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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

-ENDS-

Download the full press release here.

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Brian And Charles
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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From Local to Global – Welsh Cinemas and Film Festivals Reconnect Audiences to the World in 2022 

June 2022

Film Hub Wales (FHW) has awarded £70,000 in National Lottery funding to 13 independent cinemas and film festivals in Wales through its Film Exhibition Fund.  

Funds will enable Welsh communities to reconnect through film whilst supporting their local venue. With unity in mind, screen stories from Wales and across the globe, plus special events and workshops will explore what it means to be Welsh post-Covid. 

Upcoming events include The Windrush Caribbean Festival, which will take place at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport this June, in partnership with Cinema Golau. As cinemas remain in a period of pandemic-related uncertainty, the festival will offer affordable film events, welcoming people back in to the venue to discover the story of Wales’ Windrush generation. 

Yvonne Connike explains what audiences can look forward to:  

“We have an intergenerational, edgy programme that tells the story of the Windrush community in the UK. Children and their families will enjoy animated features and shorts from Caribbean artists. There will also be a wonderful strand of shorts by Caribbean Women, some of whom are from Wales. The festival offers a great opportunity to bridge the conversation on all things Windrush, for past, present and future generations.” 

In Riverside Cardiff, Gentle/Radical are planning a doorstep revolution, by re-launching their hyper-local Film Club. They will reach out to local residents directly, enabling them to get involved in both international and Welsh film programming, meet their neighbours and explore how cinema can be a powerful cultural resource within day-to-day life.  

Rabab Ghazoul explains:  

“We’re incredibly excited to launch community screenings once again in the heart of our local neighbourhood of Riverside. Pre-Covid we had plans to explore street-based screenings in the area but those plans were put on hold. So, we’re looking forward to finally trialling this model, exploring the appetite amongst our residents to meet for street-based screenings, bringing neighbours living in close proximity to enjoy film, food and conversation together.” 

From international film festivals, to rural cinema networks, this year’s FHW-funded projects are socially conscious and bold; ambitious in their endeavour to promote an inclusive Welsh identity through the communal space of cinema.  

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager for Film Hub Wales explains: 

“The world is rapidly changing and this is reflected in the stories we seek out on screen. The projects that we’re supporting in 2022 explore how we see ourselves in the context of these changes. From hyperlocal place-based screenings that bring people together on their streets, to Wales’ relationship with Africa, or the invaluable contributions that the Windrush generation made to life in Wales. Cinemas are helping communities to heal and enjoy again but also to discover who we are as Welsh people in a global context.”

The projects are supported by Film Hub Wales, part of the BFI Film Audience Network using funds from the National Lottery to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to everyone across the UK. 

The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding from the BFI (British Film Institute) via its Film Audience Network (FAN). The fund offers reopening support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to all. 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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73 Degrees © Geraint Perry (17)
Film Hub Wales Call for Advisory Members 2022

Film Hub Wales (FHW) is looking for experienced individuals who can bring new skills to our existing advisory group, to support us through future planning phases. We would welcome individuals and / or representatives from organisations from across Wales, or beyond, where the individual has experience of Welsh culture. 

The group will represent the interests of the region’s Hub members, work with the Hub management team to inform future strategy and act as an advocate for the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN). 

Members would be expected to attend four meetings per year (one per quarter). The team may request an infrequent sub-group meeting where circumstances require.

Key priorities for FHW: 

  • Film exhibitors, including community representatives. Please see our members list for examples, 
  • Equity and inclusion, 
  • Young audiences and/or life-long learning, 
  • Fundraising experience, 
  • Marketing and PR specialists, 
  • Strategy and policy, 
  • Research and data capture, 
  • Welsh culture.

How to apply

  • See downloads below.
  • Please read the FHW Advisory Group Terms of Reference (TOR).
  • Send a completed Advisory Group EOI Form with you your CV and Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to hana@filmhubwales.org by Monday 4th July 2022.

Candidates may be invited to meet following submission of the EOI.

For information, our existing advisory members can be found on our website here.

If you have any questions prior to submission, please contactFHW Strategic ManagerHana Lewis on hana@filmhubwales.org or02920 353740.

These documents have been optimised for accessibility.

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Slate Quarrying © National Screen And Sound Archive Wales(3)
A Roof of Slate for Every House: Coming to Welsh Cinemas in 2022
Wednesday, 20 April 2022
A new film season from Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales strand called  ‘A Roof of Slate for Every House’ is coming to cinemas in 2022.
The tour will celebrate the UNESCO world heritage status of the North West Wales slate landscape, giving Welsh audiences an opportunity to learn more about Wales’ lesser-known connections to the Atlantic Slave Trade.


Together with the Screen and Sound Archive at the National Library of Wales, Film Hub Wales 
(FHW) have developed a touring programme of Welsh archive shorts and feature films highlighting the history of slate mining in Wales, its impact on local communities and connections to wider colonial projects led by the British empire. The package includes a range of films from
Slate Quarrying (1946) which depicts working life in the 1200 ft deep Penrhyn Slate Quarry, Bethesda, to Cut Me Loose (1998), a personal film which was written and presented by the rap poet and historian David Brown, of mixed Black Jamaican and White Welsh descent.

The project was developed following the announcement in July 2021 that UNESCO World Heritage Site status was given to the slate landscape of North West Wales

Hana Lewis, Film Hub Wales’ Strategic Manager explains:  

‘‘The UNESCO World heritage announcement is significant for Wales. It gives us an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate our proud history of slate mining on screen, through a fascinating collection of films. Its also essential that we look deeper and give context to lesser-known stories around working class labour and the Atlantic Slave Trade. The tour gives audiences a chance to discover elements of Welsh culture that are fundamental to who we are.

The slate mines of North Wales are also connected to a more violent history as much of the wealth generated by slave owners, such as Lord Penrhyn, was used to expand the mines and even build some Welsh towns and cities. The season is designed to explore Wales’ complicated position as a colonial subject and beneficiary of the wealth generated by the British Empire through slate production  

To launch the conversation, FHW also brought together a panel of specialist speakers, Yvonne Connikie (film curator), Abu-Bakr Madden Al Shabazz (historian and cultural anthropologist), Charlotte Williams (author of Sugar and Slate) and Emlyn Roberts (former miner). Audiences can access the conversation via participating cinemas

Abu-Bakr explains the importance of addressing Welsh history on screen:

“Seeing Welsh history documented on screen, actually shows the richness this nation’s past has on its social and political development of the 21st century. Wales as a nation, and Welsh history as a subject matter, has an old multicultural society due to its links to trade and commerce before and during industrialisation. Depicting the multicultural dimension of Welsh society will maintain the accuracy in recording our historical past, showing the inclusivity of our modern nation and what all groups have contributed over time.” 

Cinema across Wales are planning themed activities across the year. In Blaenau Ffestiniog, home to Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Cellb are planning a Quarry Film Festival with 2 weekends of slate themed activities. They will connect audiences to quarry men who worked in the slate mines and explore conversations about the Penryn and Pennant families and their connections to slavery.

Iola Baines, National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive’ adds: 

‘‘The Archive works hard to ensure that Welsh audiences of all ages can access their screen heritage. We’re excited to work with Film Hub Wales to bring ‘A Roof of Slate for Every House’ to life – from the archival shorts showcasing the lives of quarry workers, to ‘The Quarryman’ (the first ever Welsh talkie) and the documentaries linking slate and colonialism. These films highlight important Welsh people, places and events that must never be forgotten. Welsh archival film is our future as well as our past – it’s how generations to come will be able to access their culture and history. It’s crucial that our work remains well-resourced and accessible to the public through cinemas.’’

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

Made in Wales is made possible thanks to funding from Creative Wales along with National Lottery funding through the UK-wide BFI Film Audience Network (FAN). As part of FAN, Film Hub Wales develops audiences for British independent and international film year-round, 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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Women’s History Month 2022: Welsh films by, featuring and about women releasing in 2022

To celebrate ‘Women’s History Month’ the Film Hub Wales team are excited to bring you a selection of Welsh films by, featuring or about Welsh women – releasing in 2022. Among them are some names you might of heard of and some that are breaking onto the scene. From dramas, to documentaries and sci-fi, the cultural landscape of Wales becomes even more exciting this year thanks to the talents of these Welsh women delivering interesting, new narratives.

This list has been compiled as part of Made in Wales – a Film Hub Wales strategy that supports exhibitors and focuses on highlighting films and filmmakers with Welsh connections. If you’d like to know more about how we support filmmakers and distributors get in touch with Radha, our Made in Wales Officer.

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