A Welsh Adventure: Films in Castles

“Unique, atmospheric, awesome!” Audience member, Caerphilly Castle


Wales has been called the castle capital of the world, with over 400 historical castles and more than 100 still standing. Back in 2013, when Film Hub Wales first began, we were extremely excited to embark on a new partnership with Chapter and Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service, to pilot an immersive film event off site in castle grounds. Since then, we have been proud to both develop and support a variety of events and partners who have brought film to truly extraordinary settings in all-but the great outdoors. 
 

Here's a selection of castle screenings to date.
 

BFI Blockbusters:
 

BFI Gothic 2013
 

Images from Castell Coch and Cardiff Castle

 

BFI’s Gothic season revisited the films that fed on our darkest fears and desires. Castles were the ideal settings for these wicked tales, be they dark family fairytales or true horror classics.

Chapter, Cadw and Film Hub Wales held event screenings in Caerphilly Castle and Castell Coch, featuring Edward Scissorhands, Bride of Frankenstein, Tangled and Nosferatu. Film Hub Wales also supported Darkened Rooms and Chapter by providing the cinema kit for sold out screenings of Dracula and Hotel Transylvania in Cardiff Castle.

Check out videos of the screenings at Castell Coch and Caerphilly Castle on our YouTube channel.

 

BFI Sci-Fi 2014
 

Images from Caerphilly Castle and Castell Coch
 

“You can't replicate the experience of seeing a classic horror film on the big screen in a castle courtyard!” Sci-Fi audience member

BFI Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder was a major celebration of film and TV’s original blockbuster genre. Following the success of Gothic, Chapter, Cadw and Film Hub Wales once again brought special screenings to Caerphilly Castel and Castell Coch.

Over several days, audiences were treated to Willy Wonka, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. 

Castle screenings were part of wide season of events held by Film Hub Wales for BFI Sci-Fi season. Check out our video of when Doctor Who visited the Savoy Theatre in Monmouth.

 

BFI Love 2015
 

Images from Caerphilly Castle and Castell Coch
 

"Inconceivable. Refreshing. So enjoyable." - Nerys, Caerphilly 

BFI Love was a national season looking at films to fall in love with and films to break your heart. Chapter, Cadw and Film Hub Wales specifically chose films that would feel at home in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle and Castell Coch.

The films chosen for these screenings were Beauty and the Beast, The Princess Bride, Frozen Singalong and The Phantom of the Opera.

You can take a look back at the screenings in Caerphilly Castle on our YouTube channel.

 

Member projects:

 

Torch Theatre
 

Images from Picton Castle

Torch Theatre received Audience Development support from Film Hub Wales in 2014 to bring Sunset Cinema to Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire. A series of films, inlcuding Close Encounters of the Third Kind were screened in the castle grounds, where audience members watched films on picnic blankets as the sun set.

The event was so popular that Sunset Cinema was expanded in 2015. With continued support from Film Hub Wales, Torch Theatre was able to bring films to three castle; Ghostbusters at Picton Castle; Maleficent and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in Carew Castle; and Dracula at Pembroke Castle. The Torch are now established providers of off-site cinema in West Wales. 

 

Laugharne 
 

Images from Laugharne Castle

As part of the Dylan Thomas 100 celebrations, Chapter and Film Hub Wales partnered with Cadw on a unique weekend of film screenings, poetry readings and stop-motion animation workshops set in the beautiful Laugharne Castle grounds that celebrated the legacy of Dylan Thomas. Films screened included The Edge of Love and Under Milk Wood with Q&A from Director Andrew Sinclair.

 

Wicked:16
 

Image from Wicked:16 at Bodelwyddan Castle

In September 2016, Bodelwyddan Castle hosted the international youth film festival Wicked:16. The event included an awards ceremony, conference and screenings of upcoming films and Roald Dahl classics.


Off-centre - Chapter and Cadw


Posters from the Off-centre screenings from Chapter and Cadw

In Autumn 2016, Chapter and Cadw will be hosting Off-centre: films at Castell Coch and Caerphilly Castle. For adults, there will be screenings of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Ghostbusters and Little Shop of Horrors, and for families, Frozen Singalong and Cinderella. To find out more and to book tickets, visit the Chapter website.