WOW Film Festival Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
4 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021

IWD: International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women.

Activity takes place worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

As we celebrate while staying at home this year, why not check out the many online programmes and events from our members and beyond that are celebrating IWD in a big way!

Look out for us on social media (@filmhubwales), where we’ll be spotlighting many brilliant female filmmakers in Wales, finding out what drives them to make films, and the inside scoop on their recent projects.

We also encourage you to raise your hand high to show your support, solidarity and your commitment to #ChooseToChallenge

Strike the Choose To Challenge pose as part of the IWD 2021 campaign theme and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 to encourage further people to commit to a more inclusive world. Tag us too, we want to see!

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Film Hub Wales - Vacancies
Swyddi: Rydyn ni Angen Marchnadwr Llawrydd Sinema Gynhwysol
  • Contract: Tymor sefydlog (amc. 20 diwrnod Mawrth-Mai)
  • Ffi: £3000 yn cynnwys TAW
  • Lleoliad: Hyblyg (gweithio o bell)
  • Gweithiwr llawrydd angen cyfrifiadur ei hun
  • Gofynion Ychwanegol: Ni ddylid fod angen talu am feddalwedd

Nod Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn chwilio am swyddog marchnata llawrydd i gefnogi Swyddog Mynediad FAN gyda chodi ymwybyddiaeth o Sinema Cynhwysol, prosiect Amrywiaeth a Chynhwysiant Rhwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm (FAN) BFI.

Fe ddylai’r gweithiwr llawrydd feddu ar arbenigedd mewn cyfryngau digidol, a phrofiad o ddefnyddio Wordpress, Mailchimp a Twitter, ac yn hyderus wrth siarad gydag arddangoswyr sinema o bob ffurf a maint, y wasg a’r cyfryngau, boed ar y ffôn neu ar-lein.

Byddwn yn disgwyl i’r gweithiwr llawrydd feddu ar ddealltwriaeth ac angerdd dros gynhwysiant ac yn ddelfrydol, fe fydd y contract yma yn cael ei chwblhau gan rhywun sydd â phrofiad byw o amrywiaeth.

  • Gwelwch y brîff yma am fanylion - PDF neu Word. Mae'r ffurflennu yma wedi cael eu gwneud yn fwy ar gyfer hygyrchedd.
  • E-bostiwch toki@filmhubwales.org i ddatgan diddordeb a chyflwyno eich portffolio/CV (ysgrifenedig, fideo, fformatau sain yn dderbyniol) gyda geirda erbyn, erbyn 6pm Llu, 15 Mawrth 2021
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LesFlicksLogo Websitelogo
Why Naomi Bennett Launched Lesflicks, A Film Streaming Platform For Queer Women

This week, Forbes interviewed Naomi Bennet of Lesflicks about why she launched a film streaming platform for Queer Women. 

Read the full interview

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Date Announcement FINAL (1)
WOW Wales One World Film Festival: Free & Online Festival, March 11-21 2021

Celebrating 20 years of eye-opening world cinema to Wales, WOW Wales One World Film Festival in partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre returns this March in a somewhat different guise. Instead of buying tickets to enter a darkened cinema, festival goers will be settling back into their sofas to view the films streaming online, for free.  

The free WOW Film Festival opens on Thursday 11th March, 10 years to the day since Japans devastating earthquake that led to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The first film, chosen to mark this sad anniversary, is 3:11 A Sense of Home, Naomi Kawases a collection of shorts from directors such as Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)Victor Erice and Patti Smith that explore timely themes of renewal, recovery and home. 

WOW Film FestivalGreen Screen” selection includes several environmental films. Among WOW Festivals many international guest speakers this year is forest ranger turned best-selling German author Peter Wohlleben, whose film The Hidden Life of Trees has its UK online premiere. The growing local food movement is the theme of documentary First We Eat, whose director Suzanne Crocker will be joining live from Canadas frozen Yukon.  

One of sixteen online premieres, the strange and wonderful Sanctorum imagines the awesome power of nature unleashed to protect the traditional way of life in a mountain village. Beloved about an 82 year old woman devoted to the wild mountains and her cows will feature alongside a Q&A with producer Elaheh Nobakht from Tehran. 

Need a laugh? Feel good movies include comedies Arab Blues starring Iranian actress in exile Golshifteh Farahani (Paterson, The Patience Stone); The Whaler Boy set against the visually poetic backdrop of the Bering Strait and Joy, an international programme of short films curated from the best of Iris LGBT+ Film Festival. 

There is plenty of family viewing too. Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is a heartwarming drama set in the worlds most remote school, high up in the mountains of Bhutan. Delfín follows a young boy whose determination to audition for a childrens orchestra takes him and his father on a life changing adventure. Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival are joining the WOW Womens Film Clubs International Womens Day celebration with a selection of animated family-friendly shorts by up and coming female animators in Japan. Running to the Sky sees young runner Jekshen competing for the top prize in traditional running races of Kyrgyzstan. 

Nature, gods and mysticism feature in WOWStrange Films for Strange Days” strand. Laoss only female film director Mattie Do is another guest speaker, alongside her wonderful ghost story The Long Walkpresented by Abertoir Festival. Abertoir are also presenting the chilling Malaysian folk-horror RohIn Tantas Almas/Valley of Souls about Colombias civil war, the swampy air of the magnificent Magdalena river is thick with mystery and fear.

Saturday 20th March is Nowruz, or Persian New Year. Iranian film curator Ehsan Khoshbakht will introduce his film about the vibrant world of Filmfarsi, a popular genre of cinema from the 1960s and 70s, alongside the UK online premiere of the restored version of the greatest Iranian movie of all time, The Deerwhich is rarely seen outside Iran.

The 2021 WOW Film Festival will wrap on Sunday 21st March, with a celebration of the UNs International Day of Forests. With the climate emergency, everyone is talking about planting trees. But are we going about it in the right way?

WOW Film Festival Director David Gillam said:

“It has been really exciting to put together our first online festival. Now people anywhere in the UK can join the party and discover what Welsh audiences have enjoyed for twenty years.We would like to thank all our funders and sponsors who have made it possible for us to brighten these dark days by providing the online festival entirely for free. Without the support of the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, this free festival would not have been possible.We’ve only thrived for so long thanks to the support of many great partners. But I would particularly like to thank everyone at our ‘spiritual home’ in Aberystwyth Arts Centre without whom we simply couldn’t have put on this year’s festival. Other film festivals in Wales have also provided essential support. As well as bringing the world to Wales, by taking WOW online, we can export the best of Welsh film festivals to the rest of the UK. I would also like to thank the many people who have supported WOW over the last twenty years.”

WOW Film festival is funded by The Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, Ffilm Cymru Wales, National Lottery Communities Fund and Film Hub Wales as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), made possible by the National Lottery.

For all the news on the festival, visit ww.wowfilmfestival.com and sign up to the newsletter. 

Download the full press release

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Rachel Dax Montage
Cyfweliad gyda Rachel Dax

‘Made in Wales‘ is a strategy developed by Film Hub Wales supporting the promotion and exhibition of films with Welsh connections. A film doesn’t necessarily have to be made in Wales, but might have a Welsh director, writer or storyline. This month we’re celebrating LGBTQ+ history with a focus on Lesbian filmmakers and interviewing Cardiff based writer / director Rachel Dax. 

Half way into Time and Again –  the latest short film by filmmaker Rachel Dax – ‘Eleanor’- played by Sian Phillips – and ‘Isabelle’ – played by Brigit Forsyth – come face to face decades after a painful betrayal. Amid their heated discussion Eleanor matter-of-factly declares that, despite the lingering heart-break, she’s actually had a ‘‘wonderful life’’…a partner…and makes it clear that she resents Isabelle’s assumption that she’d been ‘pining (over her) like some sad dyke in a warning novel’’.

It is a moment set up to challenge us, much like it challenges Isabelle. The camera barely shifts its gaze from the two of them, frozen in a moment that has been trying to catch up with them for decades. It is rare to see older, lesbian women on screen and even rarer for them to stand their ground, to state that their lives have been fulfilling – that they’ve lived. On screen, the gentle everyday, the plain white walls of their country nursing home and the almost mundane are carefully juxtaposed with this sense of restlessness…a deep desire to get up, to go, to move on and to just…be. 

 ‘‘I think…the kind of phrase my friend uses is, ‘‘use the s**t as fertilizer’’, says Rachel who, it seems, has been preparing to write moments like the one above her whole life.

‘‘…I was quite religious when I was a teenager and I got involved with born again, Christianity…I decided that I wanted to be a preacher. So I went off to university to do theology and philosophy, a very academic degree. But at the same time I knew I was gay. So I was in this kind of very difficult state…religion, sexuality… constantly embattled in myself and eventually the sexuality – because I am a lesbian –  just completely overtook everything. I didn’t quite ever get to the point of being an atheist, but I rejected that very extreme religion I was involved with”.

After graduating, she became a secondary school Religious Education teacher… 

‘‘…And I hated it. I just got to the point thinking I really can’t do this anymore. One of my partner’s best friends moved to Cardiff, and we went to visit a few times and thought…there seems to be lots going on here. I was meeting lots of artistic people and I’d always wanted to be an actor. And I thought maybe this is an opportunity to do something new”.

And within just a few months, fate struck – she started doing acting courses, writing courses and eventually went back to university to do drama, where she ended up taking on a film writing module ‘‘for a laugh”.

‘‘As soon as I started doing that, I realised I didn’t want to be an actor at all. I wanted to be a writer director. So suddenly I was taking every option I could in film…which took me by surprise, but it’s actually become my greatest passion of all”.

Rachel is also an all round creative with several anthologies and audio stories to her name, not to mention that she never really gave up on teaching having continued onto a successful career in Higher Education. She still maintains a close relationship with parts of that initial journey, teaching at the University of South Wales and now Cardiff University.

They have continued to support me as a creative person, as well as bring me in to do teaching. They’ve given me work, they’ve given access to equipment. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to teach what I want in terms of creative writing and short filmmaking, but they also tweet about what I’m doing and promote me. I’ve been very lucky to have that.

I tell her that at the end of Time and Again,  ‘‘I – almost ironically – scrawled down the words ‘A delicate love for oneself, becomes a delicate love for others with fury!’  I was eager not to forget this thought. It is a small something that came up again and again the evening before, as I hunched over the computer to re-watch each of the short films on her website after dinner. 

I want more, but later – expanding on something she mentioned lightly in our email exchange – she said that simply wasn’t possible.

‘‘I lost my YouTube channel…it was devastating because I was really successful…millions of hits overall…I think it got shut down because of homophobia. After Trump came into power, unbeknownst to me YouTube changed its terms and conditions about how you can advertise and what you have on there. Gay content started to become marginalised and I didn’t know any of that at the time. I put up my film ‘A Delicate Love’ – it got something like 10,000 hits in a week. I was advertising it on Twitter and on one of my tweets I put hashtag gay sex. I think YouTube decided that violated their terms and conditions for advertising or…and I don’t know for sure… somebody homophobic might have hacked my account… because I would get the same email… We’d like to inform you that due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines your YouTube account has been suspended…After review we determined that activity in your account violated our Community Guidelines….Every time I appealed, I just got this email back. So I uploaded my best films to Vimeo instead’’.

Luckily, she clarifies, she does have copies of her earlier films on a hard-drive, but didn’t have the chance to dig them out before our meeting. She assures me that I’ll get a chance to watch them at a later date.

In contrast, Time and Again has been on BBC iPlayer for over a year (available until Sunday 28th February):

‘‘…which is unheard of for a short!’’ exclaims Rachel. ‘‘It’s been broadcast twice on BBC two at nine o’clock, which is a really, really good slot…quite often, the gay films are shown very late at night, maybe about 11 o’clock and they’re on for 28 days maximum…sometimes only for a week and then they disappear off. So I’ve been very well-supported by the BBC’’.

Art imitates life, and although none of her films speak directly to the issue of being censored, the act of self censoring and holding back..and being censored by others is something we are often too familiar with having to do as queer people.

In Caravan Sight, Richard and Georgina are two prominent London lawyers who spend their weekends in Wales, swapping gender roles unbeknownst to any of their friends. For two days at the end of the every week, their hectic, high pressure lives are given a small release where they can be a little bit more of themselves. Things became tense when their homophobic boss happens to be holidaying at the same campsite, but throughout the entire film we see that learning to love our queerness makes us softer, and in turn creates more room for that love to spill over and nurture others, and our relationships with them. 

 

…it’s not only about learning to love yourself as a person…yes that own inner journey of learning self-respect and self-affirmation…but also what I try and do with all of my films is kind of very subtly teach people about LGBTQ+ issues and also homophobia. I make LGBTQ+ audience, but I always think, what would I want my homophobic next door neighbor to get from this film? Can I teach them about acceptance of LGBTQ+people? So yeah, I’ve always kind of got an eye on how I can influence the larger narrative because I think there’s a level of responsibility to be presenting LGBTQ+ people as normal everyday people…

Homophobia is – evidently – not something that can be ‘resolved’ by loving yourself, but each story in its distinctiveness does bring us back to the same feeling that ‘‘a delicate love for oneself, becomes a delicate love for others’’. And whilst this isn’t always Rachel’s first intention, she really is adept at bringing the weight of all these different feelings to screen.

No where is clearer for me than in the film ‘A Delicate Love’, where Peter – a Maths student who works part-time in a Deli – fantasises about an older man and customer, but struggles deeply with coming out. This battle even leads him to force feelings for his long-time female friend, but e

nds in a seething inner rage that is difficult to shift, disheartening to watch and something that many of us may relate too. There is, however, a small but triumphant ending…Peter is out running and falls…injured he is offered a helping hand by another man – his colleague – the person who’s always been in his shadow, a delicate metaphor come true thanks to the cinematography of Jon Ratigan. 

Threads will be mended.

She retains an incredibly positive attitude, having done exceptionally well on the international film festival circuit where she has won multiple awards. Those who get to know her stories are instantly and intimately connected to them for many different reasons, but particularly – as Rachel would say – how ‘ordinary’ her characters’ lives are. 

‘‘…Most of us are actually quite sweet people who fall in love and, and we go to work and we pay our taxes and do our washing. In my own journey with my parents, because of their age…and my mum being quite religious…she realised at some point I’m really boring like her, you know? I do actually wash up and go to work… I have a normal life. I do my laundry, I think about the things that she thinks about in a day too and realising that I live a very similar life with my partner, to the one she lives with my dad suddenly made her realise that actually it really is just a question of love and of course sexual attraction, but it’s about…I love this person and we have chosen to live together, but we don’t live that differently from the way they do’’.

This – fittingly – leads us to a small anecdote about a film she once made at University.

‘‘…it was kind of a documentary. We were told to make a film on the most hideous possible task we had in our life. And so I actually took this literally, and I basically did a film about picking up the dog poo in my garden. I don’t think they enjoyed the fact that I  did that but I told the truth. There were giant turds all over the screen and that the staff were like, this is the most disgusting thing. And.. I’m like… you asked me to make a film about my worst, worst job. So yeah…’’

I am humbled when she reveals that this was her first film. Rachel has literally been using ‘the s**t as fertiliser’ since she began making films. When the interview is over, I remind myself to do more of the same.

If you’re an exhibitor and would like to find out more about programming any of the films mentioned in this interview, you can find the links at the bottom of this page. You can check out more of Rachel’s short films on her website here.

If you’re a filmmaker or distributor and would like to know more about how Film Hub Wales can support the exhibition of your film, take a look at our wefan Canolfan Ffilm Cymru here.

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Rhys Big
Hollywood star Rhys Ifans opens new community screen room at Blaenau Ffestiniog’s cinema, CellB

On Saturday February 20, CellB’s second cinema screen was officially opened by none other than The Amazing Spiderman & Kingsman star Rhys Ifans, in a virtual livestream event. The screen has even been named after him as a gesture of appreciation for all his community youth work during the pandemic.  

This marks an exciting step forward for the local arts and culture industry, as well as creating more opportunities for youth projects, all of which have suffered greatly over the last year due to the Covid crisis.  

CellB is run by Gwallgofiad, a not for profit social enterprise that has been providing creative training for the young people of Blaenau Ffestiniog since 2003. Situated in the old police station, it has been a hub of activity over the years, hosting a range of gigs and youth projects, then expanding into a hostel, bar, restaurant and now most recently, a cinema.  

Owner and Blaenau local Rhys Roberts has always believed in broadening the horizons for young people, a core value behind CellB’s ‘Clwb Clinc’, a Welsh language youth club providing a range of free creative arts and media workshops. When the pandemic first struck in spring 2020, these workshops had to move online. Members still benefited from structured virtual meetings, and were also treated to Q&A sessions with Rhys Ifans and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens. Since his first zoom appearance in May last year, Rhys Ifans proved a hit with the kids, forming a lasting mentorship and inspiring them to create their own videos, as well as committing to support future creative projects for the youths. 

Thanks to support from Art Council WalesCommunity Foundation WalesCist GwyneddFfilm Cymru Wales ac Nod Canolfan Ffilm Cymru as part of the Rhwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm BFI (FAN), made possible by the Loteri Cenedlaethol, this creative energy fueled Clwb Clinc’s reopening in August 2020, where the team worked together to reshuffle its priorities, namely asking the question, how to keep a cinema open in a socially-distanced world? It soon became clear that space was extremely important, with many of the locals having expressed concern about revisiting the cinema due to being in close proximity with others. It was decided that the upstairs courtroom, previously used for social events, would become the second screen, with its large space providing room for flexibility both in terms of functions and audience seating. This includes six ‘creative pods’ where the young people can also work on their projects outside of screen time. 

The aim of the cinema is to use any profits to subsidise the costs of these youth workshops, thus creating a sustainable community system that benefits the general public as well as young people. Training opportunities in box office and projection skills will also be provided, with the long-term goal of securing future work in the industry. Rhys Roberts says: 

 Past projects have proven that arts workshops often lead to the development of an exciting and successful career in the arts, whether in theatre, music, literature. I am confident that we can repeat this goal again and again.

In this time of restricted movement and social isolation people are yearning for ways to escape, and what better way to do so than to watch a good film in the (safely distanced) company of others? A diverse program is currently  being put together, featuring films from around the world as well as much loved classics. Films to be screened include Spirited AwayPain and Glory ac Capernaum. 

The ‘Rhys Ifans Sgrin 2’ was opened with a live-stream event. Rhys Ifans said: 

 It is a great honor to be part of such an exciting initiative, the Cell B team & Gwallgofiaid is a great example of a community pulling together to create a safe and creative space for the young people of the area. 

 Having a Welsh-born actor opening a cinema screen in collaboration with the local youth project perfectly encapsulated the ethos behind CellB’s new venture. It’s a special mix of community-focused concern and forward-thinking innovation, whilst also following guidelines to keep everyone safe.

 Hana Lewis, Manager of Film Hub Wales adds:

The role of cinemas in our communities has become even more crucial during the pandemic. CellB continues to put their young creatives first, keeping them connected at a time when they are most at risk of isolation. The opening of screen two, with the invaluable support of Rhys Ifans, is a testament to their hard work and creativity.

Keep an eye out for Cellb’s ‘Sinema’r Byd’ film package takeaway box coming soon. At a time where we can’t travel let Cellb take you on a world voyage through film, food and drink. Boxes will vary each week with a diverse range of specialised, independent and world cinema films on DVD accompanied by street food snacks and drinks from the visited country.

www.cellb.org

Watch the opening of Sgrin2 live stream on Youtube

ENDS

Download the full press release here
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St Davids Day Collage
Film Hub Wales Recommends: Saint David’s Day Edition

In celebration of Saint David’s Day coming up, the Film Hub Wales team have picked just a handful of films with welsh connections to watch at home. See below for our personal recommendations, but you can also find our full Made in Wales film catalogue, and an extensive list of films with Welsh connections that can be watched while at home yma.

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Seren Stiwdios (1)
Welsh Government announces Great Point to take over Seren Stiwdios

Great Point will manage the studio for 10 years, with an option to acquire and expand the large studio complex. The agreement, which came into effect this week, closely follows Great Point’s recent announcements of the building of Lionsgate Studios in Yonkers, NY, as well as a second studio complex in Buffalo, New York. This third studio signals Great Point’s commitment to expanding its efforts to build and manage state-of-the-art production facilities in key production cities, where pressure on existing studio space is ever-increasing.

Seren Stiwdios in Cardiff, Wales, was built and developed by the Welsh Government in 2015. It has four large stages totaling 74,000 square feet, in addition to copious production office and ancillary space. Nearby locations are spectacular and diverse, with cityscapes, coast and countryside all easily accessible. Film and TV productions which have shot at Seren include The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Sherlock, Show Dogs, The State, A Discovery of Witches, The Crown and Doctor Who.

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

We are delighted to welcome Great Point to Wales with the establishment of their first studio complex in the UK as they bring with them access to a global network of industry contacts and exciting opportunities. Great Point’s approach to supporting and developing the local supply chain along with their commitment to education and mentoring will further enhance the creative sector in Wales. Great Point Seren Stiwdios will enhance Wales’ reputation as a preferred location for productions and further improve career and employment opportunities.

Read the full press release

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Poster
Dod â sinema Affricanaidd i Gymru
Bydd gŵyl ffilmiau Affricanaidd flynyddol Cymru, Watch-Africa Cymru, yn digwydd ar-lein yn 2021, gan ddod ag Affrica a Chymru at ei gilydd i ddathlu sinema Affricanaidd.

Sefydlwyd yr ŵyl Watch-Africa Cymru wyth mlynedd yn ôl yn ne Cymru, a hon yw unig ŵyl ffilmiau Affricanaidd Cymru. Mae'r 9fed rhifyn eleni yn symud ar-lein ac yn digwydd rhwng 19 a 28 Chwefror 2021.

Gyda chefnogaeth Canolfan Celfyddydau Chapter, Ffilm Cymru a Choleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru, mae rhaglen gyffrous o'r enw 'Dod ag Affrica i Gymru', wedi cael ei churadu. Bydd yr ŵyl yn sgrinio amrywiaeth o 10 o ffilmiau gwych, a sesiwn holi ac ateb fyw gyda chyfarwyddwyr, cast ac arbenigwyr.

Ynghyd â'r rhaglen sinema hon, bydd yr ŵyl yn cynnig cyfres o weithdai diddorol hefyd, sydd wedi'u trefnu'n arbennig i gefnogi’r rhaglen sinema (gan gynnwys gweithdy ar Lên Gwerin Affricanaidd!).

Bydd yr ŵyl hon yn dathlu cyfnewidfeydd diwylliannol dilys drwy gydweithrediadau sinematig traws-genedlaethol. I agor yr ŵyl, mae’n bleser gan Watch-Cymru Africa groesawu Florence Ayisi, gwneuthurwr ffilmiau Cymru-Affrica. Bydd yr ŵyl yn dod i ben gyda sgriniad 'Buganda Royal Music Revival' a thrafodaeth gyda gwneuthurwyr ffilmiau a chynrychiolwyr Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru.

Dilynwch Watch-Africa Cymru ar Facebook, Twitter ac Instagram i ymuno â’r drafodaeth arlein ac i gael cyfle i ennill rhywfaint o wobrau arbennig.

Meddai Christine Patterson, cynhyrchydd Watch-Africa Cymru:

Rwy'n falch iawn o fod yn rhan o gydweithrediadau mor wych ar gyfer yr ŵyl ffilmiau eleni. Mae'r rhaglen hon yn siŵr o ysgogi ystod eang o emosiynau, a sbarduno rhywfaint o drafodaethau diddorol. Rydym ni, yn ogystal â'n cydweithwyr, yn edrych ymlaen at fwynhau'r ŵyl sydd i ddod gyda chi.

Meddai Claire Vaughan o Ganolfan Celfyddydau Chapter:

Rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gyda Watch-Africa ers blynyddoedd lawer, ac rwy'n falch iawnein bod ni wedi helpu i wneud yr ŵyl hon yn ŵyl ddigidol eleni, fel bod cynulleid faoedd yn cael cyfle i weld yr holl ffilmiau gwych hyn.

"Mae gwledd o’ch blaen- rhaglenni dogfen gan wneuthurwyr ffilmiau yng Nghymru, sylwebaeth gymdeithasol, comedi, clasuron a rhywfaint o'r ffotograffiaeth harddaf y byddwch yn ei weld eleni.

"Rwy'n edrych ymlaen yn arbennig at y gweithdai, sy'n cynnwys addysgwyr fel Abu-Bakr Madden Al-Shabazz. Peidiwch â cholli eich cyfle i weld y ffilmiau hyn, a gweld ychydig o'r byd sydd ddim ar gael i ni ar hyn o bryd."

Dywedodd yr Athro Florence Ayisi, gwneuthurwr ffilmiau Affricanaidd sy'n byw yng Nghymru ac sydd â dwy ffilm sydd yn mynd i gael eu sgrinio, bod:

"Watch-Africa Cymru yn cynnig gofod creadigol i wneuthurwyr ffilmiau a phobl sy’n caru ffilmiau i gysylltu a thrafod. Mae'n ofod arbennig sy'n ymwneud mwy â syniadau, delweddau a straeon am ddiwylliant a phrofiadau Affricanaidd a gipiwyd mewn ffilm. Yn bwysicach na hynny, mae'n le i weld, clywed a gwybod ychydig mwy am safbwyntiau a phrofiadau byw sy'n pontio bylchau o wybodaeth anghywir a chamddehongliadau am fywyd yn Affrica."

Mae Watch-Africa Cymru yn fwy na gŵyl ffilmiau; mae wedi creu lle i gynulleidfaoedd ddathlu diwylliannau pobl Affricanaidd sy'n ffurfio Cymru amlddiwylliannol; gweledigaeth wych!

Mae tocynnau ar gyfer yr Ŵyl Ffilmiau Dod ag Affrica i Gymru ar werth nawr. Bydd modd prynu pob ffilm a’u ffrydio ar Chwaraewr Chapter.

Cliciwch yma i gael rhagor o wybodaeth am yr ŵyl.
Cliciwch yma i weld clip o ŵyl Watch Africa 2021.

Mae’r ŵyl yn cael ei chefnogi gan: Ffilm Cymru, Panel Cynghori Is-Sahara (SSAP), Hub Cymru Affrica (HCA), Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru (RWCMD)

ENDS.

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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 15th 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 here.

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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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 20th 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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