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Put yourself in the picture as a Young Film Ambassador with the Torch Theatre

Are you aged between 14 to 18, with a passion for cinema and a desire to learn more about different aspects from across the film industry? This week, Milford Haven’s Torch Theatre have launched a fresh new scheme for teenagers from across Pembrokeshire who are interested in or have a passion based around film and cinema.

Commencing from the end of March 2021, the Torch Theatre Young Film Ambassadors scheme is an unmissable opportunity for teenagers to experience film in a fun and educational way; become a budding film critic, meet like-minded people and to make new friends. You will discuss and review films with your peers, get your reviews seen, and sharpen your skills as a reviewer as you explore writing and vlogging as part of the project. 

As a Young Film Ambassador, this exciting, interactive project offers you the opportunity to watch and review current British, independent and blockbuster films. You will find out more about film with filmmaking and film studies digital workshops, with guest speakers and special presentations from industry insiders and creatives on aspects from production to publicity. Access to the films will initially be through digital streaming platforms, and then back on the big screen once the Torch is fully reopened.

The Torch Theatre’s Young Film Ambassadors scheme has been made possible by National Lottery funding distributed by Film Hub Wales, through the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund which was awarded to the Torch in the Autumn of 2020.

Alex Lloyd, Senior Manager – Marketing, Press & Communications at the Torch said:

The Young Film Ambassadors scheme is a fantastic opportunity for budding film enthusiasts to learn more about films and cinema from across different aspects of the industry. We will initially run the scheme online until it is safe to return to the Torch which will then give a deeper insight into what we do. I would like to thank Film Hub Wales, BFI FAN and the National Lottery for their support in allowing us to create this scheme for our younger audience members in the Pembrokeshire community.

Want to get involved? To apply to become a Young Film Ambassador, simply email marketing@torchtheatre.co.uk with the following information: Name, Age and Location, plus tell us what your three favourite films are and why. Successful Ambassadors will be contacted by 15 March 2021. For more information, visit the Torch Theatre’s website.

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Iris Outreach Filming With Glitter Cymru
Iris Prize celebrates National Lottery award to support ambitious three-year project

Organisers of the Iris Prize have launched a Wales-wide, three-year project working with community groups from across the country to discuss issues faced by LGBT+ people.

The Iris Prize successfully applied for £195,330 from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Working with the LGBT+ community and their allies, the team are looking for community groups who, thanks to the support of National Lottery players during these challenging times, will produce a film addressing issues faced by the LGBT+ community. All of the completed films will be available to watch online.

The Iris Prize intend to build on their previous Iris in the Community project, creating more opportunities for community members to make films that relay a campaign for change.

Team Iris will be working with 10 community groups to discuss issues faced by the LGBT+ community and produce a film in response. Beneficiaries will have opportunities to take part in acting workshops, and gain skills in filmmaking and scriptwriting. The groups involved do not need to work within the LGBT+ community, but will be diverse in their membership, for example welcoming people with learning disabilities.

Berwyn Rowlands, Cyfarwyddwr yr Ŵyl:

Without this funding from The National Lottery Community Fund we would not be able to run this project. We have been inundated by community groups across Wales asking if we could work with them, today we can confirm, with a very BIG YES!

“2020 marks the 20fed anniversary of the repeal of one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to impact on the lives of LGBTI+ people in the UK: Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988.

“This is a fabulous opportunity for our community groups to take stock and reflect on where we are today as LGBT+ people. The fact that we will have 10 films produced at the end of this project is an added bonus. Film continues to be a very democratic way for people to share their ideas and to reach new audiences. Our community groups will I’m sure benefit from this amazing experience.”

Community groups who are interested in discovering more should start with a visit to Iris Prize Community where they can complete a form to express an interest.

Derek Preston-Hughes, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund said:

“We are delighted to be able to support The Iris Prize with this project. They have already played an incredible role in addressing issues faced by the LGBT+ community over the years, and it’s great that they can now build on this, thanks to National Lottery players. Projects such as this are making a huge difference to people’s lives and to communities across Wales.”

National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. To find out more about applying for a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to help your community adapt, recover and thrive, visit The National Lottery Community Fund gwefan

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.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

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The Iris Prize opens for submissions confirming the importance of diversity in its 15th anniversary year!

Submissions are now open for the 2021 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. Celebrating its 15fed edition, the Cardiff (UK) based festival, will take place in October 2021. The organisers are keen to continue to share LGBT+ stories from all over the world and closer to home, with the introduction of community and education awards at main festival.

The festival present 9 awards:

  • Iris Prize – the largest LGBT+ short film prize in the world supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation
  • Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4
  • Iris Prize Best Feature sponsored by Bad Wolf
  • Best Performance in a Female Role sponsored by Diva Magazine
  • Best Performance in a Male Role sponsored by Attitude Magazine
  • Youth Jury Award sponsored by TBC
  • Community Award – £250 to enable the winning community group to make more films
  • Education Award – £250 to enable the winning education/youth group to make more films
  • Micro Short Award – £100 to enable the filmmaker to make more films

Andrew Pierce, Festival Chair commented:

Diversity has been at the heart of Iris from the beginning. Thanks primarily to the relationships we have with 30 partner festivals located in 20 countries we have always enjoyed seeing diversity represented on our screens.

Diversity across the board is taking a little longer. However, I’ve been encouraged by the improved gender balance and over the past three years we have seen women directors taking the main prize.

We have also seen a steady increase in the number of trans stories included in the festival programme. I’m hoping in 2021 and from this point in time we will also see an increase in films made by Trans filmmakers.

Community and Education Awards
The 2021 festival will see the inclusion of the fourth Iris Community and Education Awards, and for the first time they will be presented during the main festival in Cardiff.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director commented:

“We have a popular outreach programme at Iris working with community and education groups across Wales and the rest of the UK. Using film to further understanding and tolerance of LGBT+ issues we have been successful in introducing elements of the main festival into our outreach work. It was therefore only natural that we would bring the celebration of community and education awards into the main festival.

Who knows, the future community and education winner could be an Iris Prize winner of the future.”

“We can now look back at 2020 as the year Iris came of age – when she stood tall and stepped out into the world, stronger and more determined. We are going to build on the success of 2020, and over the next few months we are looking forward to sharing more exciting news about our work and how Iris is going to be continue to share LGBT+ stories to a growing audience.”

Details about submitting films can be found 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.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

Cover image: 9 shortlisted filmmakers from 9 different countries taking part in the online edition of Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2020.

Clip of Iris Prize winner 2020, Victoria Warmerdam from the Netherlands discovering she was the winner yma.

You can read the full press release here

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Credit Zara Siddique
Inclusive Cinema tasks cinemas to take anti-racist action with launch of new guide

Inclusive Cinema tasks cinemas to take anti-racist action with launch of new guide 

The BFI Film Audience Network’s Sinema Cynhwysol has launched a practical guide for improving the cinema experiences of ethnically diverse audiences, and staff, which challenges institutions to make good on their Black Lives Matter and anti-racism statements from 2020. 

Sinema Cynhwysol is a UK-wide project funded by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) through the National Lottery to support exhibitors in welcoming everyone to participate in cinema, by countering cultural, systemic or physical barriers. The new guide ‘Dismantling Structural Inequality in Your Cinema’ was commissioned from artist and freelancer Sadia Pineda Hameed and focuses on the cinema experiences of ethnically diverse people, with reference to intersections including gender, sexuality, disability, income and class.

From immediately actionable tools, to encouraging inner, reflective and dialogue-based work towards undoing systemic injustice, the guide is intended to create lasting change for future generations, and sustain organisations in a meaningful way, cited by its writer as “the last toolkit that cinemas should need” when it comes to making their spaces truly inclusive of and led-by ethnically diverse people.

Speaking at film exhibition conference, This Way Up, in December 2020, Sadia Pineda Hameed, author of the guide said:  

This toolkit wants to help you within your cinema or organisation to dismantle historic, powerful and violent structures; it’s not about reforming a single workplace but actually creating a more sustainable sector. It’s about decolonisation not diversification. The toolkit does not prioritise visible diversity and inclusion, but prioritises making sure exclusion can’t exist in your space … Share it with your funder and ask your funder to hold you accountable to it, and vice versa.

The toolkit examines the role of cinemas in the context of systemic injustice and focuses on preventing harm towards people of colour as audience members, staff and creators who exhibit their films, and arrives in tandem with Dogwoof’s latest release, charting Martin Luther King Jr.’s mistreatment by the FBI, MLK/FBI, available in virtual cinemas and on demand, from 15 January.  

As audiences connect the dots between the seeds to Black Power rising from the ‘50s and ‘60s, to Black Lives Matter in 2020, the vital reminder is that institutional and structural racism are still endemic issues within our society and culture, requiring multiple strategies and committed action.  

Toki Allison, BFI Film Audience Network Access Officer, who oversees the Inclusive Cinema project, explains:  

“Many cinemas have made statements recognising that structural change is essential after the resurgence of Black Lives Matter bringing racism forcibly into the public consciousness in 2020. This toolkit provides short and long-term actions for organisations to take, to show their true commitment to not only making statements, but taking anti-racist action to create an equitable space for Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse talent, curators, staff and audiences. It’s a comprehensive and inarguably uncompromising document, but it will only be effective if organisations take it, absorb it, recognise the deep work that needs to be done, and get on and do it. I’m looking forward to seeing real change happen, including true accountability from white-led organisations who give up their power and make way for ethnically diverse leaders, makers and curators to share stories in their own ways.” 

Rico Johnson-Sinclair, director and founder of CineQ, and festival manager at SHOUT Festival, was consulted in the creation of the toolkit, and said: 

There’s been a bit of work in the film industry generally over the last couple of years. And whilst this work is formative, it’s still optional and very base level. While the industry is debating whether or not to even implement systems of equality within their organisations, people of colour from all perspectives are put on the backburner time and time again, in lieu of something, anything else, that seems to take priority due to its rise in the public sphere. As this happens, whole generations of black and brown storytellers, creatives and hard-working film-lovers are cast aside to protect a casually and subversively racist status quo. This toolkit not only helps organisations to acknowledge systemic racism happening in their backyards (within a film industry that was built during a time where the only representation we had was given to us by white people), it also shows us a path to valuable self-learning; to implement change across the team to ensure that as the conversation changes and evolves amongst marginalised people (which it will inevitably do), organisations are able to keep up. Instead of performative, this toolkit champions the formative and sustainable.” 

Alex Misick, programme coordinator at The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, who have begun the work to structural change in their venue, said: 

I like how the guide doesn’t pull any punches, and is quite explicit about the politics that underpin so much of what hopefully, should be a historic approach. One of Sadia’s key points is that this isn’t just a strategy to be implemented from the top-down of an organisation. These are conversations that need to happen between staff, not necessarily led by senior management, and to be implemented at an individual level… Instead of following capitalist logic of doing more, this is a moment to take a step back, and to recognise there’s a rupture in consensus and let’s not go back to normal.

You can find the toolkit in the how-to guides section of the Inclusive Cinema website yma and/or download it yma.

You can find virtual screenings and on demand links to watch MLK/FBI yma. 

Diwedd.

Download the full press release

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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
Darllenwch y datganiad i’r wasg llawn yma

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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Four Film Festivals join forces to present AMPLIFY!

A brand new virtual film festival streaming this November

Four of the UK’s top film festivals have joined forces in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver a brand new collaborative online film festival this November.

Unprecedented times call for an unprecedented response!

AMPLIFY! Film Festival is the most ambitious collaboration between UK film festivals ever undertaken and will see a truly diverse programme of films, many of them UK premieres, available to audiences across the entire UK.

AMPLIFY! will bring together over 100 years of film festival experience, to create a 17-day online event which will amplify the voices of diverse storytellers from the UK and around the world. 

For the very first time an exciting programme of films is being co-curated by four festivals — Bath, Brighton (Cinecity), Cambridge, and Cornwall — and promoted across the UK, opening up this unique festival to an audience of millions and allowing people to access these incredible films — over 50% of which are directed by women — from the comfort of their own homes.

AMPLIFY! will stream online 6–22 November, with the full programme of films, Q&As, masterclasses, and industry events to be announced in October. 

Full of dazzling debuts ac spectacular previews, the online programme of AMPLIFY! offers a feast of movie viewing for audiences of every taste. Winner of Best Film at San Sebastián International Film Festival & nominated at TIFF in Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut, Falling, he directs himself in a powerful family drama about a son’s traumatic relationship with his father. With 5 wins and 11 International festival nominations Patrick (De Patrick) is a brilliant Belgian black comedy about a nudist camp; Patrick, the camp’s handyman, has lost his hammer, and nothing will make him happy until he finds it.

Travelling back 90 years, you can see the silent masterpiece Waxworks starring Jack the Ripper, Ivan the Terrible, and Harun al-Rashid, brought back to life by the great Emil Jannings introduced by the much loved BBC radio & TV presenter and pianist Neil Brand. The Audition stars one of Europe’s greatest actors, Nina Hoss, as an obsessive music teacher determined that her pupil will succeed. Piotr Domalewski picked up a new directors nomination at San Sebastián International Film Festival 2020 for his stunning debut Jak najdalej stąd (I Never Cry) which premieres at AMPLIFY.

There are lots of hot docs too: The Mole Agent is the unforgettable account of how a care home is infiltrated by an elderly gent who has been hired to find out what goes on behind closed doors. While Caught in the Net is the compelling story of a virtual flytrap set for online paedophiles, using women pretending to be younger. My Mexican Bretzel is a cracker — the winner of the Found Footage Award in Rotterdam last year, on a par with Sarah Polley’s stunning Stories We Tell.

Since 2011, Camera Catalonia has been an important and popular strand of the Cambridge Film Festival, presenting the interesting and creative work from new and experienced directors.  AMPLIFY! Includes a great selection of new films from Catalonia such as UK premiers of  La inocència (The innocence) , Keith Haring 1989 Barcelona & My Mexican Bretzel.

Six short programmes will be free to view, including the prestigious IMDb Awards from FilmBath, Cornwall’s International short programme & South West best regional shorts, as well as CINECITY’s New Voices — regional shorts made by 16 to 25-year-olds, supported by Screen and Film School Brighton. The UK Premiere of I Still Breathe by London-based filmmaker Alfred George Bailey’s response to the death of George Floyd with score from composer Nicky Brown and Academy Award-winning sound designer John Warhurst.

The Young People’s Jury Programme seeks to nurture visual literacy, criticism & decision making in the next generation and will culminate in the Young People’s Jury Prize awarded to one of the eight nominated features in competition.

As well as the diverse programme of feature and short films, AMPLIFY! will also deliver a range of director Q&As, workshops, and network events. 

Industry focused events include a BFI NETWORK breakthrough filmmaker event, a casting panel hosted by Backstage, a LIM (Less Is More) script development talk supported by Creative Europe.  A round table event ‘Distribution in uncertain times’ with Charles Gant. Q&A with German director-producer Jens Meurer for the UK Premiere of An Impossible Project hosted by Bill Lawrence, former Creative Director at Showroom Cinema, and Head of Film at the National Museum of Photography. Filmmaker networking events. 

AMPLIFY! Film Festival has received praise from across the UK film festival community. Among others, London Film Festival Director Tricia Tuttle offered her support:

AMPLIFY! is a fantastic initiative by some of the country’s top regional film festivals. We’ve all been keeping in close contact over the last months, sharing information on the challenges and strategies for planning film festivals in a pandemic. These festivals do such important work in getting independent films to audiences, championing underrepresented voices — films from female and LGBQI+ filmmakers, film and filmmakers from around the world and from diverse backgrounds. This year has seen so much great collaboration between festivals and it’s an absolute pleasure to see them combining forces for the good of audiences and filmmakers. I will be settling down after my own festival to watch some great work on the AMPLIFY! platform.

The teams behind the four AMPLIFY! partner festivals are excited to be collaborating on such an innovative project. 

Holly Tarquini & Philip Raby, the co-directors of FilmBath, stated:

The COVID crisis has threatened all of our organisations, so it’s an absolute joy to be able to work together and put on such a juicy online festival — with tons of Q&As and special events.” Tim Brown from Cinecity Brighton added, “Working with new partners in a completely new way is the best response to events and an exciting way to take audiences on new adventures in world cinema.

Director of Cornwall Film Festival, Louise Fox believes AMPLIFY! will be a celebration.

The joy of film sits at the heart of this year’s celebratory festival programme, a great example of how we can come together whilst being apart to be engaged and inspire our local and national audiences.”

And while Cambridge Film Festival’s 40th edition may be on hold, Tony Jones & Matthew Webb from Cambridge Film Trust are confident AMPLIFY! can more than fill the void, stating:

2020 would have marked the 40th Cambridge Film Festival and it is only right that during these times we are working, side by side, with our friends FilmBath, Brighton CINECITY, Cornwall Film Festival to offer an exciting film experience for you all. We hope to see you at AMPLIFY!

THE FULL PROGRAMME, AND BOOKINGS ARE AVAILABLE VIA WWW.AMPLIFYFILM.ORG.UK AND THE FOUR PARTNER WEBSITES NOW.

AMPLIFY! WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM FROM 6–22 NOVEMBER

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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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Rhaglen lawn wedi’i gyhoeddi ar gyfer Gŵyl Animeiddio Caerdydd 2020 Ar-lein!

Mae Gŵyl Animeiddio Caerdydd wedi cyhoeddi ei rhaglen ŵyl ar-lein llawn. Mae’r ŵyl wedi ychwanegu mwy o gyhoeddiadau i’w rhaglen 2020 gyffrous, gan gynnwys dosbarthiadau meistr a sesiynau holi ac ateb gyda thalent allweddol tu ôl i The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, Strike a The Adventures of Paddington™. Bydd y dathliad animeiddio ar-lein i bawb yn arddangos rhai o’r animeiddiadau gorau o dros y byd i oedolion, teuluoedd a gwneuthurwyr ffilm.

Bydd aildrefniad gŵyl gwanwyn 2020 nawr yn cael ei gynnal ar-lein, gyda digwyddiadau yn dechrau ar Hydref 17eg, gan adeiladu tuag at brif wythnos yr ŵyl ar Hydref 24ain - Tachwedd 1af. Mae tocynnau am ddigwyddiadau unigol ar werth nawr, a phasiau cyntaf-i’r-felin ar gael am £15 y pas.

Dywed Cyfarwyddwr yr ŵyl, Lauren Orme:

Rydym mor falch o’r rhaglen ac wedi ein cyffroi i fedru dod â fe o’r diwedd i gynulleidfaoedd! Mae wedi bod yn flwyddyn anodd i bawb ac roedd e’n bwysig i ni fedru cynnig pasiau am ostyngiad mor sylweddol a thocynnau unigol ar sail talwch-beth-y-gallwch, er mwyn i gymaint o bobol â phosib yn gallu cael mynediad i’r ŵyl. Mae’r fformat ar-lein hefyd wedi ein galluogi ni i is-deitlo ein holl ddigwyddiadau er mwyn sicrhau bod popeth yn fwy hygyrch, sy’n gyffrous iawn.

Bydd amrediad o ddigwyddiadau i’r teulu yn rhedeg drwy gydol yr ŵyl, gan gynnwys cyfle anhygoel i weld tu-ôl-i’r-llen ar gyfres CGI newydd sbon The Adventures of Paddington™ gan Blue Zoo Animation i StudioCanal a Nickelodeon, wedi’i gyflwyno gan Gynhyrchydd Simon Quinn.

Bydd Ed Foster, creawdwr animeiddiad gomedi Illuminated Films i CITV The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, yn rhannu stori ei siwrnai 16-mlynedd, o ffilm myfyriwr i gyfarwyddo cyfres ei hun, a tharddiad ‘underdog’, arwr annhebygol a chreawdwr heb ymwybod anrhefn Dave Spud a’i deulu. Gyda chast o leisiau sy’n cynnwys Gina Yashere a Johnny Vegas, ac animeiddio gan Cloth Cat Animation, Caerdydd, mae maint cynulleidfa’r sioe ym mhell o fod yn ‘rubbish’ ers ei lansiad mis Medi diwethaf ac erbyn hyn mewn cynhyrchiad am ei hail gyfres.

Mae’r rhaglen yn cynnwys ffilm nodwedd stop-symudiad Brydeinig STRIKE, stori am wahadden ifanc, yn ceisio cyflawni ei freuddwyd amhosib o fod yn bêl-droediwr er mwyn achub ei dref wrth arch-elyn barus. Ffilm nodwedd gyntaf Trevor Hardy o Sussex yw hwn, wedi’i gynhyrchu gan Gigglefish Studios. Ar ôl dangosiad y ffilm, bydd cynulleidfaoedd yn cael cip tu-ôl-i’r-llen gyda sesiwn holi ac ateb deniadol gyda chyfarwyddwr y ffilm: Trevor Hardy, yr actor llais Lizzie Waterworth a’r cynhyrchydd Neil James gan archwilio’r ffordd unigryw wnaeth ailgylchu helpu ddod â’r ffilm yn fyw, wedi’i gadeirio gan Suraya Raja.

Mae’r ŵyl yn cydweithio gyda Visible in Visuals, platfform sy’n anelu i wneud animeiddio a VFX yn fwy cynhwysol, mewn panel a sesiwn holi ac ateb bydd yn ffocysu ar wahanol yrfaoedd mewn animeiddio ac ar gyngor i fyfyrwyr a rheini sydd yn meddwl i ddod mewn i’r diwydiant.

Mae’r digwyddiadau yma a llawer mwy yn ychwanegu at raglen ysblennydd eisoes, gan gynnwys dosbarthiadau meistr ar gyfarwyddo Bob’s Burgers gyda’r animeiddiwr Gymraeg Simon Chong, Moominvalley gyda chyfarwyddwr pennod Avgousta Zourelidi, y ffilm nodwedd gyntaf yn y byd wedi’i hanimeiddio â thywod, sydd wrthi’n cael ei greu yng Nghymru gan gyfarwyddwr Gerald Conn.

Gall mynychwyr yr ŵyl ddod at ei gilydd ar gyfer partïon gwylio byw o’r saith rhaglen thematig ar ffilmiau byrion wedi’u hanimeiddio o bedwar ban byd, gan newid cymeradwyo yn y sinema am emojis curo dwylo yn y sgwrs fyw, a phleidleisio am eu ffefrynnau i ennill Gwobr CAF y gynulleidfa. Bydd cyfle i gwrdd â rhai o’r gwneuthurwyr ffilm annibynnol gwych tu ôl i’r ffilmiau yn y gystadleuaeth yn yr ‘Animators Brunch’, sesiwn holi ac ateb byw gyda Ben Mitchell a Laura-Beth Cowley o Skwigly ar ddydd Sul Hydref 25ain a dydd Sul Tachwedd 1af.

Noddir Cardiff Animation Festival gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Ffilm Cymru Wales, a Canolfan Ffilm Cymru fel rhan o Rwydwaith Cynulleidfa’r BFI Film (FAN), BFI NETWORK Wales, ac Ymddiried drwy Gronfa Ysgoloriaeth Owen Edwards, gyda nawdd ychwanegol gan Cloth Cat Animation, Picl Animation, Creative Europe Desk UK – Cymru, Prifysgol De Cyrmu, Prifysgol Fetropolitan Caerdydd, Jammy Custard Animation, Gwobrau Animeiddio Prydain, S4C a Chronfa Sgiliau Animeiddio ScreenSkills gyda chyfraniadau gan gynyrchiadau animeiddio o’r DU.

Bydd Gŵyl Animeiddio Caerdydd ar-lein 2020 yn rhedeg o ddydd Sadwrn Hydref 17eg tan ddydd Sul Tachwedd 1af. Mae pasiau a thocynnau unigol Gŵyl Animeiddio Caerdydd ar werth nawr, gyda nifer cyfyngedig o basiau cyntaf-i’r-felin am pris gostyngol ar gael yma -  https://watch.eventive.org/caf2020 ac https://caf2020.eventive.org/passes/buy

Am y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf, dilynwch Cardiff Animation Festival ar Twitter, Facebook ac Instagram a chofrestru i dderbyn ein cylchlythyr e-bost.

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Applications are now open for Sustain Lift – Autumn 2020!
  • Want to re-evaluate after lockdown? 
  • Looking to develop skills or polish existing ones? 
  • Want to connect more as a team and start working towards your next big project?

As part of the Cinema For All LIFT package helping community cinemas return to screening films after lockdown, we are running another round of our BFI funded coaching programme, Sustain! 

This autumn we have places on all three strands of Sustain available. Find out more about each below:

Sustain Shine – for existing community cinemas to reflect on what they have achieved and where they want to go next. This programme will follow our previous and popular Sustain format, providing groups with three coaching sessions and a £200 bursary to build on and explore the sustainability of their community cinema.

Sustain Develop – a new programme for community cinemas with a clear idea of their next stage of development with a specific project. The programme will consist of three bespoke coaching sessions tailored to your group, along with a £600 bursary to help realise, plan and achieve your community cinema’s next ambition.

Sustain Collaborate – This programme will support groups with ideas for an interesting collaboration with other community cinemas. It provides a bursary of £1000 to help cover the costs of making your in person or online collaborative project happen. 

Deadline for applications is 15 October 2020. To find out more about Sustain and how to apply, please visit Cinema For All’s website yma, or contact Ellie at ellie@cinemaforall.org.uk

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UK’s five biggest festivals of African film team up to present online showcase

The UK’s five biggest festivals of African film – Africa in Motion in Edinburgh/Glasgow, Afrika Eye in Bristol, the Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF), Film Africa in London, and Watch-Africa Cymru (Wales) – are teaming up online for the first time this October to present “We Are Tano”, showcasing ten of the best examples of African cinema from the past decade.

The season, which draws its title from the Swahili word ‘tano’, meaning five, will run online from 1st October to 20fed Hydref as part of Black History Month, giving UK-wide audiences pay-what-you-want access to a choice of 10 stand-out African films.

The initiative is being co-ordinated by Sheila Ruiz, Director of London’s Film Africa and Deputy Director at the Royal African Society, who says:

COVID-19 has presented major challenges to many film festivals this year. But, as with all crises, the current pandemic has also presented an opportunity to do things differently.

All five festivals in the TANO network felt it important to carry on giving UK audiences access to the broad range of films coming out of Africa. Hence the decision to contribute to Black History Month with a jointly curated online showcase, drawing on some of the most popular titles shown by TANO festivals since 2010.

Christine Patterson, the festival producer for Watch-Africa film festival, added:

The purpose of this season is to continue our mission to highlight the vibrancy and rich diversity of African film-making and story-telling.We are passionate about expanding people’s understanding and appreciation of African film and cultures across the UK, and we aim to reach as wide an audience as possible, especially audiences that have not been able to attend our festivals in person.

Among the films chosen for the showcase are:

  1. ‘Un homme qui cri’ (Chad/France, 2010) by Cannes Jury Prize winner Mahomet Saleh Haroun; Alain Gomis’s
  2. ‘Tey/ Aujourd’hui,’ (France/Senegal), voted best international film at Berlin in 2012;
  3. ‘As I open my eyes’ (Tunisia, 2015) , directed by Venice prize-winner Leyla Bouzid, and the mischievously comic docu-drama
  4. ‘Film festival film’ (Namibia, South Africa, 2019).

Full details of the “We Are Tano” selections and streaming calendar will be available shortly from www.wearetano.org.  In return for a pay-what-you-can-afford donation, attendees will have up to 48 hours to view their choices, alone or with family/friends.

Meanwhile, further information about the Tano network and its previous collaborations can be accessed now via https://www.africa-in-motion.org.uk/we-are-tano/.

Other celebrations of African cinema taking place this autumn/winter by TANO network members include:
Africa in Motion (Scotland): www.africa-in-motion.org.uk | 30 October – 29 November 2020 and
Film Africa (London): www.filmafrica.org | 30 October – 8 November 2020

For news about the other TANO network festivals, please visit:

WE ARE TANO is supported by the BFI Audience Fund.

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Kotatsu Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration

Kotatsu Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration

Held virtually on October 24th & 25th in Partnership with The Japan Foundation London.

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival started in 2010 in Cardiff, and has been held every year as a showcase for Japanese animation and culture. Celebrating its 10th anniversary however comes in the midst of a global pandemic and so the decision was taken to hold the festival fully online. One of the goals since the festival’s inception has been to act as a gateway into the diverse world of Japanese animation. To achieve this, they showcase emerging talent and important but overshadowed animators who work in a wide variety of styles, from 2D to stop-motion. The 2020 festival will be the biggest celebration of this talent yet. 

On October 24th and 25th, viewers will be able to participate in the full line-up of screenings and events, all of which will be free to access via their YouTube channel and through various Zoom sessions. In total, they will be screening 37 films, including 28 works from students studying at 5 different Japanese universities, and 9 works from 5 award-winning animators, including Oscar nominated Koji Yamamura and Shin Hosokawa. Furthermore, these works will be introduced by the creators themselves as the festival aims to continue in its mission to connect animators with audiences. 

A very exciting series of Zoom workshops will also be hosted by veteran animators who are bringing their very latest works to the festival. The workshops will cover a range of fun activities such as one dedicated to the art of creating the Kotatsu Festival mascot design by Chie Arai, while world famous Fusako Yusaki talks about her career in claymation animation with a Q&A Session. There is also a talk with animator/director Miho Yata and musician Takeshi Yoda. 

People will be able to participate in the full line-up of the screenings and events, all of which will be free, via our YouTube channel and through Zoom sessions. 

This will also be the first time that Kotatsu collaborates with F-Rated, an organisation dedicated to supporting women in film by working with cinemas and film festivals to give moviegoers a way to identify films and events that fairly represent women on screen and behind the camera. We have secured an F-Rating for our ongoing campaign to show the works of female film makers and also for this event where more than half of the films were directed by women. 

Here is the full line-up of events: 

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 10fed Anniversary Timetable 

(All times are UK/GMT – Japan +7 hours ahead) 

24th October 

11:00 YouTube Screening – Films by Koji Yamamura, Shin Hosokawa, Miho Yata, Chie Arai, Makiko Sukikara 

13:00 Zoom Event – Miho Yata / Takeshi Yoda – Director & Musician Q&A 

18:00 YouTube Screening – Student Work (Part 1) 

25th October 

12:00 Zoom Event – Chie Arai Animation Workshop 

14:00 Zoom Event – Fusako Yusaki Director Q&A and Clay Animation Workshop 

16:00 YouTube Screening – Student Work (Part 2) 

18:00 YouTube Screening – Films by Koji Yamamura, Shin Hosokawa, Miho Yata, Chie Arai, Makiko Sukikara 

We will reveal the full line-up of the titles and events on the festival’s website soon.

The Animators and Musician 

Yamamura Koji (山村 浩二

After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 1987, he founded Yamamura Animation, Inc. in 1993 and has worked steadily, refining his style while making films for children. His most famous work is the short “Mount Head” (2002) which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short. Other titles include “Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor” (2007) and “Muybridge’s Strings” (2011). His films have been awarded more than 90 prizes including the grand prizes of major international animation festivals such as Annecy, Ottawa and Hiroshima. He has also received the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government in 2019. He is member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a professor of Tokyo University of the Arts. 

Yusaki Fusako (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 claymation advertisements for the liqueur Fernet-Branca, and “Peo the Blue Dog”, a popular TV character in Switzerland. Yusaki will lead a claymation workshop and do a Q&A with Kotatsu. 

Yata Miho (やた みほ

Born 1974, Yata studied Children’s Literature and Children’s Culture at university. While studying, she was inspired by “Wallace and Gromit” and started to have an interest on stop motion animation. In 1999 she started knit-animation and creating picture books. Since then, she has become famous for “Wool Fairies Knit and Wool”(NHK・NEP)and the picture books “Sakasa mo Sakasa” (Demadosha Co.,Ltd.) “What is This Yan?”(CHILD HONSHA Co.,Ltd.). She is currently a member of the Japan Animation Association and she is teaching at Shirayuri University Department of Children’s Culture. 

Hosokawa Shin (細川 晋

A graduate of Tama Art University’s Master’s Program Design Course, he now works as a writer, director, animator and is an assistant professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University. His latest work, “Dino!”, a stop motion animation, has been programmed by Kotatsu. Arai Chie (荒井 知恵

A graduate from the Department of Fine Arts, Northern Arizona University, after working at an animation studio, Arai has been a freelancer since 2002. Her techniques include hand-drawn animation and illustration and she creates books and animation videos including “Dreams” (2008), which has been programmed by Kotatsu. Since 2006, she has been orchestrating “Flip Book Manga Cafe Exhibition”, a collective of writers and artists who love to make wonderfully varied flip books. Their exhibitions have been held in many places. As well as creating her own art, she guides others and works as an associate professor at Bunka Gakuen University Department of Art and Design. 

Sukikara Makiko (鋤柄真希子

Born in 1982, Sukikara studied at the Film School Zlin in the Czech Republic. Since 2010, she has been animating and has created works by multiplane camera, many of which have been screened at international festivals. She creates stories with animals as the main characters with titles like “While the Crow Weeps” (2013) and “Deep Sea’s Rainbow” (2019). The latter has been programmed for Kotatsu’s forthcoming stream. 

Yoda Takeshi (ヨダタケシ

Yoda is a composer who plays an electronic instrument known as a theremin, a device that makes sound without the musician touching it. He is active across genres and creates music for video works as well as for live events. He will be in a Q&A with Miho Yata during a Kotatsu Zoom session. 

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. 

Download the press release here

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