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Film Hub Wales awards over £50,000 to help cinemas and festivals reunite Welsh communities through film
13th July 2021

Film Hub Wales (FHW) has awarded £52,700 in National Lottery funding, through the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) Film Exhibition Fund, to 8 Welsh independent cinemas and film festivals as they reopen post Covid 19. For some this will be the first time the doors have opened since March 2020.

Funds will be used to help bring the best UK and international films back to the big screen in Welsh communities. Exhibitors will support wellbeing and reduce isolation created by the pandemic, offering audiences affordable, accessible events both online and in the local cinemas they know and love. From missed movies strands, to neurodiverse Welsh animation, communities will play a key role in the shaping the return of cinema.

At Theatr Gwaun in Fishguard, they have been busy making over both the film programme and the building, with the help of the community. Audiences can expect an updated space, including Martha’s café, along with brand-new activities for young visitors.

Sue Whitbread, CEO of Theatr Gwaun explains:

The award from Film Hub Wales means that we will be able to open our doors again in July as promised to our community.  Theatr Gwaun is the only film exhibitor servicing rural North Pembrokeshire and a vital source of entertainment. Having installed all Covid precautionary measures, we are ready to welcome back our audience to a safe, friendly environment. 

Our new Community Film Panel has developed a refreshed programme that includes more independent film, Welsh language and event films nights with guest presenters and local hospitality. Young people have also been encouraged to have their say through POINT PRESENTS, a monthly film night. We have developed our new daytime cafe and event space, Martha’s, which will feature archive film collated by the community. The building is also getting a makeover this summer with a major new community mural.

In Blaenau Ffestiniog, CellB are bringing the world to their audiences’ doorsteps, through film, via their youth led ‘Sinema’r Byd programme.’ Over 50 British and international films for all ages will explore culture and climate change, which audiences can enjoy in the brand new Sgrin 2.

Rhys Roberts, owner of CellB says:

Our young hosts will welcome and greet, inform and advise, laugh and listen to our young and old audiences. We’ll create a Welsh welcome like no other as our audiences return to Cellb and experience the brand new Sgrin 2 set up as a place for all of our community to come together to watch films.

With Covid restrictions set for review in mid-July, sites across Wales are working hard to navigate safe and viable reopening.

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager of Film Hub Wales explains:

It’s a huge milestone to reopen to the public and cinemas and festivals have worked tirelessly to make this happen. There is a challenging road ahead as we rebuild and cinemas need the support of audiences now more than ever but this is a moment to look forward and recover from time spent apart. Highly anticipated films are releasing and exhibitors are set to entertain us but thanks to their community focus, we all have a chance to play an active part in the future of cinema.

The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding from the British Film Institute (BFI), via its Film Audience Network (FAN). The fund offers reopening support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences as restrictions ease. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.

The National Lottery raises £36 million each week for good causes across the UK.

Ends.

Download the Press Release

Images/Delweddau – left to right: Off Y Grid and Wicked Wales, Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival, Cardiff Animation Festival © Mission Photographic, Pontardawe Arts Centre, CellB – Sgrin 2, Theatr Gwaun July Reopening, WOW “Wales One World” Film Festival

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200,000+ Free cinema tickets available for film fans this weekend

The National Lottery welcomes back film fans with free tickets to over 500 cinemas across the UK on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June for National Lottery Cinema Weekend 

Edith Bowman and directors Dexter Fletcher and Prano Bailey-Bond share their excitement for this support for cinema as anyone who plays The National Lottery  can claim a free pair of tickets at www.cinemaweekend.co.uk

Wednesday 16 June 2021: Over 200,000 free cinema tickets are available to film fans this weekend (Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June), as a thank you to National Lottery players for their vital contribution  to film.  

The National Lottery Cinema Weekend, in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), will take place  at more than 500 cinema sites across the UK, including Cineworld, Odeon, Vue and other chains and  independent cinemas from Thurso to Penzance, and from Coleraine to Cardiff. 

Players can use any National Lottery ticket, instant win game or scratchcard bought online or in retail (T&Cs apply) to claim a free pair of tickets to use at participating cinemas at www.cinemaweekend.co.uk

This National Lottery Cinema Weekend, there’s something for everyone to see; from BFI National Lottery  funded independent films like After Love starring Joanna Scanlan and British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) winning documentary The Reason I Jump, to blockbusters like the musical In the Heights, Disney’s  Cruella and horror A Quiet Place Part II, as well as BAFTA and Oscar® winning drama The Father starring  Sir Anthony Hopkins. 

Edith Bowman, broadcaster and spokesperson for the campaign, said:

As someone who loves the  experience of watching films with other people, I’ve missed going to the cinema massively over this past  year. Once the lights go down and the film starts playing on the big screen, everything else fades and  you’re immersed into the beautiful world of that particular story, the filmmaker’s vision, the characters,  the music – the communal experience is escapism in its purest form and provokes such wonderful  conversation. I’m so excited about this amazing initiative from The National Lottery and the BFI and really  hope film fans across the UK embrace this wonderful opportunity to support their local cinema.

Dexter Fletcher, director of films such as Eddie The Eagle and the BAFTA-nominated Elton John biopic  Rocketman, received National Lottery support through the BFI earlier in his career for the Scottish musical  Sunshine On Leith. Dexter said: “I’ll always be grateful and appreciative to the BFI and the National Lottery  players for the support and funding they gave to the making of Sunshine On Leith. Low budget films are  the launch pad for aspiring film makers and enable new and experimental visionaries to come through,  get their start and make their mark on a larger stage. Sunshine On Leith was an important stepping stone  in my own journey as a director and the BFI and National Lottery helped make that possible. “

Welsh director Prano-Bailey Bond has experienced the benefits of the impact of National Lottery funding  directly. Prano, who makes psychological horrors, was one of the emerging filmmakers chosen to be part  of a BFI professional development programme that runs alongside with the BFI London Film Festival in  2017. Her debut feature film, Censor, which was backed by the BFI and Ffilm Cymru Wales using funds  from the National Lottery, will be in cinemas later this year. Prano said:

The BFI has been incredibly  supportive and I couldn’t have made Censor without their support. Having watched filmmakers I hugely  admire come up through the BFI, such as Lynne Ramsay (the acclaimed Scottish director of films such as  Morvern Callar and We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Sarah Gavron (director of recent BAFTA winner  Rocks), it’s a dream to have had this backing for my debut feature. Thank you to all National Lottery  players!”

Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff is one of the venues taking part in National Lottery Cinema Weekend and  knows first-hand the support the National Lottery gives to cinemas all year round. Claire Vaughan,  Cinema Programme Manager at Chapter Arts Centre, said: “The past year has been particularly  challenging for independent cinemas as we had to close the doors and sometimes repurpose our venues  for other types of essential community work. As one of the lead organisations for the BFI’s UK-wide Film  Audience Network, the wonderful team here at Film Hub Wales was able to support venues with  emergency funding at the start of the pandemic and offer additional support to engage a diverse range  of audiences as restrictions began to ease. It’s wonderful to be able to repay National Lottery players for  their generosity this weekend and give them a chance to see some fantastic films. We look forward to  welcoming them!” 

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive at the BFI, said: “Thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players we’re  able to support bold filmmakers, film education and training, the cinemas that mean so much to local  communities, and enable UK audiences to see a wide range of films. Over the past year so many of us  have missed that special communal experience of watching film on the big screen, so what better way to  say ‘thank you’ than a free trip to the cinema! ” 

The National Lottery has funded the making of more than 600 films, including award-winning and  commercial hits across the years such as Bend it Like Beckham, The King’s Speech and, more recently,  seven-time BAFTA nominee Rocks. The funded films combined have won 15 Oscars®, 109 BAFTAs and 29  awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  

As a result of the money raised by The National Lottery for good causes, the BFI invests over £50 million  a year to develop and support authentic UK filmmakers and films, enriching independent film culture with  their original voices.  

The National Lottery Cinema Weekend is part of a wealth of activity in June to thank National Lottery  players for contributing over £30 million each week to good causes across the UK. 

Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 18 or over.  

Participating cinemas in Wales: 

Maxime Blackwood 

Odeon Bridgend 

Brynamman Public Hall

Chapter Arts Centre 

Odeon Cardiff 

Showcase Cardiff Nantgarw 

Vue Cardiff 

Vue Carmarthen 

Vue Cwmbran 

Odeon Llanelli 

Vue Merthyr 

Reel Port Talbot 

Scala Cinema, Prestatyn 

Vue Rhyl 

Odeon Swansea 

Vue Swansea 

Odeon Wrexham Eagles Meadow 

-ENDS 

Download the full press release

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Film Hub Wales - Vacancies
*CLOSED* Vacancy: Film Hub Wales Marketing Officer (part-time) 2021
  • Film Hub Wales Marketing Officer (part-time, 24 hours pw)
  • Contracted until 31st March 2023, subject to confirmation of annual funding.
  • Salary scale: £21,500 pro rata
  • Location: Chapter, Cardiff (remote working during Covid-19)

Purpose of the Role
The post will support Film Hub Wales with the development of audiences for British independent and world cinema across Wales, through targeted and innovative marketing of FHW and member projects.

Application forms and job description available to download below. We are unable to accept CVs. If you have any queries about the application process, please contact apply@chapter.org

We will not be able to meet with individual candidates prior to interview.

Closing date for applications: 9am, Thursday 1st July 2021
Interviews to be held: Wednesday 7th July 2021

These documents have been optimised for accessibility.

 

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Cheltenham FF
Cheltenham International Film Festival 24 May – 04 June Virtual Screening Partner Offer
Information from Cheltenham International Film Festival

Tickets to Cheltenham International Film Festival 2021 (online) are now on sale via our streaming partner YourScreen. Once again, we are working with exhibitor partners to reach audiences across the UK using our Virtual Cinema model and hope that you will join us once more to share our programme with your audiences.

We will provide you with a discount code entitling your audience to 25% off tickets. This year we are also offering Festival Passes for any five films at an early bird price of only £25 up until midnight on 23 May.

For all sales made using your code we will pay you 30% of all revenue received. Existing YourScreen 25% codes will still be valid for individual ticket purchases. We also have a new affiliate scheme for selling passes which means all you need to do is share a link and revenue will automatically be tracked.

Please click here to register as a Virtual Screening Partner.

If you require any further information, please email: patrick@yourscreen.net

The full festival programme can be browsed at: https://cheltfilm.com/

About the Festival

Opening with a preview of the multi-Oscar winning film, The Father, and closing with a preview of an adaptation of Steven Berkoff’s comedy play Brighton, the festival presents 33 films from around the world, including 17 UK premieres and 11 previews. The official film festival competition to select BEST FILM, EMERGING DIRECTOR will be judged by a respected jury of film and media personalities chaired by Anna Smith, who, most recently, was Chair of the London Film Critics’ Circle.

This year we acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the release of Stephen Frears’ debut feature film Gumshoe. In an exclusive interview with Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph, Stephen talks about Gumshoe and his long and prolific career as one of the UK’s most respected filmmakers. Other interviews during the festival include Aneil Karia, director of the exhilarating thriller Surge, the Cannes Camera D’Or winning director of Wet Season , Anthony ChenMichael Bentham, director of topical Australian drama Disclosure and the Director of BrightonStephen Cookson along with cast members Larry Lamb and Marion Bailey.  More Q&A events will be announced in the coming week.

This year, we have had more interest than ever in the festival programme with ticket sales already taking off and each film has a limited number of tickets. Therefore, we recommend you start promoting asap so that your audience doesn’t miss the opportunity to watch these wonderful films. Better yet, they can buy a pass for excellent value.

The full programme is now on sale at https://cheltfilm.com/ with tickets available at Early Bird prices until midnight on 23 May.

Further information: Patrick Bliss, patrick@yourscreen.net

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Welsh Cinema Reopening Dates

From May 17th, cinemas in Wales and across the UK are beginning to open their doors to audiences again. Reconnect with the best  British and international films on the big screen. 

Check back in for more updates as cinemas confirm their reopening dates in the coming weeks and months.

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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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