FHW Member venues
Film Hub Wales to Support Seven Welsh Cinemas with the Cost of Living Crisis
7th March 2023

Seven independent cinemas across Wales will receive funding from Film Hub Wales to support their venues with rising costs this spring.

As venues balance significant financial pressures, funds will be used to ensure that the best UK independent and international films continue to reach communities at affordable prices.

At Cellb in Blaenau Ffestiniog, their energy bills have escalated by 700% in the last quarter. So this youth-led venue is getting creative to maintain the modern cinematic entertainment offer that the community knows and loves, at reasonable prices. They are redeveloping their Blaenau Vista Ffilm Club with specialist Q&A screenings such as Enys Men and Welsh made Y Sŵn, which will screen with a Director Q&A on March 10th in celebration of Cellb’s 16th birthday, at £5 per ticket. It will be followed by a Q&A for young audiences around the theme of protest with Lecturer Selwyn Williams and local renegade Ceri Cunnington.

At Theatr Gwaun in Pembrokeshire, the cinema is working with its Community Film Panel and Fishguard Film Society, to recover audiences post pandemic, while balancing the financial pressures resulting from inflation. They are leading the way with an exciting programme that puts audiences first. Funds will support their independent cinema screenings from January to April 2023 with films such as South Korean mystery Decision to Leave and West Walian Western The Toll, plus their affordable £3 Saturday Morning Kids Club and POINT Presents initiative in partnership with their local youth centre.

Paul Howe, Manager at Theatr Gwaun explains how the cost of living crisis is affecting cinemas:

These are very tough times for cinemas. Like many small, single screen, independent cinemas across Wales, Theatr Gwaun is grappling with the challenges of the cost of living crisis; determined to weather the storm. Our operating costs are under pressure from a combination of increasing fuel / trading costs and inflation / government policy driving an inevitable and much needed increase in staff wages. That is only one side of the story of course. Our audiences are also making tough decisions about their domestic budgets. A laser focus on costs, balanced with innovative, creative programming, engaging marketing and greater collaboration with supportive funding bodies such as Film Hub Wales are strategy threads that have never been so important as we navigate our way through these difficult times.

The Magic Lantern Cinema in Tywyn faces the same steep rise in energy costs as the people in its community. Based in a rurally isolated area, where income is often connected to seasonal tourism, the cinema is a vital social space but audiences have confided that the cost of living crisis is impacting on their cinema-going.

Annie Grundy at The Magic Lantern explains:

Our audiences have told us that they can’t afford to see all the films they want to but it’s never been more important for us that they are able to attend. So we’re launching our ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ £3 offer in March as well as partnering with Gwynedd Youth Services to offer free screenings for 11-25-year-olds. We’re also holding an open day to start a conversation about what we can do to help both young and older audiences who are feeling the pinch. Seeing a film on the big screen with surround sound is great value for a quality night out in Tywyn and we keep our prices as affordable as we can.

Funding has also been confirmed at Wyeside Arts Centre (Builth Wells), The Torch (Milford Haven), The Dragon Theatre (Barmouth) and Pontardawe Arts Centre (Swansea Valley).

Hana Lewis, Film Hub Wales Manager explains why the fund was launched:

We’ve seen a number of much loved cinemas close across the UK in recent months, such as Kinokulture on the Welsh border and Cardiff’s Premiere Cinema. Cinemas are impacted by the cost of living crisis on many levels, from rising supply costs to standstill or reduced funding. We are also in a new normal, still rebuilding audiences post-Covid and evolving as organisations. We know that this funding can’t solve the crisis for these venues but as the heart of many Welsh communities, we’re delighted to support them in whatever way we can and give people a chance to escape to a new world on screen.

Film Hub Wales is made possible thanks to funding from the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), awarding funds from the National Lottery. BFI FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. In Wales, activity is led by Film Hub Wales, managed by Chapter.

Download the full press release here


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Still from Ali & Ava, Altitude Film Entertainment (2019)
Working Class Inclusion

New resource published focusing on creating better experiences in cinema spaces for those from working-class backgrounds and/or those in poverty.

Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming is a free resource to help cinemas be more inclusive.

Inclusive Cinema is launching a new free resource: Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming, providing information and guidance to support exhibitors in improving cinema experiences for working-class people and those in poverty.

The resource comprises a series of six podcast episodes that cover a range of areas, from sliding-scale ticketing and equitable employment practices, to the films that are programmed and how they are presented. There is also an access and inclusion checklist to support venues, festivals, industry initiatives and event organisers with strategic and operational measures to welcome working-class audiences and colleagues.

Addressing the wider social context and responding to the omission of class or socio-economic position in the UK’s 2010 Equality Act, Dr Leanne Dawson (equality, diversity, and inclusion consultant, author, and academic in Screen Studies) was commissioned to explore the impact of cultural, social, and economic barriers on working-class people and their engagement with independent cinemas and pursuing careers in the industry.

Through sharing research and personal experiences, the series provides practical guidance and encouragement for organisations, outlining how positive interventions can lead to increased diversity across audiences and the workforce. It looks at the definition of ‘working-class,’ which groups many different experiences together — some people raised in poverty, others not, some in towns, some rurally, some with multiple diverse characteristics — and considers social mobility between classes and the impacts of financial income and cultural capital to participation in independent cinema.

Checklists outlining inclusion strategies and measures will accompany the podcasts. A film programming resource will also highlight the rich diversity of working-class stories and talent behind and in front of the camera, covering fiction features, documentary and short film. This will be complemented by ideas to make screenings available and more welcoming to working-class audiences, colleagues, as well as creatives, resulting in a deeper engagement with independent films and venues. Booking details and information on access materials, such as descriptive subtitles and audio description, will also be provided where possible.

Dr. Dawson explains why putting this resource together should be helpful to the exhibition sector:

I really want to help you make your cinema, festival, screening, or event as welcoming as possible to all working-class people. This series of resources comprises podcasts offering practical tips on how to attract and welcome more working class people and accompanying checklist documents that can be easily used to note what you’re currently doing well and what could be further improved on your journey to working-class inclusion.

Resource topics include:

  • Why working-class people feel excluded: exploring how class intersects with other parts of identity and why many people who are working-class may feel excluded from independent cinema/film festival spaces and why measures are needed.
  • Free and broader measures that can be put in place to increase inclusion and access, from practical no-cost changes to budgeted interventions for welcoming more working-class audience members and colleagues.
  • How advertising, outreach, sliding scale ticketing and ‘pay it forward’ models to attract and retain working-class audiences.
  • How inclusive programming should take into consideration the types of stories and identities being shown, who is making programming decisions and how programming can provide space and support for established and aspiring working-class filmmakers.
  • Guidance on staffing and how to attract, support, develop, and retain working-class colleagues at all levels.

The podcast and accompanying documents will be available through the Inclusive Cinema website on 1st March 2023: inclusivecinema.org

Inclusive Cinema is led by Film Hub Wales and supported by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) – using funds from the National Lottery to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to everyone across the UK. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery.

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Trans Cinema: A new Podcast Mini-Series

Inclusive Cinema launches a new T.L.C. (aka Tender Loving Care for Trans-Led/Trans-Loved Cinema) podcast resource that is creating a space for the trans community and cis allies alike to celebrate, learn and share.

Over four episodes, trans curators, writers, and thinkers in the realm of cinema unpack some of the challenges and joys about being a trans person in cinema, offering stories, research and advice to champion trans-led and trans-loved cinema to help firmly establish it as part of the wider UK film exhibition landscape.  

The podcast series and accompanying written resource documents a series of trans-focused film events from across the UK, from Orkney to London. Trans and non-binary programmers, filmmakers and speakers highlight the many ways to centre and celebrate trans cinema through rich insights and shared stories. Across in-depth intros, curious Q&As, friendly panels and engaged audience discussions, listeners and readers can expect to learn more about how to wholeheartedly support trans filmmakers and audiences.  

Highlights of the podcasts include:  

  • An intimate introduction with Alice Blanc (they/them, founder of Trans+ on Screen) and Jaye Hudson (she/her, programmer at Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Festival London, and more), hosted by So Mayer (they/them). They talk through finding joy in film, safety strategies for trans team members in public events and creative thinking around the definition of ‘trans film’.  
  • A playful panel discussion in Hawick delving into trans representation and collaborative filmmaking with programmer Milo Clenshaw (he/him, Alchemy Film & Arts) and speakers Rosana Cade (they/them), Ivor McCaskill (he/him), Natalie Ferguson and Katie Somers (all independent artists and filmmakers) 
  • Insightful reflections on establishing a ‘trans film’ canon and how trans film can transcend not just gender binaries but established filmmaking norms by Lillian Crawford (she/her, freelance writer & researcher) talking about the classic Japanese Experimental film Funeral Parade of Roses. 
  • A rich Q&A between Juliet Jaques (she/her, writer and filmmaker) and Sarah Pucill (she/her, film artist), at the Lexi, London, delving deeper into Sarah’s film Magic Mirror (2013); experimental filmmaking, transness, and the potential of gender freedom through the medium of film.  
  • An exciting bonus episode to be released in spring, with programmer Bea Copland (she/her) in conversation with Laura Kate Dale (she/her) at the Phoenix Cinema in Orkney. Expect intriguing conversation around the intimate documentary Born to Be, which follows Dr. Jess Ting (he/him) offering gender affirming health care to trans and non-binary people in New York City. 

The written resource will expand on these themes, offering answers to tricky questions around programming trans film and filmmakers developing best practice for organisations and independent organisers.  

The podcast is launching on Podbean and will soon be available wherever you get your podcasts. You will find it on the Inclusive Cinema website along with additional written notes here

T.L.C. aims to provide valuable advice to venues, practitioners and filmmakers looking to support trans inclusion in cinema, helping to address the historic imbalance of trans representation on screen.

So Mayer, project consultant, says:

Creating TLC has been a process of (gender) euphoria. As a creative team, we’re so grateful for the tender, loving care that went into sharing ideas about screening, discussing and promoting trans+ films; building community by networking speakers, filmmakers, venues and audiences; and creating long-lasting accessible, shareable resources to keep the project alive. We hope that listeners hear the passion and pride in the podcasts and resources, and that the wealth of insights and examples sets a spark for future opportunities for audiences to experience…

This project is led by Film Hub Wales and supported by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) – using funds from the National Lottery to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to everyone across the UK. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.  

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery.  

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Funding for 2023 to 2026 will support BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK activity and BFI Film Academy Plus
BFI awards over £15.2m to 11 UK-wide Strategic Partners
1st February, 2023

BFI awards £15.2M National Lottery funding over three years to 11 UK-wide strategic partners as it begins to implement its recently published 10-Year National Lottery Funding Strategy from April 2023. The partnerships will enable the BFI to grow the activity it supports UK-wide, building on frameworks and networks established since 2012. This ‘good cause’ National Lottery funding aims to grow cinema audiences for UK independent and international film, support development of new filmmaking talent and ignite a passion for screen culture in young people.

Pivotal in delivering one of the BFI’s core principles of being UK-wide, the BFI will work with key partners across the four nations to ensure its National Lottery funding effectively responds to the varying needs of the public and industry in different parts of the country. It will see many funding decisions devolved or taken collaboratively, and activity tailored by those on the ground who understand their local landscape, have valuable community networks, and can best reach people in their local area.

Partners selected and funded to lead on activity across the UK are:

Harriet Finney
, Deputy CEO of the BFI, said:

Our partners are fundamental to the successful delivery of our ambitious National Lottery Strategy across the UK. We are very much looking forward to working with the venues and organisations announced today to ensure the BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK and BFI Film Academy Plus programmes evolve and grow to meet the changing needs of our sector. Driven by our belief everyone should have access to screen culture – from experiencing a diverse range of films in cinemas through to creating original screen works and a chance to forge careers – we are supporting these fantastic partners so they can bring those opportunities to local communities and people of all backgrounds, across the whole of the UK.

Access to a rich variety of screen culture inspires and informs our future filmmakers and creatives. The funding decisions announced today enable our partners to deliver three distinct but interconnected areas of work. These organisations will provide highly visible cultural hubs that are largely based out of independent cinemas and film venues across the UK. Crucially, the funded partners will make audience and talent development opportunities accessible to audiences, young people and aspiring filmmakers across their respective regions or nations.

Continuing to support this UK-wide structure also responds to a consistent message heard throughout the extensive consultation with public and industry undertaken to develop the strategy: that every part of the country has a different set of needs, opportunities and challenges around screen culture, and local organisations are best placed to respond to these. Further UK-wide partners will be announced in the coming weeks, as recipients of National Lottery funding to support skills and education activity which will complement this work. Alongside BFI FAN, support of the exhibition and distribution sector is available via the BFI National Lottery Audience Projects Fund which is currently open for applications.

The £15.2m announced today aims to address a number of primary objectives of the BFI’s National Lottery Strategy. These include seeking to:

  • empower children and young people to develop their own relationship with a wider range of screen culture – as viewers, creators or as part of the future workforce
  • ensure people across the UK can access a wider choice of film and the moving image, including stories that authentically reflect their lives
  • tackle a range of social, economic and geographical barriers for UK audiences
  • support the skilling up of the exhibition workforce so venues are better equipped to thrive in an increasingly challenging marketplace
  • open up opportunities to those who want to express their creativity through stories on screen and support and nurture their careers
  • encourage innovation and back a wide range of stories that wouldn’t otherwise be told
  • open up equitable and more visible routes into the sector

A collaboration of eight leading venues or film organisations representing the UK nations and regions, the BFI Film Audience Network supports a stronger and more connected approach to growing audiences for UK and international film on the big screen. FAN has over 1,700 members comprising cinemas, festivals, mixed-arts venues, community cinema and film archives, which can access training, funding, programming support and network opportunities.

BFI NETWORK exists to support, develop and champion new and emerging filmmakers across the UK. Working with partners, NETWORK has an on-the-ground presence in every UK nation and region, led by BFI NETWORK Talent Execs, to connect with and deliver support to new and emerging filmmakers. BFI NETWORK offers funding for short films and first feature development, as well as a range of professional development support to writers, directors and producers.

BFI Film Academy Plus, the newly named UK-wide in-venue education offer, helps connect 16-25 year olds with opportunities to pursue their love of screen culture and learn how to set about a career in the industry. Funding will enable venues across the UK to provide locally tailored support packages such as masterclasses, screenings and bursaries, helping them to learn more about the film industry, watch cultural cinema, become familiar with their local venues and develop skills as independent filmmakers, film curators or film industry new entrants.

The BFI National Lottery Funding Strategy aims to build a diverse and accessible screen culture that benefits all of society and contributes to a prosperous UK economy. At its heart are three core principles: equity, diversity and inclusion, so everyone can develop a meaningful relationship with screen culture, regardless of their background or circumstances; UK-wide, so that everyone across the four nations of the UK should be able to experience and create the widest range of moving image storytelling; and environmental sustainability, from reducing the BFI’s own carbon emissions to supporting wider industry efforts to get to net zero and address biodiversity loss.

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Welsh Films to Watch out for in Cinemas in 2023
Tuesday, 31st January 2023

Welcome in 2023 with a host of Welsh films for your cinema diary. Film Hub Wales has put together a selection of the most anticipated releases with Welsh connections, coming to a cinema near you this year.  

First up is Timestalker. Produced by Pembrokeshire born Vaughan Sivell, the film tells the story of a time-travelling hopeless romantic (Alice Lowe) as she deals with love, death and reincarnation.

If biopics are more your thing, then look out for Y Sŵn from the Welsh creatives behind 2022 success Gwledd (Roger Williams and Lee Haven Jones), which tells the story of iconic politician Gwynfor Evans and the rise of S4C during the Thatcher era.

Also highly anticipated is The Almond and the Seahorse. Written by Llanarth based Kaite O’Reilly, with directorial debut from Anglesey born Celyn Jones and a soundtrack from Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals). The film stars Rebel Wilson as Sarah, an aspiring archaeologist, who is coming to terms with her partners traumatic brain injury.

Audiences can also look forward to international stories from Welsh storytellers, from South African apartheid (London Recruits) to the first transgender model agency (Being Hijra). These films offer crucial representation for minoritised communities, within a Welsh context, giving us a platform to shape how we see ourselves as a nation and how others see us from across the world.  

Radha Patel, Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales Officer explains: 

Our local cinemas need us, just as much as we need them. All of these films say something about Wales whether they’re directly about our country or not. The most important thing is that we – as audiences – watch them, talk about them, voice what they say to us with our friends and online and continue to support local, independent, cinemas so that they can keep showing films that explore Wales’ cultural identity as times change.

Kaite O’Reilly, Writer of ‘The Almond and the Seahorse’ said: 

The film has a long history and connection to Wales. I first wrote the theatre script in 2008 and the extraordinary response to the play made Celyn Jones and I determined to bring this ‘hidden’ story to the screen, to bring awareness, hope and the particularly reassuring reaction a collective experience brings. Cinema is special – it is remarkable to sit together across Wales with friends and strangers, to share a resonant moment and make noise about this ‘silent epidemic’ to let people know they are not alone.

Audiences can keep up to date with news of the upcoming Welsh releases on the Made in Wales section of Film Hub Wales’ website, or by following @Filmhubwales on social media. 

MIW is made possible thanks to funding from Creative Wales and the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), awarding funds from the National Lottery. BFI FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. In Wales, activity is led by Film Hub Wales, managed by Chapter. 

Download the full press release here


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The Whole Story: The Silent Twins + Black-Welsh Films

The Silent Twins brings the phenomenal story of the June and Jennifer Gibbons to cinemas across Wales and the UK on December 9th 2022.

Hailed at the Cannes Films Festival, the film tells the story of the sisters from Barbados, raised in Haverfordwest with a deep passion for literature and creative writing.

June was interviewed by The New Yorker in 2000 stating that, as the only Black family, they faced horrific abuse and consequently the sisters became each other’s greatest support system. They were inseparable, speaking a special language to each other that only they understood while becoming selectively mute to everyone around them. Later on in life, sectioned by a deeply unjust and racist mental health system, they continued to keep diaries, wrote stories, poems and novels and eventually pooled together to get one of their novels published.

This incredible true story brings their friendship, creative aspirations and traumatic experiences of navigating a white world, to life on the big screen.

In celebration of their writing and creativity, we’ve put together a list of films by and featuring Black-Welsh talent to highlight the importance of championing Black creatives from development to production and of course exhibition!

To book The Silent Twins for your venue please contact: Albina.Terentjeva@nbcuni.com

Universal Pictures also have a number of exciting assets to support your screening including posters, quads, stills, trailers and more.

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Cinemas to Enchant Audiences this Winter with the Revival of Welsh Witchcraft on Screen
Tuesday, 25th October, 2022

With the support of Film Hub Wales (FHW), cinemas across Wales will explore the timeless magic of Wales on screen this winter, bringing spells, spirits and folklore to Welsh audiences, through a season of films and events about Welsh witchcraft.

Activities launch at Pontio Arts Centre in Bangor on the 28th October, where their ‘Witches Sabbath’ weekend will welcome Mari Elen Jones from Gwrachod Heddiw, an award-winning podcast which celebrates Welsh women and their connections to witchcraft. Over the weekend, guests will also include Director, Ffion Pritchard, of new short Welsh film Annwn, about a talented young witch and illustrator Efa Lois who specialises in folklore, flowers and Welsh witches. The live, Welsh language, video podcast will explore the character of the Witch in cinema, the history of witchcraft in Wales, its revival and the modern Welsh witch.  

Off Y Grid, a network of seven venues across North Wales (including Pontio), that collaborate to bring the best British independent and international cinema to Welsh audiences, will host a second live podcast about horror cinema and Witches, with a screening of Gaspar Noe’s experimental horror film Lux Aeterna.

Radha Patel, Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales Officer explains why FHW encourage audiences to learn about the history of witchcraft:  

Today, a new generation of young, Welsh witches are emerging and revisiting their cultural practices and heritage. Wales’ unique spiritual connection to land, community centred society and common-sense saved thousands of women from being unnecessarily killed by superstition. In the future, what life-changing moments could be inspired by this new revival in Celtic spiritualty? We believe that film can help us to explore and answer these questions.”

Emyr Williams, Cinema Coordinator at Pontio Arts Centre, Bangor continued: 

‘‘Horror Cinema was never made to be watched on your own – a communal experience of terror is something we strive to offer our audiences. Our Witches themed weekend in Pontio allows us the opportunity to show brilliant horror films and engage directly with our audience’s interests, by recording two bilingual podcasts in in front of a live audience. We have invited experts to discuss Witchcraft in all its forms, from questioning cinematic representation and gender stereotyping to re-examining Welsh mythology and social history, as well as imagining how Witches are adapting to the digital age. 

Both events will be recorded live and made available to cinemas across Wales with the support of funding from FHW’ Made in Wales (MIW) strand, which celebrates films with Welsh connections. Audiences can enjoy a series of witchcraft themed films in their local community cinema, such as Gwledd, St Maud and Rungano Nyoni’s I am not a Witch, which reaches it 5th anniversary in October. 

MIW offers a host of year-round activities in partnership with Welsh exhibitors, including a film catalogue which hosts over 600 shorts and features with Welsh connections.   

MIW is made possible thanks to funding from Creative Wales, along with support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery. FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.  

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery. 


Download the full press release here


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Sidecard: New Website to Support Accessible Film Screenings for Deaf and Blind Audiences
August 2022

New Website to Support Accessible Film Screenings for Deaf and Blind Audiences UK Wide

A new website designed to make cinema more accessible to Deaf and Blind audiences has launched in the UK.

Sidecard is a searchable database, which records details relating to film access materials, such as subtitle and audio description files.

The site, which is the first of its kind (in the UK), is intended to improve and promote accessibility, encourage learning and resource sharing across cinemas, film festivals and the wider film exhibition sector. The project is supported by BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.

Charlotte Little, Access Consultant and member of Sidecard’s working group, explains:

‘Descriptive subtitles completely transform my viewing experience and having a database like Sidecard, to refer audiences and practitioners to, will be of huge significance in the ongoing journey to standardise accessibility within film exhibition.’

The site, a joint project of Matchbox Cine, Inclusive Cinema, Film Hub Wales, Film Hub Scotland and Independent Cinema Office, will invite users to upload details of subtitle and audio description files made to support accessible screenings and disc releases. Sidecard will also host glossaries and tailored guides to support distributors, exhibitors and film-makers to learn practically about making films more accessible.

Sidecard is named for the separate “sidecar” files that are created to make screenings and home viewing accessible to Deaf and Blind audiences. No such files will be hosted on the site, but their details will be logged – who made them, who commissioned them, against what version of what particular film – and contact details provided, so that whoever might want to make further use of them can request the materials and permission to use them.

Megan Mitchell, Inclusive Cinema Project Manager for BFI FAN explains:

‘Sidecard will support exhibitors, and those across the sector keen to support diverse audiences, to more easily find and share accessible versions of films. With exhibitors, especially mid-sized festivals and smaller exhibitors within Scotland, having made a considered effort to increase accessible screenings for Deaf and disabled audiences over the past few years, Sidecard aims to facilitate a collaborative sector wide effort to allow exhibitors to ensure all audiences have access to great films.’

The project was supported by BFI FAN – a UK-wide network made up of national and regional Hubs which seek to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to everyone across the UK. Inclusive Cinema is part of BFI FAN and coordinated by Film Hub Wales. 

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery.

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Gwledd Brings Welsh Language Back to Cinema Screens for the First Time in Three Years
Tuesday, 16th August, 2022

Gwledd (The Feast), a carnivorously chilling Welsh language horror film, will be released exclusively in cinemas on August 19th, via Picturehouse Entertainment. This will be the first Welsh language feature to screen to cinema audiences since the release of Welsh music documentary, Anorac in 2019.  

Set in mid-Wales, the film was driven by Welsh talent. Written by Roger Williams and directed by Lee Haven-Jones, it features prominent Welsh actors Nia Roberts and Julian Lewis Jones, as well as rising talents Steffan Cennydd and Annes Elwy.  

Elwy plays Cadi – a mysterious young woman that takes a job as a waitress for a wealthy family in the remote Welsh countryside, on the eve of an important dinner party. As the night progresses, she soon begins to challenge the family’s beliefs, unravelling the illusion they’ve created with slow and terrifying consequences.  

The release is significant for Wales, introducing Welsh language to new audiences globally whilst also meeting local demand from Welsh people, to watch stories in their native tongue. Traditionally, duel versions of a film have been requested in English. Solely in Welsh, Gwledd paves a steady path for new ways of working. This not only honours the Welsh language but holds the door open for further films to be made.

Roger Williams, writer of Gwledd explains:

“If we were to be quite bold about telling our stories on this big, big, screen, we could start to build the kind of culture where it’s not unusual to see Welsh language film in cinemas…” 

The film’s release is supported by Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales (MIW) strand, which celebrates films with Welsh connections, building greater awareness of stories from real Welsh communities and helping to shape our cultural identity.  

Radha Patel, Made in Wales Officer at Film Hub Wales explains: 

“Welsh films help to shape the culture of Wales. The stories we tell on screen can have global reach – changing the way the world sees our country. It’s exciting to have a Welsh-language feature coming to local cinemas and communities again but this shouldn’t be an anomaly. Wales is home to a diverse nation of storytellers and Welsh audiences deserve to see more films representing their language, country and culture. We know that Gwledd can inspire new talent to make the films they want to see.” 

Through MIW, cinemas can screen a special interview with Roger Williams and Annes Elwy, along with a creative essay by freelancer writer and researcher Rosie Couch, which explores the political and environmental context of the film. FHW and Picturehouse have also worked together to ensure that Welsh cinemas will have access to Welsh-language posters, trailers, audio description and hard of hearing captions for Welsh-speaking d/Deaf and Disabled viewers.  

Made in Wales offers year-round activities in partnership with Welsh exhibitors, including a film catalogue which hosts over 600 shorts and features with Welsh connections. MIW is made possible thanks to direct support from Welsh Government via Creative Wales, along with support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery. FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.  

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery. 


Download the full press release here.

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Alchemy Film Festival The Making Of Pinocchio
UK Cinemas build T.L.C for Trans-Led Stories on Screen
August 2022

A new series of events and podcasts from Inclusive Cinema called ‘T.L.C’ (Tender Loving Care for Trans-Led/Trans-Loved Cinema) are coming to UK screens.

From Orkney to London, cinemas, festivals and independent exhibitors will present film screenings, Q&As and panels on diverse topics related to trans visibility in cinema, thanks to support from the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) awarding National Lottery funding. These events will also be recorded live and made into podcasts.

T.L.C, supported by delivery partner, writer and activist So Mayer, aims to help address the historic imbalance of trans representation on screen. The events will be run by Milo Clenshaw, Alchemy Film & Arts (Hawick, Scotland), Lillian Crawford, Freelance Writer & Researcher (Manchester, England), Beatrice Copland, The Phoenix Cinema (Orkney, Scotland), Rebecca del Tufo, The Lexi Cinema (London, England) with additional podcast elements from Trans+ On Screen. Full events listings can be found on Inclusivecinema.org here.

Megan Mitchell, Inclusive Cinema Project Manager for BFI FAN explains:

There is ongoing underrepresentation of trans voices on-screen and by supporting trans led and trans focused projects like T.L.C, Inclusive Cinema hopes to help address this and inspire other film exhibitors to undertake similar events. Those who will be running events under the T.L.C banner have all come to the project with their own unique insights into what is lacking when it comes to trans voices within cinema, reflecting the diversity of lived experiences of trans people. T.L.C is also for audiences, we want trans audiences to feel safe within cinema settings and be able to recognise their own experiences in what is being programmed and what ends up on screen.

The BFI FAN in a UK-wide network made up of national and regional Hubs which seek to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to everyone across the UK. Inclusive Cinema is part of BFI FAN and coordinated by Film Hub Wales.

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery.

Download the full press release here


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New Trans Stories with Welsh Connections Coming to Cinemas in 2022
Wednesday, 13th July, 2022

With the support of Film Hub Wales’ (FHW) Made in Wales (MIW) project, two new films from Welsh talent, that follow the lives of Trans women in India and the USA, are coming to cinemas this year.

Donna’ and ‘Being Hijira’ are debut features from directors with roots in Wales, that tell international Trans led stories, at a pivotal time for Transgender communities.  

‘Donna’ which is distributed by Bohemia Media, is the debut feature of Welsh director Jay Bedwani. The film, which releases on July 15th 2022, tells the story of Donna Personna who first hit the stage with the legendary Cockettes. Now in her seventies, she is offered a chance to co-write a play about an overlooked episode in queer history – the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, in which transgender women Donna knew, stood up against police harassment.  

Jay Bedwani, Director of ‘Donna’ spent five years travelling from Cardiff to California to document Donna’s story, and formed a life-long friendship in the process. He explains: 

 “I feel very privileged to bring the story of an older transgender woman onto Welsh screens. I hope Donna’s message and spirit will resonate with audiences as much as it does with me.” 

‘Being Hijra’, from West Wales based Director, Ila Mehrotra (Spring Films) which will release later this year, is a deeply personal, emotionally charged journey filmed over 6 years, which chronicles the pain and pride of Rudrani Chettri and the transgender community of New Delhi as they set about creating India’s first transgender model agency. 

 Ila Mehrotra explains: 

‘‘Developing the story of the often exoticized Hijra community in the most humane and relatable way has been an absolute pleasure. The support and interest from Film Hub Wales fills me with excited enthusiasm, to bring the film onto Welsh screens hoping it resonates humanly across the board.’’ 

Both films are supported by ‘Made in Wales’, a FHW project which celebrates films with Welsh connections, giving a platform to lesser known stories from Wales that represent real Welsh communities. FHW are working with Bohemia and Spring Films to ensure that audiences have the opportunity to hear from the Directors through exclusive interviews and build global solidarity with Trans audiences represented on screen, at their local independent cinema 

Later this year, audiences can also look forward to ‘T.L.C’ aka Tender Loving Care for Trans-Led/Trans-Loved Cinema – a series of special events exploring trans-led cinema releases from FHW’s Inclusive Cinema project.

Radha Patel, Made in Wales Officer at Film Hub Wales explains: 

“These documentaries mark an important cultural milestone. Filmmakers are often told that there is only room for ‘one marginalised story’ at a time. By breaking this trend, Welsh cinema sends an important message to Trans people, particularly young trans people, affirming their identifies and their right to self-determination.”

MIW offers a host of year-round activities in partnership with Welsh exhibitors, including a film catalogue which hosts over 600 shorts and features with Welsh connections.   

MIW is made possible thanks to funding from Creative Wales, along with support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery. FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.  

More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery. 


Download the full press release here.

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The Whole Story: Brian and Charles

To mark the release of ‘Brian and Charles’, Made in Wales teamed up with Universal Studios for an exclusive interview with the cast and crew. Led by Zoila Garman, BFI FAN members can share these charming and insightful conversations with audiences, featuring the film’s Director ‘Jim Archer’ and Writers / Lead Actors ‘Chris Hayward’ and David Earl.

To watch the full interviews, please log into the Film Hub Wales preview room.

To access the clips for your cinema’s screening or social media, please contact radha@filmhubwales.org

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