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Iris Prize Festival Founder, Berwyn Rowlands, nominated for National Lottery Award

Cardiff based film and TV producer, Berwyn Rowlands, who founded the biggest international LGBT+ short film prize in the world, is in line for recognition after being nominated for a 2021 National Lottery Award.

Berwyn, originally from Anglesey but who lives in Cardiff, has been shortlisted in the Arts category of this year’ National Lottery Awards for his outstanding work over 15 years as the Founder and Festival Director of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. Berwyn is flying the flag for Wales and is one of only five individuals from across the UK nominated in the Arts category.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery funded people and projects and they celebrate the inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things in their community, especially during these challenging times.

Established by Berwyn in 2006, the National Lottery funded Iris Prize takes place in Cardiff annually and has developed into the biggest international LGBT+ short film prize in the world. It has become a leading voice in championing LGBT+ short film and Iris also runs LGBT+ education and community outreach projects in Wales and the UK throughout the year. Iris has cemented itself as a significant event in the British film festival calendar and has featured in the top 50 film festivals in the world by Movie Maker magazine for four years.

Thrilled to be nominated, Berwyn (pictured above in 2007), 54, who organised his first ever public film festival in Aberystwyth back in 1989, says:

“It’s an absolute honour to be shortlisted as a finalist in the Arts category for the 2021 National Lottery Awards. During the pandemic, film has provided escapism and comfort for so many at a time when it’s needed most, and this is why the Iris Prize continued last year in an online capacity. I would like to thank The National Lottery’ players for supporting myself and the Iris Prize and for helping us to run an unique festival which is dedicated to celebrating amazing LGBT+ film and bringing films from this diverse community to the attention of wider audiences around the world.”

This year, more than 1,500 people were nominated for a National Lottery Award in recognition of the work they have carried out with the help of National Lottery funding. 

Next month a panel, made up of representatives of The National Lottery and partners, will decide the winners in each category from a shortlist of five. 

Winners will be revealed in the autumn and will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.

Jonathan Tuchner, from The National Lottery, said: 

“Since 1994, The National Lottery has made a huge positive impact on life across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players and the £36 million raised each week for good causes, thousands of organisations are making an incredible impact and difference in their local areas.  

“The National Lottery Awards honour those who have stepped up and stood out like Berwyn, who work tirelessly for their community. They deserve great praise and our thanks for their incredible work.”

 

Encompassing all aspects of National Lottery good causes funding, the 2021 National Lottery Awards will recognise outstanding individuals in the following sectors:

  • Culture, Arts & Film
  • Heritage
  • Sport
  • Community/Charity
  • There will be a special Young Hero Award for someone under the age of 18 who has gone that extra mile in their organisation.

In September a public vote will be held to find The National Lottery Project of the Year, while online polls will take place after the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to determine the winner of The National Lottery Olympian and Paralympian awards.

ENDS.
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Cheltenham FF
Cheltenham International Film Festival 24 May – 04 June Virtual Screening Partner Offer
Information from Cheltenham International Film Festival

Tickets to Cheltenham International Film Festival 2021 (online) are now on sale via our streaming partner YourScreen. Once again, we are working with exhibitor partners to reach audiences across the UK using our Virtual Cinema model and hope that you will join us once more to share our programme with your audiences.

We will provide you with a discount code entitling your audience to 25% off tickets. This year we are also offering Festival Passes for any five films at an early bird price of only £25 up until midnight on 23 May.

For all sales made using your code we will pay you 30% of all revenue received. Existing YourScreen 25% codes will still be valid for individual ticket purchases. We also have a new affiliate scheme for selling passes which means all you need to do is share a link and revenue will automatically be tracked.

I gofrestru, anfonwch click here to register as a Virtual Screening Partner.

If you require any further information, please email: patrick@yourscreen.net

The full festival programme can be browsed at: https://cheltfilm.com/

About the Festival

Opening with a preview of the multi-Oscar winning film, The Father, and closing with a preview of an adaptation of Steven Berkoff’s comedy play Brighton, the festival presents 33 films from around the world, including 17 UK premieres and 11 previews. The official film festival competition to select BEST FILM, EMERGING DIRECTOR will be judged by a respected jury of film and media personalities chaired by Anna Smith, who, most recently, was Chair of the London Film Critics’ Circle.

This year we acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the release of Stephen Frears’ debut feature film Gumshoe. In an exclusive interview with Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph, Stephen talks about Gumshoe and his long and prolific career as one of the UK’s most respected filmmakers. Other interviews during the festival include Aneil Karia, director of the exhilarating thriller Surge, the Cannes Camera D’Or winning director of Wet Season , Anthony ChenMichael Bentham, director of topical Australian drama Disclosure and the Director of BrightonStephen Cookson along with cast members Larry Lamb ac Marion Bailey.  More Q&A events will be announced in the coming week.

This year, we have had more interest than ever in the festival programme with ticket sales already taking off and each film has a limited number of tickets. Therefore, we recommend you start promoting asap so that your audience doesn’t miss the opportunity to watch these wonderful films. Better yet, they can buy a pass for excellent value.

The full programme is now on sale at https://cheltfilm.com/ with tickets available at Early Bird prices until midnight on 23 May.

Further information: Patrick Bliss, patrick@yourscreen.net

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Magic Lantern © Mathieu Gasquet
Welsh Cinema Reopening Dates

From May 17th, cinemas in Wales and across the UK are beginning to open their doors to audiences again. Reconnect with the best  British and international films on the big screen. 

Check back in for more updates as cinemas confirm their reopening dates in the coming weeks and months.

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Dyddiau Rhangddangos Ffilmiau Cymreig Ar Lein (1)
National Lottery Environmental Campaign: #PlanetaryPromises

Climate emergency is the defining issue of our time. We can’t afford to look away. We’re working with cinemas and festivals Wales wide to develop our #PlanetaryPromise by ensuring that the projects we support, consider their impact on the environment.

We also recently released a biodiverse big screen programming pack, a free film resource available UK wide to raise awareness through environmental film programming.

We’re also considering the impact we make in our office. We’ve switched to recyclable tape, refillable bamboo pens, note books from Born Free Foundation and we refill our liquids in glass bottles. We’re committed to making a difference on a local and national level.

The National Lottery Environmental Campaign

Since 2011, The National Lottery has invested more than £2.2bn in green projects and initiatives across heritage, art, community and sport. Everything from community groups preserving natural habitats to art installations educating young people on climate change. 

Between the 19th and 23rd April, The National Lottery is inviting distributors, brosiectau, volunteers, fundraisers, athletes and players to make a #PlanetaryPromise on social media as part of a campaign promoting environmental good causes.

The #PlanetaryPromise is a chance for you to do your bit for the environment by making a conscious commitment to either start or stop something that could be helping or harming our planet. 

Campaign summary  FAQ’s

 

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The Welfare
National Lottery Cinema Weekend 2021

To celebrate the National Lottery’s support for film, and to provide support for UK cinemas, National Lottery Cinema Weekend (NLCW) will be returning.

Looking forward to brighter times, BFI and Camelot are planning the next National Lottery Cinema Weekend (NLCW) for 19 and 20 June 2021, by which time it is hoped that as many venues as possible across the UK will be able to participate. Players of The National Lottery can claim a pair of free adult cinema tickets at participating venues, which are then reimbursed by Camelot up to the agreed maximum value.

To get involved click here to register.

The Independent Cinema Office in its capacity as Film Hub South East will be the co-ordinating body on behalf of the Film Audience Network and the central contact point for cinemas. They will be following up with registered venues in April with regular updates, and a press and marketing toolkit will be available in May.

Registration is open until the 31st of May and the official microsite will go live with venue listings at the end of April.

For more information, please see the campaign summary ac Cwestiynau Cyffredin.

Os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau, cysylltwch â: cinemaweekend@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk

Register now

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Dyddiau Rhangddangos Ffilmiau Cymreig Ar Lein (2)
The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive launch new App celebrating Welsh filmmaking History

Picturing our Past / Fframio’n Gorffennol is a remarkable app launching online on 4 May 2021 at a special event featuring Cornish – Welsh musician Gwenno, feminist filmmaker Michele Ryan and punk rocker turned S4C presenter Aled Samuel.

The app encapsulates the milestones of Welsh filmmaking history, which respected historian Dave Berry, once referred to as “That fertile legacy”. The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive has played a crucial role in the preservation of Welsh films and sound recordings and has now backed a bi-lingual product that breaks out of a book’s boundary, which is a unique combination of words and moving image.

Award-winning director Colin Thomas and film archivist Iola Baines have selected twenty-five film clips from Wales’ filmic past linked by text to tell a compelling story. This enhanced eBook was put together by Cardiff-based Thud Media with the support of the Books Council of Wales and Film Hub Wales.

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian of the National Library of Wales, said:

“This new e-book is an exciting and innovative way of presenting the National Library’s rich audiovisual collections, offering users a fresh and contemporary pathway to engage with this inspiring heritage. I look forward greatly to our launch on 4th May, when our lively panel will undoubtedly whet appetites to download the app, with its fresh insights into Welsh cinema.”

Iola Baines, Moving Image Curator, The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive said:

“Picturing Our Past will argue that films shot in Wales not only reflect Welsh history – unemployed miners scrabbling on a coal tip in Today We Live became a symbol of the Depression – but also affect Welsh history – for example the film The Citadel helped to further the momentum towards the creation of a National Health Service.

Colin Thomas, added:

“Whilst honouring outstanding examples of Welsh filmic achievements like Hedd Wyn, it will aim to ensure that unsung masterpieces like David and Un Nos Ola Leuad are not overlooked. And though acknowledging the patriotic popularity of films like Zulu, the app will also discuss films with a more controversial perspective on Wales – such as Twin Town and Human Traffic.”

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager at Film Hub Wales said:

“Seeing our stories on screen can have a huge impact on how we see ourselves and screen archives play an essential part in this. Picturing our Past will combine history with digital technology, giving audiences exciting new ways to discover Welsh films. We’re delighted to support the project through our Made in Wales strand, which champions films with Welsh connections year-round.”

Is there a distinctive Welsh film legacy? Following a short film introduction, that is the question that will be debated at the launch of the app by feminist filmmaker Michele Ryan, Punk rocker turned broadcaster Aled Samuel and Welsh musician and sound artist Gwenno.

**Mae’r datganiad yma hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg**

–ENDS–

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Screenshot 2021 03 28 At 20.27.24 (1)
Women’s History Month: Sara Sugarman

Biography

Sara Sugarman was born in Rhyl, Denbighshire, Wales. She is an actress and director, known for Sid and Nancy (1986), Very Annie Mary (2001), Disney‘s Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004) and Vinyl (2012). In 1994 she won a place at Bournemouth Film School, scripted and directed three short films, nominated for a BAFTA, BAFTA CYMRU and won twenty three International film festivals.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I sent away for a super 8 kit from the classified section of my dad’s newspaper when I was 11. It was plastic. I still have the camera and it was so so exciting! I wanted to remake JAWS on Rhyl beach and this was the time I realised I could make my imagination have a place telling stories.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

Just finished shooting SAVE THE CINEMA for Sky cinema.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

I am editing the film now. I feel very lucky in a time of a pandemic to be making a movie.

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Female Film Makers Pauline
Women’s History Month: Pauline Williams

Biography

Producer, writer and former co-director of Gaucho production company. Producer of award winning feature films One Full Moon, Leaving Lenin ac The Making of Maps. Multi BAFTA award winner as producer of numerous TV drama series & film. Mentor & producer of short film projects nurturing new directors & writers. Project manager for Off y Grid, a Film Hub Wales initiative. Currently producing short films in a pilot project between Wales and Nepal and developing a TV drama series for young people.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

As a child, cinema was a regular feature on a Saturday morning & over the years the more films I saw the more I fell in love with the big screen. However I always thought that working in films was an impossible dream for a girl from the sticks. After a brief mindset detour – when I thought I would become a surgeon- I realised that this was definitely not for me. Throughout adolescence, university & the early days of my career film has always fired my imagination & has transported me to other worlds & cultures.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

I wrote & produced a 3 part drama series for S4C, filmed in Wales & Majorca.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

Mentoring a filmmaking course for young people + waiting for venues to open to rekindle Off y Grid activities as a project manager/co-ordinator and producing a 6 part drama series for young people. Also I’m considering potential film projects. I have just accepted an invitation to produce/mentor 3 short films with young filmmakers from Wales as part of the International Youth Media Summit. This is a collaboration between Nepal & Wales. I’m also a producer/mentor on a forthcoming filmmaking course for young people in North Wales.

Useful links:

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Female Film Makers Claire Fowler
Women’s History Month: Claire Fowler

Biography

Claire Fowler is a writer-director from Wales who is based both in the US and UK. Her latest short, Salam, was the first Welsh short film to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was one of ten shorts selected for the Short Film Award at the BFI London Film Festival. It has since screened at more than one hundred festivals and won over ten awards including the BAFTA Cymru award for best short in 2020.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of filmmaking, and I’ve always loved narrative in the form of reading books, drawing, and watching films. But being from a small village in North Wales it didn’t really occur to me that directing was even an option for me– which sounds ridiculous when you consider that I studied Fine Art at University. I guess my naive teenage brain thought I could be a teacher and an artist, but never a director because only posh people did that- which just goes to show that representation matters. But at University I began to make little experimental films and I became completely absorbed in the process. There was this palpable magnetic pull towards filmmaking, but there was also a huge amount of resistance from me (and my family) in the form of very practical questions such as: How do I even begin to do this? Where will I find the money for each film? How can I make a living? But I had to give in to the gradual realisation that I would not be happy unless I pursued it. To be completely honest, it still feels very far away because I don’t yet make a full-time living from directing. Sometimes I manage to for months at a time, but right now I still need a back-up for the dry periods. What we do not talk about is the fact that most people who succeed in this business have independent wealth. To make even a short film a director has to not only raise the funds for the film itself, but also factor in lost earnings for all of the days spent casting, in prepro, on-set and then in post.  If you don’t have all of the resources on hand, you still have to pay rent and bills, eat and travel and maintain other employment. It’s a real juggling act when you’re not wealthy and no one is ever going to give you extra credit for that. 

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last project I worked on as director was actually as a director-for-hire and it was unfortunately not an enjoyable experience. The writers were great, the scripts had a lot of potential and the cast and crew were lovely, but it was low budget, corners were cut, and certain directorial decisions were taken out of my hands by the producers. It only served to weaken the end result and make the process painful. A director’s job is to bring their vision to a project. One person takes on that responsibility because design by committee is disastrous. A director-for-hire has the additional responsibility of pleasing various people– execs, writers, producers. In this situation, there is a process that should be followed to ensure that everyone is happy– for example, casting and other creative decisions (such as hiring key crew) should be made in consultation, there should be in-depth concept and tone meetings for every episode, a post-production schedule, time set aside for a director’s cut. It should be a collaboration, but one that supports the director as the creative helmer of the project. This job did not follow the usual professional process, and it did not respect my role as director. Compromise is always possible when there is respect present in a relationship, but if someone insists on imposing their vision over the director’s, then there is going to be discord on-screen and off.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

I am developing a feature script with BBC Films and Sorcha Bacon of Try Hard productions. It has taken pretty much the whole of the pandemic to get the contract to a place where we are all happy, but I am really excited to be working with Sorcha, and Claudia and Eva of the BBC.

Useful links:

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ExKaMTVWUAUz386
Wales/Nepal: Our Lives, Our Stories, Our Countries

The project is a collaboration between Wicked Wales Ffilm and the International Youth Media Summit organisation based in Nepal. Wicked Wales Film runs the Wicked Wales International Youth Film Festival and IYMS brings together young filmmakers from all over the world to their annual summit meeting. 

This year these two organisations have formed a partnership to run a pilot project to create 3 webisodes from each partner. The 10 minute webisodes will be a celebration of each country,  promoting their diverse cultures & languages. The films will be screened at a number of  international events and uploaded onto the websites of the two partners. 

IYMS work on a global stage as partners with the United Nations UN, UNICEF and UNESCO so we are  delighted to be a part of this collaboration. Many of their previous films look at the global issues  facing future generations. Their current webisode series is available for viewing at  https://sanatione.iyms.org 

This project has been made possible with financial support from Wales Arts International ac Wicked Wales Film funds. 

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Female Film Makers Claire S
Women’s History Month: Clare Sturges

Biography

Clare Sturges is a writer and director based in Cardiff, Wales. She recently wrote and directed BAFTA Cymru-nominated narrative short THE ARBORIST through the BFI Network, which premiered on BBC Two and is currently available on BBC iPlayer.

Clare’s short documentary MY BRIEF ETERNITY won the BAFTA Cymru Short Film Award in 2016. The film was nominated for Best Short Doc at London Short Film Festival 2016, longlisted for a British Independent Film Award in the same year and the EE BAFTA for British Short Film in 2017. Clare won the BAFTA Cymru Breakthrough Award for her documentary SEXWORK, LOVE & MR RIGHT in 2015, which was acquired for broadcast by ABC Australia.

Since 2017, Clare has been shadowing director Euros Lyn – on Channel4 mini-series KIRI, Jack Thorne’s BBC adaptation of HIS DARK MATERIALS and Film4/Raw feature DREAM HORSE. She has also shadowed series DP Adriano Goldman on the Aberfan episode of Netflix’s THE CROWN (S3), and director Phil John on Sky’s LUCKY MAN (S3). 

In 2020, Clare was awarded bursaries from Ffilm Cymru Wales and the Welsh Broadcasting Trust to support her development as a director of scripted work.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I was 30 years old, recently made redundant from a desk job I hated, and freelancing as an advertising copywriter. One of my agencies asked me to write an AV script for a corporate client. I wasn’t sure what an AV script was and had to look it up. Then they asked me what the meta-narrative was and again I scurried off to Google to find out. A whole new world of visual storytelling opened up to me and I was hooked from then on.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

I wrote and directed narrative short The Arborist through the BFI Network scheme, via Ffilm Cymru Wales / BBC Wales. It’s a deeply personal film – a drama about grief and loss and the power of objects, places, people and memories to connect us to those we’ve lost.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

I’ve recently signed with United Agents and we’re working together to progress my career to the next level… having ‘generals’ with producers and execs, applying for career development opportunities and being put forward for jobs. It’s all about landing upon a lucky opportunity to break through into drama directing, while developing my own projects alongside. I’m currently writing my first feature film: a ghost story set in the Highlands of Scotland. And I’m developing a documentary series and a factual drama – both of which explore the ripple effects of homicide.

Useful links:

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Female Film Makers Rungano
Women’s History Month: Rungano Nyoni

Biography

Rungano Nyoni is a self-taught Writer / Director. She was born in Lusaka, Zambia and grew up in Wales, UK. 

Rungano’s first short film THE LIST won a BAFTA Cymru, her subsequent short film MWANSA THE GREAT was selected for over 100 International Film Festival and was nominated for a BAFTA in 2012. In 2013 Rungano wrote Z1 which subsequently won Best Short at The British Independent Film Awards. Her short LISTEN has been nominated for a European Film Award 2015 and won the Best Short Narrative Prize at Tribeca Film Festival. 

Rungano’s debut feature was I AM NOT A WITCH. It follows the story of an 8 year old girl who is exiled to a Witch Camp. The film premiered in Cannes and was nominated for numerous international awards. In 2018 Rungano won the BAFTA for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer. She also won best director and best debut director at the 2017 British Independent Film Awards.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I can’t pinpoint the first time it was a bit more organic than that. I made my way through acting, producing and other jobs in film and landed on directing and writing.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

A short film during lockdown called ‘Couple Break Up While In Lockdown Lol’.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

I am busy writing and working on several projects and hoping I get to make them soon. I was due to shoot my next film in Zambia but obviously due to Covid thats had to be postponed until next year.

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