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Anim18 at Chapter, Cardiff
Film Forum

We’re making time to talk about films!

Join us online for our quarterly programming get-togethers where we’ll talk about a selection of the best new British independent and international film releases.

The sessions are hosted by curator Rachel Pronger. There will be film tips for your upcoming programme, time to talk with peers about the films you’re looking forward to and to discover the ones you might otherwise miss. We’ll also discuss how to programme and market them.

These sessions will run quarterly to support you with year-round audience development. Exhibitors of all shapes and sizes are welcome, we’ll explore how to make the sessions useful for everyone.

About Rachel
Rachel Pronger is a curator, writer and programme consultant. She began her career working in communications for the BFI London Film Festival, Picturehouse Cinemas and Film Hub Scotland, before moving into programming roles at Alchemy Film & Arts, Tyneside Cinema, Sheffield DocFest and Aesthetica Short Film Festival. As co-founder of feminist film collective Invisible Women she has co-curated programmes and delivered events for partners such as the BFI Southbank, Cinema Rediscovered, Eye Filmmuseum Amsterdam, BalkanCanKino Athens, HOME Manchester and Glasgow Film Theatre. Her writing on film has been published by outlets including Sight & Sound, The Guardian, MUBI Notebook, Little White Lies and BBC Culture. She also regularly chairs Q&As, panels and workshops centred on feminism, archiving and film history.

Film Forum (April 2024*):

  • When: Thursday 11th April 2024, 10am-12pm
  • Where: Online (via Zoom)

Book your place – Film Forum (April)


Film Forum (July 2024*):

  • When: Thursday 11th July 2024, 10am-12pm
  • Where: Online (via Zoom)

Book your place – Film Forum (July)

*This event is exclusively for members of Film Hub Wales. If you’re not a member, you can join here.

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Montage image for Future of FHW
The Future of Film Hub Wales
13th February 2023.

Update from Manager, Hana Lewis.

I’m going to start with a thank you, to all of you that gave up your time to come to meetings and fill in consultation surveys in 2022, as the BFI shaped their Screen 2023 strategy. The fact that we all came together with the same goal of championing film exhibition in Wales, is something we’re personally very grateful for and we don’t underestimate the value of your time.

ChapterMany of you will have seen the recent announcement from the BFI that the BFI Film Audience Network will continue beyond April 2023 as part of their 10-year National Lottery Funding Strategy. I’m delighted to say that Film Hub Wales, with Chapter as the Hub Lead Organisation, is one of 11 UK-wide strategic partners to receive National Lottery Funding from the BFI to continue developing cinema audiences for UK independent and international film.

What does this mean for Wales? Film Hub Wales will receive an award of £895,500 over the three-year strategy (£286,900 annually). This award will be split across skills development, audience research, communications, a new ‘spotlight’ project and the film exhibition fund – which will re-launch in late March / early April. The training bursary fund and pitch pot will remain open year-round with renewed budget in April.

Based on what you told us during the consultation and the challenging landscape across exhibition, we are making some adjustments to our programmes. We’re planning on running quarterly programming sessions online to give us a chance to actually talk about the best new film releases. We’re also aiming to get together more, including an annual event where we can share ideas. We’re also talking to the National Screen and Sound Archive for Wales about access to Welsh content and exploring the costs of digitisation for key titles.

Being Hijra
Being Hijra

Our Made in Wales project which celebrates films with Welsh connections, is currently funded to March 31st 2023 and we are working on the future funding plan, with films such as Being Hijra and London Recruits in our calendar. We will also work with our partners at Ffilm Cymru Wales / BFI Network Cymru to champion new and emerging filmmakers across the UK.

We will collaborate with BFI Film Academy Plus, the newly named UK-wide in-venue education offer, which will help to connect 16- to 25-year-olds to film culture and career pathways. Also led by Chapter in Wales, funding will support masterclasses, screenings and bursaries. The scheme will help young film enthusiasts to learn about the industry, watch cultural cinema, get to know their local venues and develop skills as independent filmmakers and curators.

There will be additional new activities across the wider BFI Film Audience Network, which we’ll discuss with you in the coming weeks as those plans are established.

Finally, we are truly saddened that the FAN Inclusive Cinema (IC) project comes to an end in March. There is still so much work to be done but we are proud of our ambitions and the contributions that we have made. We extend our deepest thanks to IC’s partners and advisers. We wave goodbye to Toki Allison, our talented IC Project Manager, as she heads on to an exciting new role. You will be able to access some fantastic new resources in the final weeks of the project including Trans Loving Care and Working-Class Cinema. We will update you on how to access resources created across the life of the project in the coming months.

We hope you can join us for Hub Helo at Hay Castle on the 23rd March, where we’ll talk more about the year ahead.

Until then – long live cinema.

 

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TLC PODCAST COVER 3
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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The National Library of Wales
Hub Helo | The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Save the Date – Hub Helo 2024

*This event is exclusively for members of Film Hub Wales and members of Film Hubs around the UK. If you’re not a member, you can join here.

Take time out to reflect, catch up with exhibition colleagues from across Wales and find inspiration in one another’s projects, through bite size interactive sessions. We’ll also update on Hub funds for 2024.

The half an hour sessions will cover all sorts of topics such as newly digitised Welsh feature films from the Screen and Sound Archive, to how Abertoir plan their eclectic international film programme and how Wicked Wales reach young people and families on low income.

  • When: Thursday 14 March 2024 – 10am – 4.30pm (timings tbc)
  • Where: The National Library of Wales, Penglais Road, Aberystwyth, SY23 3BU

Aberystwyth is accessible by train, bus or by car. When travelling by car, we encourage people to consider their carbon emissions and car share where possible and consider carbon offsetting.

We look forward to seeing you!

Book your place here.


Bursary support and Membership

  • This event is eligible for bursary support. FHW can cover travel accommodation/costs for members to attend. Fill in a form here.
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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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Film Hub Wales - Vacancies
Vacancy: Marketing and Outreach Officer (Closed)
  • Film Hub Wales (FHW) Marketing and Outreach Officer
  • Salary: £26,353
  • Contract: June 2023 – March 31st 2026, subject to confirmation of annual funding
  • Hours: 40 hours per week (TOIL). Some evening and weekend work necessary
  • Location: Based in the office at Chapter in Cardiff. We offer a hybrid model which means that you can also work from home when possible

Purpose of the Role
To support the Hub and its members to develop audiences for British independent and world cinema across Wales through marketing and outreach activity. This includes a specific ‘spotlight’ project in a select region of North Wales.

  • Application forms and job description available to download below. We are unable to accept CVs.
  • We will not be able to meet with individual candidates prior to interview.
  • If you have any queries about the application process, please contact apply@chapter.org
  • Closing date for applications: Wednesday 7th June, 10am.
  • Interviews to be held: Wednesday 14th June.

 

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Welsh Films 202 60575767
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.

Emilie Barra, Head of Marketing at Signature Entertainment adds:

‘‘Here at Signature Entertainment, we are proud to be supporters of independent films and
we are particularly excited to have 2 upcoming Welsh films on our 2023 slate. The hyperoriginal and critically-lauded sci-fi thriller LOLA is an Ireland and UK production with Welsh elements and an outstanding debut by Andrew Legge.- an outstanding debut by Andrew Legge – and we’re also proud to also support prolific Welsh filmmaker Jamie Adams with his new star-studded romantic drama SHE IS LOVE. We look forward to collaborating with the Film Hub Wales and local cinemas to bring these gems to Welsh audiences’’

Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales (MIW) project celebrates films with Welsh connections. It 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.

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

-ENDS-

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THE SILENT TWINS (2022)
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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IYMS 5
International Youth Media Summit 2022

Dion Wyn Hughes is the Projects and Marketing Manager for Wicked Wales. He recently attended the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) in Falkenberg, Sweden.

IYMS is an annual two-week event that brings together young people from different cultures to create media projects aimed at inspiring their own generation to take action and responsibility for the future. By confronting and examining global problems and exploring solutions together, they are bound in a shared purpose. Working toward a common goal and being accountable for a concrete creative product within a limited time period provides the perfect “stew” for collaboration. Here’s what Dion told us about the trip:


Attending IYMS was an eye-opening experience that broadened my mind about what we can do in Wales. While the primary basis of the summit is to empower change through filmmaking, it also gives you opportunities to meet like-minded programmers, activists and filmmakers from all across the globe.

 

Throughout a fortnight, the challenge was to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) over seven topics the IYMS wanted to eradicate in the world through diplomacy and film. They are youth empowerment, environment, violence, women’s rights, poverty, health and discrimination. Each group were split into young filmmakers, young diplomats and advisors who all worked together to create a short film about their subject matter with the help of their mentor who worked within the assigned fields. By the end of the summit, they would have a completed film that will be shared with international audiences at film festivals, on YouTube and through their partners, including UNESCO.

There are various ways to encourage and embrace heritage, language and culture, from Afghanistan to Nepal to Norway. Each day there were numerous opportunities to hear about different nations, how they promote their countries’ work, and the best models to exhibit the films. While many have expressed their frustrations about funding and sharing their voices globally, the summit allows you to develop and work on further collaborations beyond the two-week summit.

One of the main reasons Wicked Wales wanted to attend the summit was to engage with more young people. As they were the ones making the films and making positive changes in their communities, it was an enlightening experience. Hearing about the various programs they work on and their viewing habits benefited us as an organisation and for Wales as a whole. The diversity of delegates gave a fresh perspective on what works well for us and where we can improve and further diversity and inclusion in our sector.

The main takeaway from IYMS is the importance of international collaboration and working with organisations to improve our methods and share our own practices from Wales. We can learn so much from one another, and Wicked Wales has already begun a dialogue with partners in Sweden and Nepal on how we can collaborate further. Fortunately, through social media, we can now stay in touch with some of the great film societies we connected with and keep an eye on the ideas and programming that they’re doing. We hadn’t looked further afield until now, so I think this will benefit us when determining our own programme and events.

Attending IYMS was an eye-opening experience that broadened my mind about what we can do in Wales. While the primary basis of the summit is to empower change through filmmaking, it also gives you opportunities to meet like-minded programmers, activists and filmmakers from all across the globe. – Dion Wyn Hughes

Dion attended the International Youth Media Summit with the support of Film Hub Wales via our Bursary scheme. If you want to attend a meeting, course or event that would benefit your organisation and develop audiences but the costs are prohibitive, you can submit an application for support here.

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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.

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. 

In Wales, five people were executed for ‘crimes’ of witchcraft. Drawing on Celtic roots and a deep connection with the environment, ‘rituals’, ‘prayers’, ‘blessings’ and non-Christian religious spiritual practises were familiar to Welsh people who practised dewiniaeth or magic at that time, that it was easy to tell apart real witchcraft apart from the accusations. In the following centuries, forced assimilation into Christianity and stricter laws around speaking Welsh, pressured generations to give up more of their cultural heritage and practices of dewiniaeth slowly faded.

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. 

Ffion Pritchard, Director of ‘Annwn’ concluded:  

“Witch’ was once a death sentence for women outside the social norms – disabled women, single women, childless women. Now, so many of us turn to its traditions. The films and conversations in this line up prove these experiences are far from rare and part of a wider movement of reclaiming womanhood and heritage in artistic and spiritual contexts in an exciting cultural moment for Wales. These stories deserve to be seen and told anew. The visual majesty of the old myths deserves a big screen experience – so where could be a better place to reinvent ancient tales, than at your local cinema?” 

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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Sidecard Logo Facebook Shared Image
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.

– Ends –

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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. A new collaboration between S4C and Creative Wales will see one million annually invested in to Welsh language film, supporting the Senedd’s commitment to develop one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and signaling positive change for Welsh language filmmaking.

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.  

Gwledd received funding from the national development agency, Ffilm Cymru Wales. Gwledd was produced through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic initiative which is supported by S4C and the BFI (using funds from the National Lottery) & Melville Media in association with Fields Park.

Kimberley Warner, Head of Production at Ffilm Cymru Wales explains why the release is significant:

We’re so proud to have supported this unique film through our scheme for debut feature films ‘Cinematic’ and for Roger and Lee to now be mentoring the next generation of Welsh language filmmakers through our ‘Labordy’ talent development scheme. It’s been a promising year for Welsh language cinema all round with exciting festival premieres also soon to be announced for Ffilm Cymru films ‘Jelly’ (written and directed by Sam O’Rourke) and ‘Nant’ (written and directed by Tom Chetwode Barton). Films like Gwledd, which are backed by strong sales agents and distributors, gaining international as well as national acclaim, help to pave the way for the full potential and diversity of Welsh language film to be realised.

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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