Heather Small Iris Prize
Heather Small is confirmed as new Patron for the Iris Prize

Organisers of the Cardiff based Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival are delighted to confirm the appointment of Heather Small as a patron of the organisation.

The world-famous soul singer achieved huge success in the 90s with the group M People, selling over 10 million albums worldwide, before embarking on a solo career, with hits including Proud. Heather has been a supporter of the Iris Prize for many years, performing during the festival’s awards show in 2017 and returning in 2018 as a member of the International Jury.

Heather Small, Singer and Iris Patron commented:

There are certain things you do that put joy in your heart and make you smile from the inside out: that, for me, is the Iris Prize.

“I have to say, it feels amazing. I am truly committed to the Iris Prize and I am truly committed to my new role. I want to bring something a little extra that is part of me, in the sense of more people hearing about the Iris Prize and more people seeing those films. They definitely have to be seen. These stories have to be told.”

Berwyn Rowlands, Director and Founder of the Iris Prize commented: 

I’ve always been a massive fan of Heather and I’m happy to admit I was a little starstruck when she agreed to support Iris by performing at the awards show. They say “don’t meet your heroes”, but I’m glad I did!

 “She was amazing and a very popular jury member who took the job seriously. She took an active part in the decision-making process which awards one film maker with the £30,000 Iris Prize — still the world’s largest single prize for a short film.

 “What’s super cool about Heather is she’s got the gift of reaching out to people. There was a lovely incident in a Cardiff restaurant during the 2018 festival. It was late and the jury were tired having been watching and discussing films all day. Heather had other ideas, suddenly she befriended the guy who had been entertaining the diners with his guitar. Next thing, they were singing Stand By Me together. It was one of those magic moments, which happen often when you are in the company of this special person.”

Andrew Pierce, Festival Chair, commented:

You just know when somebody is genuine and interested in your work. Heather has been unbelievably generous with her time supporting Iris and our work in sharing LGBT+ stories to as wide an audience as possible.

“In our 15fed anniversary year we are in a strong position to take Iris to another level. Unexpectedly we reached audiences in the 80,000 in 2020 as we took Iris online. I’m sure with Heather joining us formally as a patron we should be able to sustain those numbers in 2021 and I hope increase them.”

“There are a lot of unknowns about how 2021 will pan out, primarily because of the continued impact of the pandemic. But I am reassured that with Heather joining our other patrons, including Lord Glendonbrook, Christopher Racster, Sara Sugarman, Katie White and myself, we have enough stability to see our work continue and increase in impact as we share more LGBT+ stories with new audiences.”

To celebrate her appointment as an Iris Prize patron, Heather appears on the cover of DIVA Magazine (February 2021), which also features a full 7-page interview between Heather and DIVA publisher Linda Riley. The following is a small extract from the interview:  

This year Iris celebrates its 15th anniversary. Why do you think it’s been such a success? 

I think it’s the passion, dedication and commitment of all involved – Berwyn Rowlands, festival director and his team. I’ve met them several times over the years. It was so wonderful that even with Covid they made it work and involved more people than ever before.”

“There’s no incentive like being told “no” to make you turn it into a “yes”. I understand that more than a lot of people. When you belong to the LGBTQI community, when you belong to the Black Lives Matter movement, you understand being marginalised, you understand people telling you “no”. The word “no” followed me around like a bad odour in my youth. Somebody saying, “It’s going to be a challenge”, “It’s going to be difficult”, “It’s going to be hard”. All that does is fuel your ambition and you press forward.”

The full story in Diva is available yma.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film 4, University of South Wales, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound. 

Mae'r ŵyl hefyd yn gweithio mewn partneriaeth â BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru a Stonewall Cymru. 

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Made In Wales 800×450
Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn penodi Swyddog Gwnaethpwyd yng Nghymru newydd i hyrwyddo ffilmiau Cymreig.

Mae Canolfan Ffilm Cymru wedi creu rôl arloesol newydd, ar gyfer hyrwyddo ffilmiau Cymreig a’r sinemau sydd yn eu dangos.

Mae Radha Patel yn ymuno gyda’r tîm fel y Swyddog Gwnaethpwyd yng Nghymru ar gyfnod holl bwysig wrth i’r diwydiant ffilm gynllunio ar gyfer dyfodol y tu hwnt i Covid-19. Gyda chefnogaeth gan Cymru Greadigol a’i ddatblygu mewn ymgynghoriad gyda’r diwydiant sgrin Cymreig, fe fydd y rôl arloesol newydd yma yn edrych ar ffyrdd i ddatblygu cynulleidfaoedd ar gyfer ffilmiau gyda chysylltiadau Cymreig.

Esboniodd Hana Lewis, Rheolwraig Strategol Canolfan Ffilm Cymru:

 “Mae’r diwydiant ffilm wedi wynebu heriau enfawr yn ystod y pandemig, o gau sinemau yn hir dymor a chanslo gwyliau, i oedi mewn amserlennu rhyddhau ffilmiau newydd. Mae ffilmiau Cymreig fel Six Minutes to Midnight Andy Goddard gyda Judy Dench a Dream Horse Euros Lyn gyda Toni Collette, yn ddwy enghraifft yn unig o’r ffilmiau sydd wedi cael eu heffeithio, gan golli incwm tocynnau hanfodol a hefyd cyfle i ddathlu straeon Cymreig. Rydym yn falch o groesawu Radha i’n tîm, i rôl sydd yn gallu cefnogi’r rhain a nifer o ffilmiau newydd eraill wrth iddyn nhw chwilio am lwybrau newydd i gyrraedd cynulleidfaoedd.”

Datblygwyd y rôl ar y cyd gyda Strategaeth Gwnaethpwyd yng Nghymru Canolfan Fffilm Cymru sydd wedi bod yn gweithio i ddathlu’r Gymraeg, a diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru ar y sgrin ers 2014. Mae dros 700 o ffilmiau gyda chysylltiadau Cymreig ar wefan y Ganolfan, ynghyd ag ystafell rhagddangos ar-lein ar gyfer rhaglenwyr ffilmiau a dewis i wneuthurwyr ffilmiau gyflwyno eu ffilmiau ar gyfer cymorth hyrwyddo. Yn fwyaf diweddar cynhaliodd Canolfan Fffilm Cymru ymchwil i botensial brand Gwnaethpwyd yng Nghymru i hyrwyddo ffilmiau Cymreig yn rhyngwladol.

Dywedodd Gerwyn Evans, Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr, Cymru Greadigol: 

“Rydym yn edrych ymlaen at adfer ein diwydiannau creadigol yn 2021. Mae ffilmiau wedi chwarae rôl mor allweddol mewn ein diddanu gartref yn ystod 2020, ond edrychwn ymlaen ar groesawu cynulleidfaoedd i’n sinemau unwaith eto. Yng Nghymru mae gennym dreftadaeth gyfoethog ac enw da cadarn o ffilm, gyda nifer o sinemau lleol yn aros i groesawu cynulleidfaoedd yn ôl. Dymunwn y gorau i Radha yn y rôl allweddol yma gyda Chanolfan Ffilm Cymru yn hyrwyddo ffilmiau Cymreig a sinemau yng Nghymru.” 

Dywedodd Claire Vaughan, Rheolwraig Rhaglen Canolfan Gelfyddydau Chapter yng Nghaerdydd:  

"Rydym yn falch bod Radha yn dechrau’r gwaith ar y rôl bwysig yma a fydd yn helpu i hyrwyddo ffilmiau Cymreig. Fe fydd y swydd yma yn ein galluogi i gysylltu gyda rhagor o wneuthurwyr ffilm ac aelodau cynulleidfaoedd sydd yn awyddus i glywed straeon Cymreig. Mae Radha yn artist talentog sydd yn rhoi pwyslais ar sut rydym yn esbonio ein hunain gyda straeon ac mae ei hymagwedd cynnes tuag at gynulleidfaoedd a’i dull proffesiynol gyda rhanddeiliaid yn ei gwneud yn benodiad ardderchog i’r rôl." 

Mae rolau blaenorol Radha yn cynnwys Swyddog Cyfathrebu yn Age Cymru a Swyddog Prosiectau ac Allgyrraedd i Gentle/Radical, corff celfyddydau cymdeithasol ymgysylltiedig yng Nghaerdydd. Mae gan Radha gefndir mewn datblygu cynulleidfa ac mae’n teimlo’n angerddol ynghylch sicrhau bod sinema yn hygyrch ac yn gynrychioliadol o bawb.

Ymchwanega Radha: 

“Rwyf bob amser wedi teimlo’n angerddol am sinema a sicrhau ei fod yn hygyrch i bawb. Fel y Swyddog Gwnaethpwyd yng Nghymru rwyf yn teimlo’n freintiedig i barhau i wneud hyn drwy sicrhau bod ffilmiau a gynhyrchir yng Nghymru, neu sydd â chysylltiadau Cymreig yn cael sylw haeddiannol gan gynulleidfaoedd yn genedlaethol ac yn rhyngwladol. Mae Cymru yn gartref i griwiau a thimau cynhyrchu anghygoel o dalentog, gwneuthurwyr ffilm ac awduron, actorion ac unigolion talentog sydd yn gweithio drwy gydol y flwyddyn i ddod â straeon yn fyw. Er mwyn eu hyrwyddo’n wirioneddol rhaid inni hefyd hyrwyddo cynulleidfaoedd Cymreig oherwydd mae’r straeon a ddywedwn yn perthyn i bob un ohonom"

Dysgwch ragor am Radha a sut y gallwch gysylltu gyda hi drwy wefan Canolfan Ffilm Cymru.

Caiff Canolfan Ffilm Cymru ei arwain gan Chapter fel rhan o Rwydwaith Datblygu Cynulleidfa BFI. Diolch i gyllid y Loteri Cenedlaethol mae Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn darparu portffolio eang o weithgareddau yn flynyddol gan gyflwyno rhagor o ffilmiau, i ragor o bobl, mewn rhagor o sinemau a gwyliau ffilm ar draws Cymru.

Diwedd.

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FEF Collage
Mae Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn dyfarnu £52,000 mewn cronfeydd Covid-19 i sinemau a gwyliau yng Nghymru.

Datganiad i’r Cyfryngau:

Mae Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn dyfarnu £52,000 mewn cronfeydd Covid-19 i sinemau a gwyliau yng Nghymru.

Mae lleoliadau ffilm yn rhoi llesiant ar y blaen yn eu rhaglenni ailagor ôl Covid-19.

Mae Canolfan FfIlm Cymru wedi dyfarnu £52,000 mewn cyllid Loteri Cenedlaethol, drwy Gronfa Arddangos FAN BFI, i 15 o sinema annibynnol a gwyliau ffilm wrth iddyn nhw gynllunio i ailagor.

Defnyddir yr arian i gynorthwyo adferiad, gan alluogi lleoliadau i ailddechrau dangos ffilmiau Prydeinig a rhyngwladol, yn cynnwys drwy seddi ar steil cabaret a ‘swigod sgrin fawr’, er mwyn iddyn nhw allu ailgysylltu gyda’r cymunedau mwyaf ynysig yng Nghyrmu sydd wedi cael eu heffeithio gan y cyfnod clo.

Cynhelir gweithgareddau ffilm gan gadw pellter cymdeithasol ar draws Cymru, gan greu gofod diogel lle gall pobl barhau i deithio’r byd drwy gyfrwng y sgrin fawr, am brisiau fforddiadwy. Fe fydd cynulleidfaoedd ar flaen y broses o wneud penderfyniadau, gyda’u hadborth yn cael ei werthfawrogi gan leoliadau wrth iddyn nhw ailadeiladu.

Er enghraifft, mae TAPE yn Hen Golwyn yn ailgychwyn Sinema Soffa ac fe fydd yn dangos Sanctuary mewn partneriaeth gydag asiantaeth paru lleol newydd i bobl gydag anableddau dysgu, Yn y Barri, fe fydd Canolfan Gelfyddydau’r Memo yn creu gweithgareddau ‘Swigen Sgrin Fawr’ gyda chrefftau digidol a chludo ymaith, ac yn y Magig Lantern, Tywyn, fe fyddan nhw’n ‘ailgynnau’r lantern hud’ gan osod y sinema fel goleudy dewr, eofn ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Ers cychwyn y pandemig mae nifer o safleoedd wedi methu agor eu dryau i’r cyhoedd. Gyda’r dyfodol yn parhau’n ansicr, maen nhw wedi bod yn gweithio i amrywio eu model busnes, datblygu gweithdrefnau iechyd a diogelwch cadarn a sicrhau ffynonellau incwm amgen holl bwysig.

Mae Hana Lewis, Rheolwraig Strategol Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn esbonio:

Mae angen inni gydnabod effaith sinemau yn ein cymunedau a’r golled potensial y bydd pawb ohonom yn ei wynebu os ydyn nhwn cau oherwydd y pandemig. O Neuadd Ogwen, oedd yn darparu bwyd i 600 o bobl drwy ei fanc bwyd, i’r Magic Lantern a Theatr Gwaun oedd yn darparu cyflenwadau meddygol a chefnogaeth iechyd meddwl i ddefnyddwyr bregus, mae lleoliadau annibynnol wedi mynd yr ail filltir i helpu’r rhai sydd fwyaf mewn angen. Maen nhw weid gwneud hyn ac ar yr un pryd yn cynllunio ar gyfer eu dyfodol ansicr eu hunain, archwilio eu cynlluniau busnes, adolygu eu dulliau mynediad a chydraddoldeb, edrych ar gynaliadwyedd amgylcheddol. Fe fydd y cronfeydd yma yn eu helpu i ailgychwyn darpariaeth cymdeithasol, economaidd a diwylliannol holl bwysig drwy weithgareddau ar y sgrin.

Annie Grundy, Cyd-gyfarwyddwraig The Magic Lantern:

Mae’r arian yma yn ein galluogi i lapio pelen fawr o wlan cotwm o amgylch ffilmiau Prydeinig, annibynnol ac ieithoedd tramor yn ein rhaglen yr oeddem yn yr hen ddyddiau cyn coronafeirws roeddem wedi eu tanysgrifio inni ein hunain. Mae’n sicrhau y gall ein cynulleidfaoedd, hyd yn oed gyda chapasiti llawer llai (36 o seddi yn lle 280 oherwydd rheolau cadw pellter) ddod i wylio cymysegdd eclectig o ffilmiau gwych ar y sgrin yn y Magic Lantern.

Ychwanega Sue Whitbread, Prif Swyddog Gweithredol Theatr Gwaun:  

Mae cefnogaeth Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn golygu ein bod yn gallu mynd ymlaen gyda’n strategaeth ffilm newydd. Fe fydd Theatr Gwaun nawr yn canolbwynto ar ffilmiau amrywiol, annibynnol gan adfywio diddordeb a datblygu cynulleidfaoedd newydd yn ein cymuned. Mae cyllid yn hanfodol, a hefyd y cyngor a’r mentora arbenigol.

Mae Blanche Giacci yn byw ychydig strydoedd i ffwrdd o Theatr Gwaun ac ar gyfnod normal fe fyddai'n mynychu dangosiad o leiaf unwaith yr wythnos:

Mae Theatr Gwaun yn rhan hanfodol o'n cymuned, yn darparu sinema, diwylliant ac adloniant i bob grwp oedran a diddordeb. Mae'n ganolfan gymdeithasol sydd yn gwella llesiant y gymuned.

Dywed Ben Luxford, Pennaeth Cynulleidfaoedd DU yn BFI: 

Mae eleni wedi dangos pwysigrwydd ac angen rhaglennu y tu hwnt i'r prif ffrwd, ac rydym yn falch o allu cefngi arddangoswyr yng Nghymru i barhau i wneud hynny.

Mae’r gronfa arddangos ffilm (BFI) drwy ei Rwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm (FAN). Mae’r gronfa yn cynnig cymorth hanfodol a pharhad busnes i arddangoswyr ar draws y DU gyfan. Gweinyddir y cronfeydd yng Nghymru gan Ganolfan Ffilm Cymru drwy Chapter fel y Corff Arwain Canolfan Ffilm.

Diwedd
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O'r chwith i'r dde: Galeri Caernarfon, Memo Arts Centre Barry © Jon Pountney, Theatr Gwaun, The Magic Lantern © Mathieu Gasquet, WOW Women’s Film Club © Jon Pountney, Wicked Wales Tir Morfa Awards, Memo Arts Centre Barry WAM © Jon Pountney, Monmouth Savoy © David Broadbent

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Yourscreen
YourScreen: Virtual Cinema Offer

‘Open your doors’ during lockdown and let your audience watch films – mostly new and unavailable on other digital platforms – on YourScreen.

By promoting YourScreen, you will be earning revenue now and well into the future.


What is it?

YourScreen
is your virtual cinema, a short-term solution to keep you going during the pandemic.  It also provides a long-term opportunity to add an extra screen to your film programme – to appeal to new audiences and to generate additional revenue without the overheads.

How does it work?
For every virtual ticket sold, YourScreen will pay you 30%.


Participation is simple:
– They will provide you with a promo code which will give you audience 25% off ticket purchases.
– You promote the films on your website / social media / e-shot.
– At the end of the season they will send you a sales report and an invitation to invoice them for 30% of all purchases made.

If you participated in YourScreen season one, your existing promo code will be valid for season two.

Contact:
Please get in touch to learn more: patrick.yourscreen@gmail.com or visit their wefan Canolfan Ffilm Cymru.

Current deal:
Season Four will be available from from 23 July until 19 September

Films available:

  • Summer Survivors
  • Time For Love / Kolej na milosc
  • The Outside Story
  • Those Who Remained / Akik maradtak
  • Window To the Sea / Una ventana al mar
  • Calamity / Calamity, une enfance de Martha Jane Cannary
  • But Beautiful
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Iris Prize LGBT+ Festival Announces 2020 Winners

Short Calf Muscle, directed by Victoria Warmerdam, has been announced the winner of the Iris Prize 2020, Cardiff’s International LGBT+ Short Film Prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation. This was the first time in the festival’s 14-year history that a film from the Netherlands has won. The £30,000 prize enables Victoria to make a new short film in Wales, becoming the thirteenth Iris production.  Better, directed by Michael J. Ferns, wins Best British Award.

The winners of all Awards categories were announced at a special awards ceremony on Saturday night marking the successful end to the unique virtual festival that has attracted a UK wide audience to watching film screenings and talks online for free, which included the UK premiere on opening night of Lloyd Eyre-Morgan and Neil Ely’s S.A.M.

The awards show included performances by Welsh singer Casi Wyn and pop legend Heather Small.

THE WINNERS 

IRIS PRIZE

The international winner of Iris Prize is Victoria Warmerdam for SHORT CALF MUSCLE from the Netherlands.

Philip Guttman, from the Iris Prize jury says,

Short Calf Muscle captures a universal sense of being misunderstood in an hilarious yet absurd comic tone, setting it apart in a class of its own. Piquant dialogue, accomplished storytelling and tongue in cheek acting are distilled into a potent black comedy, where Anders, a gay man, suddenly finds himself labelled to be a “gnome” by everyone around him, harkening to our own society that all too often misgenders or misidentifies others. Filmmaker Victoria Warmerdam masterfully tackles themes of prejudice and societal authoritarianism, captured through an impeccable Stepford style lens which contrasts the loss of control in a world gone mad. Ms. Warmerdam reveals herself to be a singular, exciting and rising comedy director.

The film was the chosen nomination of Iris partner festival Roze Filmdagen; Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival. Werner Borkes, the festival’s Director, said of Victoria’s win,

as a festival we are already extremely honored that we have been a nominating festival for years, but we are all the more proud that our nominee actually takes the prize home. (Eight times is a charm). It is great to see how very ‘Dutch’ the film is in tone and style, but still connects with an international audience through its original but still universal relatable story about whether or not to be different.

The shortlisted finalists also included Runner Up Victoria, as well as Boys ac On My Way.

Of Victoria, jury members and previous Iris Prize winners Lara Zeidan and Sarah Smith say,

A brilliant setting for a simple and touching story perfectly contained within one scene. The shifting of perspectives deftly executed in the writing and directing gives voice to both characters’ complicated emotions. The performances, the pacing, the compositions, the colour palette, and the use of the Victoria Amazónica as metaphor, all work in harmony leading towards a beautifully poetic ending, and demonstrate a remarkable command of the craft of filmmaking.

Of Boys, Mikael Bundsen and Philip Guttman, say,

In Banim (Boys), filmmaker Lior Soroka, draws us into an aching coming of age story depicting one teen’s fight for independence and his mother’s struggle to let go, while simultaneously evoking questions about gender norms in contemporary society. With its riveting performances, the striking complexity in the character’s relationships, and for what is left unsaid, but deeply felt, Soroka has captured our hearts and our imaginations.

Of On My Way, Mikael Bundsen says, “Filmmaker Sonam Larcin crafts an intimate story potent with questions to reflect on long after the film’s running time. Complex characters navigating the conditions of a vulnerable migrant to a clandestine gay relationship teetering on the edge are masterfully brought to life by a stellar cast. It’s beautiful, accomplished and it leaves us passionate to see more”.

BEST BRITISH AWARD

The winner of Best of British short films is Scottish-born Michael J. Ferns for BETTER. The other films that made the final shortlist are Runner Up Queens, as well as The Passing ac Wings.

Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, who chaired the jury for Best British Short, commented:

The quality and range of this year’s Best British Short film contenders has been excellent – so much so that the jury was spoiled in having to choose a winner. Michael J Fern’s short film Better was distinctive for its quietly controlled and beautifully orchestrated examination of gender as a young mother tries to cope with the bullying of her young son at school. Our other shortlisted titles, Queens, The Passing and Wings raised the bar in their unique portrayals and studies of LGBT+ lives and stories.

Additionally, cementing the first of a three-year sponsorship deal with Film4, all 15 films in Best British programmes will be available for free streaming on All 4 from 11th October.

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM AWARDS

Best Performance in a Male Role in a Feature Film, sponsored by Attitude, was awarded to Leandro Faria Lelo from DRY WIND, directed by Daniel Nolasco and distributed by TLA Releasing.

Lewis Bayley, chair of Best Feature jury made up of film students from Bournemouth Film School, says,

The award for Best Performance in a Male Role is awarded to Leandro Faria Lelo in Dry Wind, whose compelling performance of sexual desire captivates the audience and explores the intensity of yearning in the monotonous confines of an oppressive system.

He adds,

an honourable mention to Oscar Chiu’s performance in The Teacher, where his gentle and tender performance exposes the audience to the realities of life in Taiwan as a queer teacher through his vulnerability, and spark that commands attention to this quiet protagonist.

Best Performance in a Female Role in a Feature Film, sponsored by Diva, was awarded to Lena Urzendowsy for COCOON. The winner was announced pop legend Heather Small.

Of Lena’s performance, Lewis says,

The award for Best Performance in a Female role goes to Lena Urzendowsky. Lena’s honest and raw portrayal of Nora in Cocoon captures a teenager in a time of self-discovery, complicated by the dramas and vices of those closest to her. In this beautiful coming-of-age story, Lena holds the attention in each frame she appears with quiet nuance and vulnerability.

“The jury would also like to draw attention to recognise the performance of Alexandra Grey in Gossamer Folds, whose warmth and determination to live authentically serve as a beacon of hope in a film where so many characters exist in a state of such uncertainty. Although the film is based in 1986, the relevance to the world today are particularly poignant and a reminder of work yet to be done, and Alexandra’s performance is nothing short of essential.

The Best International Feature Film Award, sponsored by Bad Wolf, is won by COCOON, directed by Leonie Krippendorff and is distributed in UK by Peccadillo Pictures.

Of Cocoon, Lewis Bayley says,

The winning film is an honest and open coming of age story, addressing its lead’s sexuality with delicacy and heart that speaks directly to personal experiences. The innocence of self-discovery, in the midst of the complexities of the lives of those around us are explored with nuance and authenticity. The supporting visages are dreamlike, relatable and beautifully rendered.

YOUTH JURY

The winner of the Youth Jury Award is WINGS from UK director Jamie Weston, and the runner-up is Luca Padrini’s When In Rome (Paese Che Vai).

The four short-listed films, chosen from 35 nominees for the main Iris Prize, were Wings, My God I’m Queer, When In Rome (Paese Che Vai) and Snake, which had been specially programmed by a group of young people from Into Film and Pride Cymru and then voted for by young people from schools across Wales.

AUDIENCE AWARD

One of the additional innovations for this year is the introduction of the Co-op Audience Award, the natural next step in the strong relationship with the Iris Prize, started by Co-op Respect. This year Co-op shoppers will be encouraged to watch the 35 short films – and vote for their favourite.

Those who votes will be eligible to win a trip to attend the 2021 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in Cardiff, the prize will include train travel within the UK, hotel accommodation and a full VIP Pass for two people. Other prizes include luxury Co-op Hampers, just in time for Christmas! When can I vote? Voting for the Co-op Audience Award opens on Wednesday 7 October and closes on Saturday 31 October 2020.

Lord Glendonbrook said during his address:

The Iris Prize continues to be the world’s largest short film prize and I’m delighted that through The Michael Bishop Foundation we have been able to support the winners, to create new short films. These Iris Productions are wonderful opportunities for the film makers to be given the freedom to share our stories to a world that sometimes ignore us and sometimes hate us.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair says “Against the odds, film makers, sponsors and our UK audience have come together this week to celebrate our stories through film. As David Llewellyn mentioned duringIris Live!,“We may be watching these films in separate rooms, but we’re still watching them together.”

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film 4, University of South Wales, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound.

Mae'r ŵyl hefyd yn gweithio mewn partneriaeth â BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru a Stonewall Cymru.

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Logo FB Shared Image
Dial F For Freelancer Launches Online, Making Space for Valuable Voices in Film Exhibition and Distribution

Thursday 8th October 2020: A network boasting over 250 members has unveiled their dedicated space celebrating the massive talents represented by the freelance cohort of the UK’s film exhibition and distribution sectors. Dial F for Freelancer is led by film freelancers for their peers, sharing past projects and reaching potential clients. Dial F for Freelancer is the first of its kind and the only dedicated space for freelancers working in film distribution and exhibition.

The current unfolding news regarding the future of film exhibition highlights the pressing need for this platform to exist. Whilst the film industry relies on freelancers, there are currently no formal structures to support them collectively:

“…more than half of the industry workforce are freelancers or mix freelance work with periods of employment. Freelancers are the lifeblood of our industry, yet they don’t have access to the benefits, security or workplace support of permanent employees.” – The Whole Picture Programme Report – The Film and TV Charity, 2020

The Dial F for Freelancer platform has been developed with the needs of freelancers at the forefront to celebrate the sector’s unique skills. The founding members are looking to reduce the barriers and labour to finding paid work by creating an ever-growing network of freelancers.

The grassroots-led project places the platform in the hands of the users rather than a third party. Users control their pitch and profile, choosing the projects of which they’re proudest to showcase. Members of Dial F for Freelancer are also supported with resources, contacts and opportunities to collaborate.

The origins of this concept began during discussions at This Way Up 2019 (the UK’s film exhibition industry conference), a sidebar talk for freelancers led by Toki Allison spoke about the need for an informal network to be created to provide peer to peer support and reduce the feelings of isolation which are prevalent in freelancing. In March 2020 as freelancers began to lose work due to the pandemic, Allison, along with Moira McVean and Jo Taylor-Hitchinson decided to make the network a reality.

Initially a Facebook group set up to support freelancers affected by the onset of the lockdown attracted over 250 members and the trio realised a more formal platform was needed. They were awarded a Community Grant from The Film and TV Charity and have gained further industry support which has allowed them to create the Dial F for Freelancer platform.

The Dial F for Freelancer Steering Group, comprising eight freelancers working in the sector, have worked with a developer to design and launch Dial F For Freelancer to the industry.

This project has been supported by The Film and TV Charity’s Community Grants, a fund from the Film Distributors’ Association, and with further contributions from film distributors, including Altitude Film Distribution, Bohemia Media and eOne. The new platform endeavours to celebrate the wealth of talent and expertise represented across the network, whilst also creating a warm and welcoming space for freelancers working in exhibition and distribution to build their profiles and networks in an effective and easy way. They also plan to build a collective public presence and signpost available support for members.

Jo Taylor, co-founder of Dial F for Freelancer said:

My freelance career has been powered by collaboration and with the invaluable support of my peers. Creating a network such as this has been an aspiration of mine for a long time and so it’s gratifying to be working with colleagues and supporters who feel the same. It is so exciting to see Dial F for Freelancer come to fruition giving our sector the spotlight it deserves.

Andy Leyshon, Chief Executive, Film Distributors’ Association said:

The varied nature of the films FDA members distribute are often reliant upon project-focused freelance expertise across film booking, marketing and publicity specialities. Freelancers have been hit especially hard across the film ecosystem lately and we are pleased to support this worthwhile initiative during these challenging times.

Mark Jones, Head of Publicity, Altitude Media Group said:

Freelancers have played an integral role in several of Altitude’s releases and it’s been brilliant for us to be able to collaborate with a range of dynamic individuals. We know one of the greatest challenges of freelancing is the absence of close knit ‘colleagues’ to introduce new ways of thinking, building skills and further opportunities. Dial F for Freelancer is the perfect dedicated platform to offer that expanded network to those in the industry and also give distributors such as ourselves the opportunity to discover new talent to work with us on our releases.

Timon Singh, Campaigns Manager, Film Hub South West said:

For the BFI FAN New Release scheme, freelancers have been invaluable both to venues and distributors. Venues are often short-staffed, so having someone available to help with social media marketing and promoting the film has been incredibly useful for many. For distributors, freelancers also help to give their titles a fighting chance in an increasingly populated marketplace by promoting their films in more rural venues and organising events around screenings that make them stand-out from the crowd.

Anthony & Teanne Andrews, co-founders, We Are Parable said:

The need for a platform that can bring together freelancers who work in either film exhibition and/or distribution is absolutely essential. It provides the industry with a key place to seek out a wide variety of talented people, enabling opportunities to be visible for all, as well as offering freelancers a network to keep informed of an ever changing sector.

Anna Navas, Director and Programmer, Plymouth Arts Centre said:

Here at PAC we really value the work that freelancers do and have worked with many on different projects over the years. What they bring is new energy, insights and a whole world of different experiences and ways of working. What that does is invigorate organisations in a way that should be celebrated. The work they do is invaluable to the independent exhibition sector.

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Festival UK 2022 Social Graphic 1 Issued 200914 9eed5a99b701ba360780d44a67c674dc
Festival UK* 2022 announces that applications are open for a unique and pioneering, £3 million funded R&D opportunity.

Festival UK* 2022 today announces that applications are open for a unique and pioneering, £3 million funded R&D opportunity. The search is on for the greatest minds and brightest talents drawn from the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, and from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to form Creative Teams capable of developing major public engagement projects to showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation on a global scale.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Today marks the start of an exciting and demanding competition to find the brightest and best innovators in the UK as we begin the countdown to Festival UK 2022.We’re looking for the finest creative minds to help show the world what is possible when England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland come together and champion all that is great about our United Kingdom. The winning applicants will receive £3 million to turn their ideas into spectacular, unforgettable realities. This investment will support jobs and create new work across these sectors in all four corners of the UK as we help our cultural and creative industries recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture said:

This is a new and exciting opportunity for innovative minds from Scotland’s renowned Arts and Technology sectors. These challenging and uncertain times have had a profound effect on the culture sector and creative industries, and so I welcome this announcement as a boost to provide opportunities for work for artists, practitioners and organisations across the culture sector and beyond. The festival is an excellent way to highlight the power of culture and creativity to transform lives, to improve health and wellbeing, to contribute to the growing economy, and to bring our diverse communities together. I look forward to seeing the projects that are developed both in Scotland and across the other UK nations as part of the festival.

Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said: 

I’m hugely excited by another opportunity to raise Wales’ international profile as a small, creative nation, brimming with talented and friendly people, on the world stage. Coronavirus has placed massive and unprecedented challenges on the very fabric of Welsh life, equally so for our friends across the UK, and we applaud the resilience and creativity on display so far. This festival presents a golden opportunity for our burgeoning creative minds to thrive post-pandemic and once more showcase our talent to the world.

This investment comes at a time of particular need and marks the beginning of a process of development for inspirational projects that have mass appeal. As we look towards a near-future that will mark the transition into recovery, we look forward to a time when people will feel able to celebrate pride in communities and the places they call home.

Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer for Festival UK* 2022, said:

I am thrilled to be leading this project. Festival UK* 2022 will be a series of ten large-scale, thought -provoking, wonder-inducing projects. They will bring people together in unique and astounding ways and showcase our innovation and creativity across the globe. To create work that is ground-breaking and compelling we are investing in idea creation through this R&D phase. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with colleagues from different creative fields. A chance to discover new collaborators and celebrate under-represented talents. The aim is a national celebration of all our creativity. An unprecedented demonstration of the crucial, magical role that creativity can play to make life better.

At the end of the application process up to 30 teams, each receiving up to £100,000, will be selected to participate in the R&D programme to originate compelling, ambitious and extraordinary ideas for projects that have the potential to reach millions of people. Ideas are not a requirement of application process but Creative Teams must be able to demonstrate they have the skills and collaborators needed to meet a set of criteria against which they will be assessed.

£120million of new investment has been allocated to the festival by the UK Government (including £22.8m to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland devolved administrations), which will ultimately allow for the commissioning of up to 10 major projects in the final public programme for 2022. The festival will create opportunities for jobs within sectors significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Four of the ten commissions will each be led by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who will directly appoint up to two Creative Teams drawn from within their nations to take part in the R&D process.

Six commissions will be driven by Creative Teams from across the UK and beyond.

All ten commissions will be global in reach. Creative Teams will demonstrate the vital and inspirational role that creativity can play in our changing world; how unforgettable experiences can make life better.

Festival UK* 2022 will present the outcomes of the R&D work, a nationwide expression of innovative possibilities, as a public resource designed to inspire the next generation of UK creatives.

The ten commissions will be launched under a new festival name at the end of 2021 and take place throughout 2022.

R&D Timeline

9 September Registration & Applications Open
16 October 3pm Deadline for submissions
16 November – 31 January R&D Programme
1 – 26 February R&D Presentations and Shortlisting

Full details of the R&D Opportunity, Application Process and Guidelines can be found yma.

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Off Y Grid Screening Of Gwen
Into Film’s “Cinema’s That Made Me”: Pauline Williams From Off Y Grid, North Wales

Gyda sawl sinema dal ar gau oherwydd COVID-19, ry'n ni'n parhau i ddathlu lleoliadau annibynnol ar draws y DU yn ein cyfres 'Sinemau ein stori'. Dyma gyfweliad arbennig gyda Pauline Williams, Off y Grid, am y prosiect aml-leoliad sydd wedi'i gefnogi gan Canolfan Ffilm Cymru ac sy'n anelu i ddod a chymunedau ynghyd i wylio ffilmiau annibynnol Prydeinig. Nod Canolfan Ffilm Cymru, that aims to reduce isolation and increase engagement with British and independent film.

Mae Off y Grid yn brosiect sy'n gweld lleoliadau yn cyd-weithio ar daws Gogledd Cymru er mwyn darparu gwasanaeth gymunedol i gynulleidfaoedd ardaloedd gwledig a dathlu treftadaeth leol. Mae'n nhw'n gweithio ar y cyd i ddarparu rhaglenni tymhorol fel bod modd denu cynulleidfa ehangach ar draws yr ardal. Dyma Pauline Williams, Rheolwr y Prosiect, yn egluro sut y mae'n nhw'n cyd-weithio er mwyn gwella'r profiad i'r gynulleidfa ac er mwyn gallu rhannu arbenigedd ar draws y sinemau, mae hefyd yn son am ei phrofiadau cyntaf hi o'r sinema ac sut y mae'r profiadau hyn yn dylanwadu ar ei gwaith heddi.

Beth mae Off y Grid yn ei gynnig i'r gynulleidfa?

Mwy o bobol. Mwy o ffilmiau. Mwy o lefydd. Dyna ydi amcan prosiect Off Y Grid (OYG). Mae OYG yn cydlynnu partneriaeth unigryw rhwng saith canolfan yng Ngogledd Cymru sy'n gweithio ar y cyd i hyrwyddo ffilmiau annibynnol, Prydeinig a ffilmiau byd i gynulleidfaoedd mewn ardal wledig. Mae OYg hefyd yn cynnig arlwy o ffilmiau clasurol cyfarwydd yn ogystal â dathlu treftadaeth Cymru trwy ffilmiau archif.

Mae'r 7 canolfan - CellB, Galeri, Pontio, Neuadd Dwyfor, Neuadd Ogwen, Tape Community Music & Film a Theatr y Ddraig - yn cynnig profiadau gwahanol o ran gofod a lleoliad ond yn rhannu'r un meddylfryd gyda'r diwylliant Cymreig, etifeddiaeth a hygyrchedd yn ganolig i'r arlwy. Wrth gyd-weithio gellir hyrwyddo ffilmiau mwy heriol i gynulleidfa ehangach. Wrth rannu syniadau ceir cyfle i greu profidadau sinema newydd yn yr ardal.

Wedi ei ariannu gan Film Hub Wales, mae'r prosiect yn cynyddu gweithgareddau ar draws Gogledd Cymru mewn ardaloedd sy'n aml yn dioddef o ddiffyg nawdd a digwyddiadau celfyddydol. Mae'n digwyddiadau yn cysylltu â'r gymuned ac yn cynnig darpariaeth gelfyddydol, yn annog trafodaeth ac yn ehangu gorwelion trwy gyfrwng ffilm. Yn ogystal â dangos ffilmiau rydym yn cyflwyno gweithgareddau ychwanegol (fel sesiynnau holi ac ateb) ac yn cydlynnu gyda gwyliau ffilmiau a digwyddiadau sinematig yng Nghymru a thu hwnt.

Rydym yn cyd-weithio gyda nifer o bartneriaid rheolaidd ond yn barod i ehangu'n gorwelion gyda phartneriaid newydd er mwyn hyrwyddo ffilm. Yn ddiweddar rydym wedi bod yn cynnig sinema pop-up i gymunedau lleol a'r bwriad yw ehangu ar ein darpariaeth yn y maes yma yn ogystal â pharhau i ddatblygu cynulleidfa o bob oedran yn yr ardal.

Beth oedd eich swydd gyntaf? Sut arweiniodd hyn at Off y Grid?

Ar ôl cychwyn gyrfa yn y BBC Caerdydd a chael hyfforddiant yn gweithio ar ddramau a chyfresi teledu bum yn gweithio'n llawrydd nes i mi ymuno fel Cynhyrchydd â chwmni Gaucho a chyd-weithio gyda'r cyfarwyddwr Endaf Emlyn. Bu'r cwmni'n gyfrannwr allweddol yn y byd ffilm yng Nghymru ac roeddwn yn gyfrifol am gynhyrchu'r ffilmiau arobryn Un Nos Ola, Gadael Lenin, Y Mapiwr yn ogystal â dramau unigol a chyfresi drama ar gyfer teledu.

Cariad at ffilm a'r awydd i rannu'r brwdfrydedd yna a chynnig profiadau sinematig unigryw i gynulleidfaoedd hen a newydd sy'n fy nghyrru i gyd-weithio ar OYG.

Ydy ffilm a mynd i'r sinema wedi bod yn ro'ch bywyd erioed?

Pan yn blentyn roedd cael mynd i'r Majestic yng Nghaernarfon i glwb ffilm ar fore Sadwrn yn brofiad rhithiol. Doedd dim byd gwell nag ista'n y gynulleidfa yn disgwyl yn eiddgar i'r golau ddiffod yn ara deg a'r llenni i agor led y pen i arddangos sgrîn enfawr. Roedd bod yn y tywyllwch mewn byd arall yn brofiad mor gofiadwy. Dwi'n cofio mynd efo fy mam i weld Summer Holiday a'r llliwiau yn dallu'r llgadau. Ond yn fwy na hynny roedd y teimladau a ysgogwyd gan y ffilmiau mor bwerus.

Yn ddiweddarach roeddwn yn mynychu'r Coliseum yn Port a'r Forum yn Blaenau yn rheolaidd. (Yn anffodus does na'r un o'r sinemau yma'n bodoli bellach) Does dim byd mwy cyfareddol na bod yn yr hanner gwyll yn cael y'ch tywys i fyd arall. Does dim ffiniau i ddychymyg. Yn sicr roedd dylanwad y sinema yn y blynyddoedd cynnar yn allweddol yn fy newis o yrfa.

Sut y mae gweithio a'r lleoliadau san sylw wedi dylanwadu ar eich gwaith chi heddi?

Mae'r profiadau ges i o wylio ffilm ar y sgrîn fawr ac ymgolli mewn byd arall yn y sinemau cymunedol, lleol yma yn f'ysbrydoli i gynnig profiadau tebyg i gynulleidfaoedd heddiw. Roedd mynd i'r sinema yn brofiad rheolaidd, fforddadwy a'r rhaglen yn amrywiol felly roedd cynulleidfa'n derbyn a gwerthfawrogi pob math o ffilm- a hynny ar stepan drws.

Mae gwylio ffilm ar sgrîn fawr yn brofiad hudolus, rhithiol. Mae bod yn rhan o gynulleidfa sy'n cyd-rannu emosiwn yn deimlad cynhwysol, cyfrin. Mae ffilm yn gallu cyfareddu. Mae'n cynnig allwedd i fydoedd eraill. Mae'n ysgogi emosiynnau. Mae'n gynhwysol ac yn drawsnewidiol.

Gan bod sinemau ar gau oherwydd COVID-19, ydych chi wedi dechrau unrhyw fentrau newydd fel Off y Grid?

CellB wedi bod yn gweithio'n rheolaidd i gynnal a hybu Gwallgofiaid trwy drefnu sesiynnau ar lein gyda Rhys Ifans fel mentor i brosiect gwneud ffilm fer.

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MJPL6393
This Way Up Development Forum: Call for Participants

BFI’s Film Audience Network is looking for a group of creative and committed individuals to join the This Way Up Development Forum. The role of Forum is to support and shape the programme for the annual conference, now in its seventh year.

Background

This Way Up (TWU) is the annual UK film exhibition innovation conference that promises to inspire and enlighten, provoke and challenge.

With audience behaviour changing at an accelerating rate it’s more crucial that This Way Up provides a space where film exhibitors come together to discuss the pressing issues, to learn about new models, new thinking and new opportunities and to meet each other to share our experiences.

TWU was created by Film Hub Scotland and Film Hub North in 2014 and is a key part of the BFI Film Audience Network’s Member Support and Development programme. The event is produced in collaboration with Film Hub Midlands with significant input from the other Hubs within the FAN and key partners of the network.

With previous editions taking place in Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool and Nottingham, 2020 sees This Way Up adapt to the current global health crisis. Further details on how this year’s conference will be delivered to follow.

This Way Up Development Forum

For the 2020 edition we are inviting a group of up to 8 people to support in the development of ideas, content and future ambitions.

We’re looking for curious, imaginative, inspiring, playful and engaged individuals from a range of backgrounds and with a range of specialisms. We’re looking for people with a passion; whether they be long-term professionals or volunteers doing it in their spare time.

We are hoping for genuine, insightful, constructive input from you and will be sharing information that is potentially unstructured or in early drafts so ask that this be kept in strictest confidence.

The Development Forum will: 

  • Have key experience in film exhibition and be able to visualise the potential of TWU
  • Be able to contribute to collaborative discussions thinking creatively to produce a programme of high quality
  • Be willing to work as a member of a team, to state personal convictions and, equally, to accept majority decisions and be tolerant of other views
  • Be able to act with integrity and in the best interests of the FAN, avoiding personal conflicts of interest

We’re very keen to work with people from a range of backgrounds and lived experiences, so encourage people from under-represented backgrounds – young people, socio-economically diverse, D/deaf and disabled, Black, Asian and minoritised ethnicities, LGBTQIA+ – to apply.

Your commitment to us:

  • To advise and support us in shaping a creative, vibrant and fresh programme for TWU
  • To attend the first online development meeting on 20th August
  • To attend the second online development meeting in early October
  • To participate in This Way Up online/in Bristol on 3rd and 4th December

Our commitment to you:

  • £500 fee for participation
  • Recognition for contribution towards TWU 2020 programme
  • We understand many barriers exist for people wishing to take part in this type of group so can offer support for childcare, access costs and other costs you may need covered, please speak to us if you have any questions about this.

Timeline:

Monday 20 July: Inviting applications

Monday 3 August: Deadline for applications

Between 10-13 August: Telephone or email interviews

Friday 14 August: Confirmation of Development Forum Team

Thursday 20 August: First online Development Forum Meeting (4hrs minimum, with breaks)

How to Apply:
If you are interested, send an email to: sayhi@thiswayupcon.com by Friday 3 August, stating the following:

  • Your current role, interests, passions or profession
  • A short statement (no longer than 200 words) on why you are interested in joining the Forum and what experience (professional or personal) you bring
  • Your contact information, email address and telephone number
    Whether you would like a call back to talk about childcare or access costs

Find out more:  
www.thiswayupcon.com
www.twitter.com/thiswayupcon

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Love Couple At Home
Film Feels – Connecting film fans with online cinema
UK-wide film programme, Film Feels Connected, brings a whole new dimension to lockdown for film fans

Streaming services added 4.6 million subscribers in the first eight weeks of UK lockdown. As we’ve acclimatised to COVID-19 restrictions, a major season of film from the BFI Film Audience Network has been giving film fans a whole new world of film to explore.

Bringing together more than 50 programmes from UK cinemas, festivals and film societies, the season offers UK film fans new ways to connect with unique, bespoke and diverse film screenings and special events, beyond the tried and tested streaming platforms.

Upcoming highlights include:

  • Africa in Motion: Looking Back, Reaching Forward, August 2020. Screenings of classic and contemporary African films, plus discussion to explore and critique, representations of Blackness on-screen.
  • Doc‘n Roll Film Festival: We Out Here Festival x Doc‘n Roll, 19-22 August. This partnership between Doc n Roll and Gilles Peterson’s We Out here Festival will present Music docs + Q&As exploring Black excellence and anti-racism in British music history
  • Kino Klassika: Klassiki – Cinema on the Hop, May-August 2020. An online weekly curated selection of Soviet, Russian, Caucasian and East European cinema from early silent cinema, to masterpieces of animation, from post-war classics to contemporary Cannes winners. Coming up in August is Tashkent Film Encounters: a season of rare gems from Central Asia.
  • Matchbox Cineclub: Tales from Winnipeg 28-31 August. Matchbox present a limited season in collaboration with the Winnipeg Film Group, including rare and exclusive work from John Paizs, Guy Maddin, Kevin Nikkel & Dave Barber. The season and all additional content will feature brand-new SDH/captions for D/deaf audiences.
  • Pilot Light TV Fest: Season 5, the Digital Special, 15-16 August. Presenting 23 brand new TV Pilots and web series for audiences to obsess over, as well as meeting the talent behind them with a selection of Q&A’s and video introductions.
  • Slapstick Festival: Laughter Out of Lockdown, April-August 2020. All your classic comedy needs from silent short films to Comedy quizzes and Q&As featuring comedy legends Robin Ince, Lucy Porter and Rob Brydon

Film Feels is a National Lottery funded project designed to bring new, off-the-beaten track, films to those who have spent lockdown completing Netflix, searching every corner of Amazon Prime for something a bit different or have had all the Disney+ they can handle.

This summer, Film Feels Connected invites audiences to join in with over fifty online film events; ranging from watch-alongs to live conversations with directors, filmmakers and critics, to film festivals, workshops and at-home creative activities.

We’re spending almost three hours a day watching TV and films during lockdown2,” said Annabel Grundy, Film Feels Connected project lead, “so Film Feels Connected adds a whole new dimension to the kinds of things readily available. From Russian cinema to Japanese animation, award-winning short films, queer cinema and much needed comedic relief, we’re working with organisations and cinemas all over the UK who are selecting films they love, to share with audiences online.

Although cinemas were given the green light to open in England on 4 July, many smaller independent cinemas in the UK, unable to open at reduced capacity, are making plans to reopen later in Summer and the early Autumn.

Greg Walker, Festival Director at Pilot Light, one of the Film Feels Connected participating organisations, says:

COVID-19 has thrown many organisations a curveball with their physical festival delivery, so we’re very excited for the opportunity to connect with new and existing audiences online with our eclectic selection of TV Pilots and Web Series. We hope this format keeps our loyal audiences coming back and, also reaches new people around the country hungry to discover fresh, diverse & talented voices working in and breaking through Indie TV.”

The team behind Film Feels Connected hope that while the cinemas are dark over the summer, curious film fans will visit the Film Feels website and take a risk on some true cinematic gems. All chosen by respected cinema programmers, film festivals and cinephiles who want to share their passion for cinema.

Independent venues and festivals really care about their audiences, and so many organisations have quickly pivoted to an online programme, to connect with people and try new ways of working even in the face of challenge and uncertainty. From community film club watch-alongs to experimental programmes of new work from arts collectives, the opportunity for audiences to discover and share new films and experiences is alive and well,” says Annabel, “plus, the chance to get closer to the directors and writers behind the films with online discussions and interviews, is greater than ever before; particularly for those who are isolated or unable to access physical venues at this time. Film still has the power to connect us all.

Visit filmfeels.co.uk to find out about the all the films and events you can join in with over the summer.

Download the full press release here

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Screenshot 2020 06 24 At 20.23.19
Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival to celebrate their 10th anniversary online

On July 25, at 11am/6pm, a special edition of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival will be held in honour of its 10th anniversary on YouTube. The festival will present a free online screening of shorts from an all-female line-up of directors ranging from university students to the current crop of animators working today and an animation industry legend who we are celebrating with a centrepiece presentation featuring an interview we have recorded with her.

The Animators

Fusako Yusaki (湯崎夫沙子)

Fusako Yusaki (湯崎夫沙子)

Yusaki is an award-winning claymation pioneer who emerged in the 1960s after moving to Milan and establishing her own independent studio, Studio Yusaki. Her works consist of commercials, films, and children’s television programmes which were made for public broadcasters such as RAI and NHK. Yusaki’s famous works include clay animation advertisements for the liqueur Fernet-Branca, and popular TV character Peo the blue dog. We have programmed four of her works and have an interview with her where she talks about her career.

Miho Yata (やたみほ)

The King of Amechau Country

Tokyo-based Miho Yata is a graduate of Shirayuri Women’s University, and is currently a part-time lecturer there. Since 1999, he has produced many animations and content, producing for TV commercials, teaching materials, picture books and illustrations, as well as holding workshops on animation, and visual toys. Her works are based on the art of knitting and her most famous work is Knit & Wool, which airs on NHK E-TV for kids early in the morning. We have programmed Amechu to show what she can do.

Arisa Wakami (若見ありさ)
The story of Toto-chan in Mom’s belly, followed by little Takuta being born.

Birth-the dance of life.

Arisa Wakami is a professor at Tokyo Zokei University and a lecturer at Joshibi University of Art and Design. More importantly, she is an animator and works with both hand-drawn and stop motion animation who has utilised a range of “materials” from people to sand on glass boards. Her works cover films, TV programmes and workshops and they feature poetic imagery and have been screened at famous festivals around the world. We have programmed, three films including “Blessing,” which is a stop motion animation of a baby and its birthday presents.

Mone Kurita (栗田 百嶺)

A day when became a Asparagus man

Kurita represents the next generation of animation talent. A recent graduate of Tokyo Polytechnic University, she combines colourful hand-drawn images with computer manipulation. Her work, A day when became a Asparagus man, has been selected for the Tokyo Anime Award Festival. We have selected her film Brassiere Cat as the title we will screen.

We will also have a selection of graduate works from some of the students at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts (film titles will be confirmed shortly).

This screening is free to watch. This has been made possible with supported from Film Feels Connected and is supported by Film Hub Wales as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), made possible by the National Lottery.

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival relies on sponsors and donors to help us deliver screenings. If you would like to show your support, you can do so with a voluntary contribution at the festival’s Patreon page. Alternatively you can support the festival without paying extra money by signing up to Easyfundrasing and choosing to support Kotatsu. When you shop via Easyfundrasing website, a percentage of your purchase will be automatically donated to the festival. If you are shy, you can choose a setting that allows you to be an anonymous supporter.

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