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

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

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

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

The National Lottery Environmental Campaign

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

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

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

Campaign summary  FAQ’s

 

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The Torch Theatre Puts Young Film Ambassadors in the Picture

Following months of development and an extensive recruitment campaign, the Torch Theatre’s Young Film Ambassadors scheme launched this Wednesday (25 March) with its first online session, as the Torch Theatre’s Alex Lloyd and James Gent welcomed aboard its first intake of new members at the start of what promises to be an unmissable opportunity for young people in Pembrokeshire who are interested in film and cinema to experience film in a fun and educational way.

The Torch Theatre Young Film Ambassadors is a new scheme for those aged 14-18 in Pembrokeshire that will give opportunities for young people to watch, discuss and review the latest independent, UK & International, and blockbuster films. The scheme will give the young ambassadors the opportunity to get their reviews seen, and, to find out more about cinema and filmmaking in focused workshop sessions for aspiring reviewers with special guest speakers.

For the first session, the new recruits were joined by Keiron Self, the film editor for Buzz Magazine, who is also an actor, script writer and filmmaker in his own right. Keiron led an engaging, wide-ranging discussion on film, film genres, making your opinion count as a viewer or critic, and his own experiences writing, performing, and developing scripts for film & TV. 

Also present was Hywel Roberts of young people’s film network Into Film Cymru, whose Into Film Festival is the world’s largest free annual film festival, to share with the group just some of the opportunities available for young people to engage with great filmmaking and to develop a critical viewpoint so that they can learn and grow from those experiences.

Due to current COVID restrictions, the Young Film Ambassadors workshops and film screenings are taking place online. Conditions permitting, once the Torch Theatre is fully reopened and operating with a full cinema programme the Torch Theatre looks forward to welcoming its Ambassadors in person to take full advantage of the unique experience of enjoying films on the big screen.

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

“It was brilliant to meet so many young people from across Pembrokeshire that share a common passion for film and cinema. This is the start of the journey for the Young Film Ambassadors scheme, we have a number of great workshops and films planned over the forthcoming months that will give a great insight into the film industry. There are certainly a few Marvel film fans here in Pembrokeshire, but we will be embracing the very best of independent and UK cinema as part of the ambassadors’ experience.”

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.

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BFI, BAFTA & The Film and TV Charity: Screen Industries Unite To Reinvigorate Action Against Bullying, Harassment and Racism

LONDON – Wednesday 17 March 2021: The BFI and BAFTA today announce the next stage of ground breaking work to tackle bullying, harassment and racism in the workplace with a new employer Action List for the film and television industry, as The Film and TV Charity launches new services, providing immediate support for workers. The announcement comes as Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) guidance on harassment at work is expected to become a statutory code of practice in the coming months, and filming restrictions and remote working during the pandemic have created additional pressures. 

The Action List is part of a wider industry mobilisation and call for employers to commit to following the latest advice to meet their legal and ethical responsibilities and signpost workers to available support. It includes a set of resources designed to assist employers to meet those responsibilities and is endorsed by producers such as Faye Ward and Hannah Farrell of Fable Pictures (the recently BAFTA-nominated Rocks, Stan & Ollie, Wild Rose and the forthcoming TV series Anne Boleyn). 

Research commissioned by The Film and TV Charity, published in February 2020, which collected data on more than 9,000 workers, revealed that bullying remains highly prevalent – across all sub-sectors, 84% had experienced or witnessed bullying or harassment, with even higher figures in some sub-sectors. Those who had experienced bullying were twice as likely to want to leave the industry and highly likely to have had mental health problems. The charity’s new bullying support services have been developed in direct response to this need. 

The State of Play survey on unscripted TV undertaken in the wake of the pandemic and published in January 2021 by Bectu, Bournemouth University and Viva La PD, found that over 93% of respondents have experienced bullying or harassment in the TV industry, with only 11% who reported incidents considering that the matter was satisfactorily resolved. The report suggests that the vulnerability of the workforce over the last year has spotlighted a whole range of systemic employment-related concerns, including the need to ensure that incidents can be reported without fear of reprisal, and that procedures are in place to address reports. 

The new Action List is based on the Set of Principles and Guidance published in 2018 developed by the BFI in partnership with BAFTA and in consultation with organisations across the film, games and television

industries in response to urgent and systemic issues around bullying and harassment exposed so shockingly through cases such as the Harvey Weinstein allegations and subsequent conviction. In July 2020 the Principles and Guidance were updated with a specific commitment to anti-racism in recognition of widespread failings highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The Guidance outlines the law around bullying, harassment and racism, and also includes sexism, ableism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. It sets out the responsibilities of employers, and provides advice for employees and freelancers. A supporting Dignity at Work Policy, developed in partnership with Bectu, provides a template for companies, productions and festivals to complement the Guidance and Principles to tackle workplace bullying and harassment. 

The new Action List for film and television launched today, which joins one for the games industry already in place, outlines simple yet effective actions that all employers can take to prevent and tackle workplace bullying, harassment and racism and demonstrate their commitment to tackling the issue. The Action List makes further recommendations including taking the new ScreenSkills online training module on bullying and harassment, and ensuring all employees and freelancers are aware of the new suite of bullying support services launched today by The Film and TV Charity. The Action List can be downloaded here.

The Film and TV Charity has today launched a suite of new services to provide more support for individuals who have experienced or witnessed bullying including: the Bullying Pathway Service, accessible via the charity’s existing free and confidential 24-hour Film and TV Support Line 0800 054 00 00, offering free, confidential and independent industry-specific legal, HR and mental health advice; and digital incident recording tool Spot, accessible via the charity’s website, which can be used by anyone to create a confidential private record of something they’ve experienced of witnessed. The new services have been created as part of the Whole Picture Programme, the pan-industry movement for better mental health. More information can be found at www.filmtvcharity.org.uk/bullying 

The Principles and Guidance have now been endorsed by over 40 screen sector organisations with The Casting Directors’ Guild the most recent to formally endorse them. A number of below-the-line talent agents, including Sara Putt Associates, have committed to requiring employers to agree to adhere to the Guidance as part of their deal memos with talent, and producers such as Fable Pictures require workers to sign up to the Principles. 

The BFI has hired Morgana Melvin as Production Inclusion Manager to work across the BFI Film Fund, Inclusion and Skills teams and other partners such as ScreenSkills, BBC Films, and Film4 to identify the challenges and coordinate strategies that can result in real change for employment opportunities for underrepresented groups in the production sector across the UK. By reaching out to producers, Head of Departments and the wider industry, Morgana will work with BFI teams on strategies that can support job progression and retention in the industry. This will include support for the prevention of bullying, harassment and racism on set. 

As previously announced by BAFTA, entrants for the 2021 BAFTA Games Awards have been asked to provide information on their companies’ anti-bullying and harassment guidelines. This year, along with the adoption of the BFI Diversity Standards, is a pilot year for the BAFTA Games Awards and joins existing requirements for BAFTA’s Awards across Film and Television. BAFTA will be using the data collected to

enable them to see where support, guidance and training can be offered, if necessary. The move is part of a renewed commitment from BAFTA following the 2020 Review which marks the beginning of a significant cultural shift in BAFTA, challenging the industry to address the serious lack of opportunity and equality. 

Jen Smith, Head of Inclusion at the BFI, said:

“We’re delighted that so many organisations across the screen industries have already adopted the Guidance and Principles, but we know from our conversations with industry that more structured support needs to be within every workplace to prevent and reduce instances of bullying, harassment and racism. The Guidance, Principles, Dignity at Work policy and the Action List are working documents that we will continue to refine, as well as building even more complementary resources. 

“We have demonstrated our dexterity and adaptability as an industry in the face of a pandemic; as production begins to increase again, in the face of the visceral inequality that the pandemic has laid bare, the BFI and BAFTA want to share these resources widely as we believe they can immediately improve that lived experience for our workers and act as a very useful point of reference for employers.” 

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning, Policy and Inclusion at BAFTA, said: “The nature of our industries can make it more challenging to put in place policies and procedures which might be more achievable in other sectors. The Action List and accompanying training and resources suggest solutions for the kinds of workplaces common in the industries which we will continue to improve in the coming years. It’s so important that so many industry bodies are coming together with a united strategy to tackle this issue supporting both employers via the Action List, and workers via the fantastic services offered by The Film and TV Charity. Our shared aim is to create workplace cultures where everyone can contribute to the best of their abilities.” 

Caroline Waters, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “We’re pleased to see the BFI and BAFTA taking clear action to ensure that bullying and harassment and racism issues across UK screen industries are dealt with. The Action list will help to minimise the possibility of incidents and ensure legal compliance which will protect both employers and workers.” 

Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair of TIME’S UP UK, said: “It was just over three years ago when TIME’S UP UK, in collaboration with BFI and BAFTA, launched the Bullying, Harassment and Racism Principles and Guidance for industry calling out unacceptable behaviour. Three years on, whilst awareness has been heightened, we need these resources more than ever and so we welcome the Action List released today to bolster our armoury to help eradicate these toxic practices. At TIME’S UP UK we are soon to release a series of safety guides for people working in the entertainment industry, free resources to empower arts and entertainment workers with information about their rights, industry-specific norms, and practical ways they can advocate for themselves and their safety and help people understand that no matter your situation, you have options.” 

Lucy Tallon, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at The Film and TV Charity, said:

The Film and TV Charity is pleased to be part of this pioneering pan-industry commitment to end bullying and harassment.  Our research identified bullying as one of the leading causes of poor mental health in our industry. The personal testimonies we heard and continued to hear are shocking. We must do better as an industry. 

The Film and TV Charity is launching a suite of services to help those experiencing or witnessing bullying navigate their options. Individuals can come to us for self-help resources, for professional advice, and for access to a safe digital space to record experiences in private. These services are part of our strategy to make sure everyone working in film and TV has better support and better mental health.” 

Adeel Amini, Chair of the pan-industry Coalition for Change, and Founder of the TV Mindset, said: “The Coalition for Change is focused on raising awareness of the urgent need to improve working conditions for everyone in our industry and we continue to push for widespread cultural change. Bullying, harassment, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination have no place in what should be a supportive, creative environment, so we’re happy to be supporting the BFI and BAFTA as they step forward with practical advice on how to combat a pernicious culture, and to have been involved in creating new services to support workers with The Film and TV Charity.” 

Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu, said: “Bectu has worked with BFI and BAFTA over many years to develop practical solutions to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace. The guidance being re-issued today includes a simple template policy to help employers deliver on their legal responsibilities to all workers on-set. 

“We want to see employers deliver more for their workers than the legal bare minimum, which is why we are pleased that the guidance also includes Bectu’s recommendation that all productions have a designated individual who can take reports of bullying and harassment. We will be working with BFI, BAFTA and ScreenSkills to draw up a template of responsibilities for this role. 

“The industry quickly came together to agree Covid supervisor roles last year, and we hope to be met with a similar can-do attitude to tackling bullying and harassment.” 

Seetha Kumar, CEO, ScreenSkills, said: “It is so positive that the industry has come together to create a better, fairer working environment by addressing unacceptable behaviours that have no place in it. We at ScreenSkills already provide a range of training, e-learning and resources – including some supported by the BFI with National Lottery funds – to help the industry identify and tackle bullying and harassment and racism so companies and productions as well as individual freelancers can play their part in creating safe and welcoming workplaces for everyone.” 

Victor Jenkins, Chair of the Casting Director’s Guild, said: “The Casting Directors’ Guild wholeheartedly supports these principles and actively promotes equality, diversity and inclusion within our own practices and the work of our members. Through a shared commitment across the industry, we can ensure there is no place for bullying and harassment.” 

Andy Harrower, CEO of Directors UK, said: “It is vital that as an industry we create an urgent and meaningful response to the systemic issues of bullying, harassment and racism. Ensuring everyone is treated fairly, professionally and with respect should be the first priority of every production. This additional tool to support the industry principles and guidance makes the advice accessible to all productions and empowers them to take action regardless of their size or budget. We are pleased to support this work today and will continue to work with our colleagues to prevent unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.”

Faye Ward and Hannah Farrell, Creative Directors of Fable Pictures, said: “Fable Pictures strive to offer an inclusive environment on all our productions where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The Principles against bullying, harassment and racism have really helped us set the tone on set and create a welcoming and inclusive working environment. This new Action List has made it even easier for us to understand what steps we can take to prevent and deal with unacceptable behaviour and support all our employees.” 

Sara Putt of Sara Putt Associates, said: “Sara Putt Associates are proud and excited to support this work.  We, as many other talent agents, include adherence to the BFI/BAFTA Principles and Guidance for the prevention of Bullying, and Harassment and Racism in our deal memos, and this clear and comprehensive Action List offers great practical guidance enabling all productions to create a safe workplace for everyone. Through my role as a BAFTA Trustee I have witnessed at first hand the huge amount of hard work put in by the BFI and BAFTA to create the original guidance and principles and now to have honed the information into an effective practical toolkit for all of the industry to use. As we strive to create a better environment for everyone who works in film and TV the importance of this Action List and the associated resources cannot be underestimated.” 

Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said: “The games industry has worked closely with our colleagues in film and television, through BAFTA and the BFI, to ensure that there is a clear and coherent set of principles and guidance across the screen industries. The industry’s Action List for employers in games, which launched in July 2020, has drawn on that best practice to help games studios of all sizes to help create, foster and maintain healthy work environments for their employees and freelance workers.” 

Download the press release 

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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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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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Watch Africa Cymru: Bringing African Cinema to Wales
The annual Welsh-African film festival, Watch-Africa Cymru, goes online in 2021 bringing together Africa and Wales to celebrate African cinema.

Founded 8 years ago in the south of Wales, Watch-Africa Cymru is Wales’ only African film festival. This year’s 9th edition is moving online this and takes place from the 19th -28th of February 2021.

With thanks support from Chapter Arts, Ffilm Cymru Wales and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, an exciting program titled, ‘Bringing Africa to Wales’, has been curated. The festival will be screening a variety of 10 fantastic films, live Q&As with directors, cast, and experts.

Paired with this cinema programme, the festival will also offer a series of engaging workshops, specially arranged to complement the cinema programme (including a workshop on African Folklore!).

This festival will celebrate authentic cultural exchanges through trans-national cinematic collaborations. Kicking off the festival, Watch-Cymru Africa is pleased to welcome acclaimed Welsh-African filmmaker Florence Ayisi. The festival will culminate with a regal grande finale screening and discussion with the makers of ‘Buganda Royal MusicRevival’ and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Follow Watch-Africa Cymru on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join the online discussion and for a chance to win some special prizes.

Christine Patterson, Watch-Africa Cymru producer said:

I am very pleased to be involved in such great collaborations for this year’s film festival. This program is sure to invoke a wide range of emotions, and spark some intriguing discussions.“We, as well as our collaborators look forward to enjoying the upcoming festival with you.

Claire Vaughan from Chapter Arts Centre said:

We have been working with Watch Africa for many years and I am very pleased that we have helped make this festival digital this year so audiences have a chance to see all these wonderful films.

“There are some real treats in store – documentaries from Wales-based filmmakers, social commentary, comedy, classics and some of the most beautiful photography you’ll see this year.

“I am especially looking forward to the workshops, which include educators like Abu-Bakr Madden Al-Shabazz. Don’t miss your chance to see these films and see a bit of the world that is unavailable to us at the moment.”

Professor Florence Ayisi, an African filmmaker living in Wales and has 2 films that are going to be screened said that:

“Watch-Africa Cymru offers creative spaces for filmmakers and film lovers to connect and dialogue. It is a special space that is more energised around ideas, images and stories about African culture and experiences captured in film. More importantly, it is a place to see, hear and know a little bit more about perspectives and lived experiences that bridge gaps of misinformation and misrepresentations about life in Africa.”

Watch-Africa Cymru is more than a film festival; it has created a space for audiences to celebrate the cultures of African people who make up multi-cultural Wales; a fantastic vision!

Tickets for Bringing Africa to Wales Film Festival are on sale now. Each film is available to purchase and stream on the Chapter Player.

Click here for more information about the festival.
Click here to see the Watch Africa 2021 trailer.

The festival is supported by: Ffilm Cymru, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP), Hub Cymru Africa (HCA), Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD)

ENDS.

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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 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, Festival Director, commented:

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 website.

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 15th 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 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.

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 here.

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 Inclusive Cinema 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. 

Inclusive Cinema 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 here and/or download it here.

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

Ends.

Download the full press release

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FEF Collage
Film Hub Wales awards £52,000 in Covid-19 recovery funds to Welsh cinemas and festivals

Media Release:

Film Hub Wales awards £52,000 in Covid-19 recovery funds to Welsh cinemas and festivals

Film venues put wellbeing at the forefront of their post-Covid-19 reopening programmes.

Film Hub Wales (FHW) has awarded £52,000 in National Lottery funding, through the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, to 15 Welsh independent cinemas and film festivals as they plan for reopening.

Funds will be used to aid recovery, enabling venues to safely restart British and international film screenings, including through cabaret style seating and ‘big screen bubbles’, so that they can reconnect with the most isolated Welsh communities affected by lockdown.

Socially-distanced film activities will take place Wales-wide, creating safe spaces where people can still travel the world via the big screen, at affordable prices. Audiences will be at the heart of decision making, with their feedback valued by venues as they rebuild.

For example, TAPE in Old Colwyn is reinstating Sofa Cinema and will screen Sanctuary in partnership with a new local dating agency for people with learning disabilities. In Barry, the Memo Arts Centre will create ‘big screen Bub-L’ activities with digital and take-away crafts, and in Tywyn the Magic Lantern will ‘re-light the magic lantern’, positioning the cinema as a bold, brave beacon for the future.

Since the pandemic began, many sites have been unable to open their doors to the public. With an uncertain future still ahead, they have been working to diversify their business models, develop robust health and safety procedures and secure critical alternative sources of income.

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager of Film Hub Wales explains:

We need to recognise the impact of cinemas in our communities and the potential loss we will all face if they close as a result of the pandemic. From Neuadd Ogwen, which provided food to 600 people via its foodbank, to the Magic Lantern and Theatr Gwaun, which both delivered medical supplies and mental health support to vulnerable patrons, independent venues have gone above and beyond to help those in most need. They have done this whilst also planning for their own uncertain futures, interrogating their business plans, reviewing their approaches to access and equality and exploring environmental sustainability. These funds will help them to restart crucial social, economic and cultural provision through on-screen activity.

Annie Grundy, Co-Director of The Magic Lantern:

Getting this funding enables us to wrap a big ball of cotton wool around the British, independent and foreign language films in our programme which in the old days before the corona-coaster we underwrote ourselves. It ensures that even with a much reduced capacity (we have gone from 280 to 36 available seats due to social distancing) our audience can rock up to see an eclectic mix of fantastic films on screen at the Magic Lantern.

Sue Whitbread, CEO of Theatr Gwaun adds:  

Film Hub Wales’ support means we can move ahead with our new film strategy. Theatr Gwaun will now focus on diverse, independent films refreshing interest and developing new audiences in our community.  Funding is essential, but equally the expert advice, mentoring and enthusiasm of the Hub team has given us a tremendous boost.

Blanche Giacci lives a few streets away from Theatr Gwaun and in normal times would attend screenings at least once a week:

Theatr Gwaun is an essential part of our community, providing cinema, culture and entertainment for all age groups and interests. It is a social hub which improves the community’s well-being.

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI adds: 

This year has shown the absolute importance and need of programming beyond the mainstream, and we’re pleased to be able to support exhibitors in Wales continue to do that.

The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding, repurposed by the British Film Institute (BFI) via its Film Audience Network (FAN). The fund offers critical relief and business continuity to exhibitors across the whole of the UK. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.

Ends
Download the Press Release

Left to right: 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 website.

Current deal:
Season 3 will be available for you to programme between 1 Mar – 23 May 2021.

Films available:

  • Veins Of the World / Die Adern der Welt (April 13th – May 23rd)
  • An Impossible Project (March 1st – March 28th)
  • Asunder (March 1st – April 30th)
  • Cat in the Wall (March 1st – March 31st)
  • A Coach’s Daughter / Córka Trenera (March 19th – April 18th)
  • The Humorist / Yumorist (March 12th – April 25th)
  • The Drifters (March 12th – May 23rd)
  • Selfie (March 26th – May 23rd)
  • Sofia (April 23rd – May 23rd)
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