Bangor’s Pontio Arts Centre. Running at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff between 28th and 30th September, and at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on the 20th and 21st October, the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival will help audiences explore the latest and best in Japanese animation with films to suit all ages, as well as workshops and masterclasses with Japanese animators. The funding award will support Kotatsu in continuing to build new audiences, working alongside local community, youth and refugee groups to widen the festival’s reach. Pontio Arts Centre’s new funding will support their project encouraging the community in Bangor to make the most of their local independent cinema. Their initiatives include providing more Welsh-language cinema, community interaction through volunteering, creating access for families with children with additional needs, and continuing the venue’s engagement of student and young audiences through film, gaming and interactive content. In addition to the new awards, Ffilm Cymru continued to invest in three established film festivals to advance their expansion and reach new audiences. Appropriately for its 13th year, Abertoir Horror Festival will run from 13th November at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, and features a gore-soaked slasher movie theme. Six days of features, shorts, talks and live performances will kick-off with 80s cult classic Sleepaway Camp, and special guest Sean S Cunningham will be in attendance to discuss the creation of his seminal slasher Friday the 13th. Ffilm Cymru is proud to provide continued support for the Iris Prize LGBT+ film festival. Running between the 9th and 14th October, this year’s edition will include 14 short film programmes, 13 feature films, talks, workshops and a carnival. Their funding award will also support the organisers to reach out from Cardiff and bring the best in LGBT+ cinema to Llandudno with a third tour of ‘Iris on the Move.’
The Wicked Wales Film Festival in Rhyl screens films by young people, for young people. This year’s main festival will run 18th – 21st September and feature a celebration of British animation as part of Film Hub Wales’ Anim18 programme. Wicked Wales also hosts outreach events throughout the year, including pop-up and community cinema screenings in Denbighshire’s rural villages and empty shops, as well as running a year-round community cinema programme in Rhyl. This latest funding from Ffilm Cymru will help their team of young programmers combat child poverty by providing food for young people at prescreening activities. Ffilm Cymru also continue to fund the cinema programme for Theatr Clwyd in Mold, which will focus on programming a more diverse range of films, including locally-produced content. The award will additionally support the arts centre in forging stronger links between their theatre and film audiences, and connect with young people through workshops and special screenings. Part of Ffilm Cymru’s commitment to promoting an inclusive and dynamic film culture, the Audience Access fund is open to cinemas, festivals and other organisations looking to provide pop-up and community cinema screenings for people across Wales. The next deadline for applications to the Audience Access fund is 16th November 2018; find out more and apply at www.ffilmcymruwales.com
Major invest m ent into W els h c reative in d ustries announ c e d Cardiff one of nine creative clusters in the UK awarded research funding. Screen industries based in and around the Welsh capital are set to benefit from new research and development opportunities. Cardiff University has led on a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which today announced an unprecedented multi-million pound research investment into the UK’s creative economy. The Creative Industries Clusters Programme, which is part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, will bring together world-class research talent from leading UK universities with companies and organisations from across the creative sector. Working in partnership with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, as well as the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, all major Welsh broadcasters and more than 60 screen industry businesses including Ffilm Cymru Wales, Clwstwr Creadigol is one of nine projects in the UK to be chosen for the five-year funding stream. With a focus on screen industries – film and television production and their supply chains – academics from Cardiff’s three universities will collaborate to provide research that can help the already thriving scene in South Wales reach its full potential. Through a Screen Innovation System (SIS) and a News Innovation Lab (NIL) – the Research and Development (R&D) programme will also allow broadcasters, businesses and freelancers to apply for funding to develop innovative products, services and experiences in a drive to create economic uplift in South Wales. Ffilm Cymru Wales is pleased to be a delivery partner for the Screen Innovation System, drawing upon five years of experience testing our innovative Magnifier approach to film development, which encourages filmmakers to identify and build their audiences and revenue streams from an early stage. These R&D initiatives will be designed to respond to changing technologies, shifting patterns of consumption and the benefits of creative fusion and collaboration. Clwstwr Creadigol Director Professor Justin Lewis, who is based at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, said: “I am proud of our team’s hard work to secure this award for Wales. It’s a fantastic opportunity
to boost Cardiff’s profile as an internationally recognised centre for creative production. “The foundations for success have been laid by some of our brilliant companies in the screen industry and wider creative economy. But to really thrive, we must invest in research and development to create a culture of innovation – that’s what Clwstwr Creadigol is all about. “Many of our screen companies are independent SMEs and so, if we’re to compete with the global players, we need to work together. That’s why we will be working with a range of partners in the creative industries and in local and national government to create new products, services and experiences to deliver economic uplift for South Wales.” A powerhouse for growth, the creative industries in the UK contribute more than £90bn to the economy each year. Each of the partnership bids was required to show how it will deliver renewed commercial success for the benefit of the UK as a whole, and bring new products, services and experiences to market. The work driven by these partnerships will help protect and enhance the UK’s leading global position in the creative industries, which export an estimated £46bn in goods and services annually and are the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy. A new Policy and Evidence Centre for the sector led by global innovation foundation Nesta, with partners across the UK, will connect organisations in the creative industries, research communities, and policy-makers to develop independent evidence and analysis that can inform decision-making across the industry and underpin future policy decisions.
FFILM CYMRU WALES ANNOUNCES NEW B O A R D A PP O I N T M E N T S Ffilm Cymru Wales has appointed two new Board members, including a new Chair-Elect, to continue to shape the creative ecosystem in Wales. The organisation is committed to advancing the cultural, economic and social benefits of film, ensuring reach right across Wales, regardless of background or circumstance. It invests finance delegated by the Arts Council of Wales, British Film Institute and others, leveraging significant private and market co-investment. Ruth McElroy joins Ffilm Cymru as Chair-Elect, bringing with her considerable expertise and experience as Faculty Head of Research and Professor of Creative Industries at the University of South Wales, and as co-director of the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations, and member of the Media Policy group of the Institute of Welsh Affairs. McElroy is also Co-director of the Clwstwr Creadigol, one of nine UK R&D partnerships funded through the AHRC Creative Economy, and leads on the Screen Innovation element of this exciting new partnership in Cardiff. From the start of her term in September there will be up to a 12-month transitionary period, during which time McElroy will work alongside current Chair Michael Gubbins, consultant and former Editor of trade publication, Screen International. Throughout his six years of service Gubbins has helped steer the organisation through a rapidly evolving landscape of digital content and consumer change, with a focus on international collaboration. “Chairing Ffilm Cymru Wales has been a great privilege. I was fortunate to be able to work with a great leader in CEO Pauline Burt, a fantastic team, and very committed board members during what were challenging times for the whole industry,” said Mr Gubbins. “We made an active decision early on to embrace the realities and opportunities of a changing digital economy, particularly in how it could help develop more diverse and sustainable businesses and connect with a wider range of audiences. Ffilm Cymru Wales is proud of the dramatic progress and we believe we have built the foundations for an extremely bright future,” he said.
“I believe Ruth will bring fresh ideas and new approaches and I wish her the best of luck helping Wales reach new heights.” Commenting on her appointment, McElroy says “I am deeply honoured to be joining Ffilm Cymru Wales as Chairelect. This is a golden moment for the screen sector in Wales, with some great successes under our belt. However, there is a great deal more to do if we are to achieve our full potential. My aim is to work collaboratively to develop an inclusive, sustainable screen sector in Wales with an international reputation for ambitious, multilingual filmmaking.” Also joining Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Board is Bron Lloyd, Director of Community Regeneration at Charter Housing Association. As a key figure in the development of Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Arts & Business award-winning Foot in the Door training programme and pop-up community cinema screenings, she has a vital appreciation of the social, cultural, and economic value that film can bring to some of Wales’ most underserved areas. Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales said “It’s important for arts institutions to have people with skills and experience on their boards and also a passion, knowledge and enthusiasm to support the fantastic work of Ffilm Cymru Wales. We very much welcome these appointments.”
YOUNG AUDIENCES TO EXPERIENCE 2 0 TH C E N T U R Y W A L E S O N F I L M IN THE CLASSROOM
A pioneering heritage resource launched for foundation phase to key stage 4 is available for public screenings Wales wide. The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales (NSSAW), at The National Library of Wales (NLW), launch the first educational and public screening resource based exclusively on Welsh archival films, in partnership with Ffilm Cymru Wales and Film Hub Wales. All 34 films and extracts are from the collection of The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales at The National Library of Wales, and feature films from the 1920s, up to the 1970s. The resource features: • 34 short films in a pack of 5 DVDs, each presenting a curated themed programme: Communities and Neighbourhoods, The World of Work, High Days and Holidays, School Days and Playtime and War and Peace. • A curriculum-related resource pack with ideas for classroom activities (suitable for Foundation Phase through to Key Stage 4) and group discussion, as well as notes on the films themselves. The films exude a palpable sense of place, rooted in Welsh locations from Brynsiencyn to Butetown, Dolgarrog to St Dogmaels. The topics are diverse, richly layered and resonate with life in Wales today. ‘Children’, for example, includes an energetic boys’ walking race in Aberystwyth (1920s), the arrival of forlorn evacuees at Machynlleth (1930s), life at a Colwyn Bay girls’ boarding school and a kids’ idyll on a north Wales farm (both 1950s).
Iola Baines, Moving Image Curator at NSSAW: “The aim in launching this resource is to introduce young people and screen audiences to some of the hidden gems we preserve in the Archive; treasures which reveal so many fascinating facets of how people in Wales lived, worked and enjoyed themselves throughout the 20th century. As Archive staff we know how brilliantly films like these can support learning across a range of subjects, breathing life not just into history, but a host of other subjects too – so we wanted to share the message and show how it can be done!” NSSAW hope that the resource will also capture the imagination of cinema and festival programmers Waleswide, offering general and community audiences the chance to dip into Wales’s rich film heritage on the big screen. Audiences might discover a short archive film before the main feature, or a special evening of themed films. ‘School Days and Playtime’ might be apt at this time of year! Iola Baines explains, “We see this as an exciting opportunity to inspire audiences of all kinds - from film fans who love the magic of the big screen, to members of history societies and other special interest groups – and to present something truly unique and a little different to what people are used to seeing. One thing is certain – the films are a sort of time-machine that will transport viewers and trigger all sorts of reactions, from joy to sadness, from sobering reflection to pure nostalgia….perhaps we should all have popcorn and hankies at the ready!”
The films range from early actuality film, amateur and home movie productions, promotional and advertising films, to drama and documentary productions. Some are sound films, while others are originally silent (several with intertitles), with music track added by NSSAW. The Welsh language films have English subtitles. Hana Lewis, Film Hub Wales Strategic Manager: “This impressive resource demonstrates how accessible and adaptable film is as a tool for learning. We have an opportunity to teach young film audiences of the future about Wales’ rich cultural history and to share stories across the generations that may otherwise be forgotten. As our countryside, traditions and trades evolve, Wales wide and across the world, it is increasingly important to remember our past.” Nicola Munday, Audience, Education and Regeneration Manager at Ffilm Cymru Wales: “Ffilm Cymru are proud to have supported the National Screen and Sound Archive in developing this remarkable resource for young people, bringing Wales’s rich heritage out of the archive and onto the big screen. We continue to invest in the importance of film education across Wales, both inside and outside of the classroom. With the resource now widely available to schools, Ffilm Cymru hopes that it will help future generations to join us in celebrating the fascinating onscreen history of Wales.” For more information please contact The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales on 01970 632828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I A m N ot A W it c h p i c k e d as U K foreign - language O scar entr y Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature has been selected as the UK’s entry for best foreignlanguage film at the 2019 Academy Awards. Funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales, I Am Not a Witch was written and directed by Welsh-Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni and produced by Emily Morgan. The film won Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer at this year’s BAFTA awards. I Am Not a Witch 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. It premiered at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2017, and was selected for the Toronto, London and Sundance film festivals. The Clandestine Films and Soda Pictures production was released in the UK by Curzon Artificial Eye in October 2017. It was backed by Ffilm Cymru Wales, the BFI Film Fund, Film4, the CNC’s Cinémas du Monde, the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund, Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund and Locarno’s Vision Sud Est Development Fund.