Select a news category to view

Blog
General
Jobs
Latest News
Female Film Makers
Women’s History Month: Maria Morancho

Biography

Born in Spain and based in Wales, Maria Morancho gained a scholarship to study theatre at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and started directing theatre then under the wing of The Magdalena Project. She later worked with the former Ty Ffilm collective making short films, as well as being tutored by the ‘Red Flannel’. Her first short film ‘Thief Of Sounds’ was a runner up at the DM Davies awards, and her subsequent work has since won awards at short film festivals around the world. This year she was selected for the BFI NetWork and BAFTA Crew 2021 and is developing her first feature based on her critically acclaimed winning short ‘Mercy’.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I was very young, 7 yrs old, when I saw ‘The Red Shoes’ dir Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, it scarred me and fascinated me. I loved the mix of media, theatre, film, dance… It planted a dream, a dare, I too wanted to wear the red shoes, I thought, but I wanted to be able to do so and live. I was an avid reader and with each story I started to imagine films in my mind.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

My latest short film was ‘Mercy’ a story of trauma and solitude of a girl trying to make sense of her baby brother dying and being adopted. It was last shown as official selection at Fes-map festival of Arts and Mental health in the Pyrenees 2018.

What are you up to now? // What is the next project you’re working on?

While in development with my first feature film, a version of ‘Mercy’. I am in post-production with my last short ‘Magic Moment’ shot in Spain and Wales last year… despite covid… about a girl trying to restore her world with a hammer and a few nails but ended up discovering the magic of words, letting go and setting them free.

Read More
Rhiannon Evans
Women’s History Month: Rhiannon Evans

Biography

Rhiannon Evans is an award winning film-maker from South Wales. She specialises in heart-felt characters and hand made techniques to tell allegorical stories that entertain and uplift audiences.

She has worked as an animation director at PartizanLab, a stop motion animator in TV series productions and commercials as well as creating her own short films. She was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious BAFTA scholarship to attend the National Film and Television School, where she was mentored by Peter Lord.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I got in to animation relatively late. I went to Walt Disney World, saw animators working there, realised it was an actual job and wanted to do it but I was discouraged in school from pursuing it and told my drawing ability wasn’t good enough. I tried some other things but in the end I decided I wanted to be an art teacher and to get there I would study an animation degree so at least I could learn how to do it. It took me years to get the courage to apply for the course because I thought I would be rejected. 

I knew I wanted to pursue a career as a stop motion animator when I saw ‘Flatworld’ by Daniel Greaves and ‘Film Noir’ by Osbert Parker. I loved the tactile nature of the work and it showed me something completely different to the traditional clay and puppet animation I’d seen on TV. I saw how visually striking stop motion could be and how the medium you choose to work in can enhance the story.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

When I made my graduation film, ‘Heartstrings’, I found that audiences connected well with it. It had a surprisingly successful festival run for something so simple and I had positive feedback from those who had seen it. When it was nominated for a British Animation Award it gave me a lot of confidence as a filmmaker and I realised that I had more things to say and stories to tell. 

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

I have just completed a short video for the SYFY channel which will be aired in the US. It’s a paper craft animation about my hatred of boob armour. They commissioned some female filmmakers to create a short to honour women’s history month, and were open to any kind of story…but with a genre twist so I took the opportunity to voice my opinions on how female armour is often designed in genre fiction. It’s only purpose is to objectify the woman wearing it and makes me feel unwelcome as a viewer. I know that character would not dress herself that way if she’s trying to protect herself so I’m instantly thrown out of the story and see it as a barrier to anyone smart enough to see through the motivation. It’s a 30 second video… and I’m hoping that it will give some other SYFY viewers a little bit of catharsis when they see it because even though it’s funny and charming it’s confronting a serious example of normalised sexism.

Read More
Female Film Makers Rachel Dax
Women’s History Month: Rachel Dax

Biography

After two years working in retail, Rachel trained as a Religious Education Teacher, but became restless and in 1999 moved to Cardiff, where she began pursuing a career in Drama by attending an array of performance based courses, and doing TV and Film walk on/acting roles. In this period Rachel also began writing novels and short stories. (Her fifth book will be published this year.)

Since 2014, Rachel has been teaching an array of Film and Creative Writing courses at both University of South Wales and Cardiff University. Rachel’s professional films include Caravan Sight, Planet Love, A Delicate Love and her latest film, Time & Again (2019), starring Dame Sian Phillips and Brigit Forsyth. Time & Again has been shown at over 50 film festivals and won 13 awards. It was broadcast twice on BBC Wales and was on BBC iPlayer for a year.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I first realised I wanted to make films rather than just act in films, when I went back to university in my early 30s to do a BA in Drama (Theatre & Media). I took a film module as part of that course and fell in love with the medium straight away. Until then I had only wanted to write and act. But filmmaking soon became my greatest passion of all!

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last film project I made was Time & Again (2019) starring Dame Sian Phillips and Brigit Forsyth. This film is about two women who meet again in a care home, sixty years after their relationship broke up due to societal pressures. It has done tremendously well having been screened at 52 film festivals and won 13 awards – including Best Short Film at Cardiff International Film Festival.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

Due to the pandemic this is most uncertain. I was aiming to make the feature sequel to Time & Again in late 2020 or early 2021 but that didn’t come to pass (although it might emerge this year in another medium instead). I therefore will most likely make another short film in August and then see how things are looking. I have many scripts to choose from as I am a prolific writer, but I suspect the one I wrote in the last two weeks will be the one I pursue as it has my passion and focus right now.

Useful links:

Read More
Prano Bailey Bond
Women’s History Month: Prano Bailey-Bond

Biography

Prano Bailey-Bond is a director and writer who grew up on a diet of Twin Peaks in the depths of a strange Welsh community. Named a 2021 ‘Director to Watch’ by Variety and a Screen International ‘Star of Tomorrow’, her strong body of work invokes imaginative worlds, fusing a dark vocabulary with eerie allure. Her debut feature CENSOR had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, opening the Midnight section of the festival. The films’ European premiere will be at the Berlin Film Festival, playing the Panorama section.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with film but initially I thought I wanted to be a performer. It was during college when I directed a play – a version of Ionesco’s The Chairs – that I realised I wanted to direct – to craft and shape a production from the outside. Straight after this experience I started applying these ideas to film instead of theatre.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

My debut feature film CENSOR, which recently premiered at Sundance Film Festival and will have its European premiere at Berlin Film Festival. It’s a psychological horror film, or perhaps a mystery about horror, that follows a film censor working during the ‘video nasty’ era in 1980’s Britain.

What are you up to now? // What is the next project you’re working on?

Alongside the continued festival journey and release of CENSOR, I’m writing a couple of feature films and a TV series.

Useful links:

Read More
Leyla Pope
Women’s History Month: Leyla Pope

Biography

After six years working in communications for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, Iranian-born Leyla Pope returned to the UK and completed an MA in Scriptwriting at the University of Wales. 

Her graduation short “Bubbles” won the Ffresh Film Festival award for Best Post-Graduate Fiction Film. Following this she was selected to direct an It’s My Shout short film, “Love Struck” based on a poem from the Mabinogion. The film was screened at festivals worldwide and she was named “One to Watch” by Moviescope Magazine. 

After taking maternity leave for the birth of her second child, Leyla co-directed a short film shot entirely in a lift starring Anita Dobson. Leyla’s first feature script “One Last Holiday” was selected for SKY Drama’s Table Read scheme for BAME scripts with additional funding from BFI.Network. In 2020 Her short film “Out of Breath” about two Iranian siblings growing up in Newport was awarded a Ffilm Cymru Beacons development grant.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I was 18 years old and it was the day before my birthday. I had just resigned from a job I really didn’t enjoy. I went and watched 3 Colours Red by Krystof Kiewlowski alone in the cinema. Although the film is set in Geneva, something in it really made me miss my grandfather in Iran who I had not seen in a while. I also felt that the film had accessed my inner thoughts and I felt so much lighter after watching it. I was comforted by knowing that others struggle with the same issues as I do. I think the ability of cinema to access deep buried emotions, to make you feel safe enough to go to places we usually run from, is really what motivates me to make films.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

I directed a trailer for a short film called “The Pit” with a Ffilm Cymru Beacons Development Fund about a Syrian refugee going on a trip down to a mining museum. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to 2nd unit direct on “Dream Horse” with Euros Lyn.

What are you up to now? 

I’ve another short film with Ffilm Cymru Beacons “Out of Breath”, and I have been on BBC Writers Room Wales “Welsh Voices” scheme for 2019-2020 with my co-writer Emily Burnett. Emily and I are developing a series together and I have a couple of feature projects that I have been working on.

Useful links:

Read More
Joanna Quinn
Women’s History Month: Joanna Quinn

Biography

Joanna Quinn is one of Britain’s most distinctive animators. Her first film, Girls Night Out (1987), featuring working-class heroine Beryl, was a humorous riposte to machismo and a celebration of uninhibited female sexuality that won three major awards at Annecy. Since introducing audiences to Beryl, Joanna and her writing and producing partner, Les Mills, have created three more personal films about her: Body Beautiful, Dreams and Desires: Family Ties, and Beryl’s newest adventure, Affairs of the Art. The politics of gender and oppression, along with Joanna’s obsessive fascination and delight with exploring the eccentricities of the female body, remain the central themes of their work together. Her films—including Britannia, a savage indictment of British imperialism—have won just about every major international award, including BAFTAs and Emmys, in addition to receiving two Oscar® nominations.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I first I realised I wanted to make films was in my first year at college. I was on a Graphic design course at Middlesex university back in the late 1980’s. We all had to do an animation project. I chose to draw a dog walking because our teacher said avoid legs at all costs, so I chose an animal with four of them (I’ve always been a bit stubborn!) When I filmed my drawings for the first time and watched the legs actually walking I felt like GOD! I still remember the overwhelming joy of making my drawings come to life and I knew right then that this is what I wanted to do for ever – make animated films.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

We have just finished a 16 minute animated film called Affairs of the Art. It took years to make and stars Beryl who actually first appeared in my graduation film Girls Night Out. This is the 4th Beryl film and this time she becomes an artist. It was released in January and is now on the festival circuit – sadly online until the pandemic subsides.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

I am still recovering from finishing the last film but have started to get itchy fingers about making a new film but this time something very short and quick to make! Presently I’m doing a lot of online presentations and teaching which I love!

Useful Links:

Read More
Carys Lewis
Women’s History Month: Carys Lewis

Biography

Carys is a Welsh-Canadian writer and director who most recently worked with Welsh National Opera as their Filmmaker in Residence where she created a trilogy of films: GRAM GIRL, ALT, and FLUORESCENCE (LFF 2019). She is currently developing her directorial debut, BLUE MOTHER, with the support of Ffilm Cymru Wales and co-writing the feature film, HOW BLACK MOTHERS SAY I LOVE YOU, with playwright Trey Anthony. The team are also adapting the story for TV under the title; HOW WE SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’, in development with the CBC. She wrote and directed a BFI funded comedy, STUFFED, which was nominated for a Welsh BAFTA in 2019 for Best Short Film. Her LGBTQ+ Welsh-language short, AFIACH, premiered at the Iris Prize Festival and was screened on BBC iPlayer and S4C.

As an advocate for equal representation of women in front of and behind the camera, Carys is the founder of FEM SCRIPT LAB, a writing lab for female and non-binary screenwriters in Toronto, and has launched the sister branch of the lab in the UK.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I came to filmmaking through theatre, so the realisation was more gradual for me, but I started out wanting to tell stories – whatever form that comes in. I think stories have the ability to transport us, to connect us, to cut across the usual barriers that divide us. 

What was the last project you worked on / made?

I’ve been mostly working on my TV writing projects during COVID, but I recently had the pleasure of mentoring Ashrah Suudy, a photographer making her first short film through the Film Wales/BBC Ffolio Scheme. It was a challenge filming during COVID, but she’s created a beautiful film that showcases Butetown in a way we haven’t seen before. 

What are you up to now? // What is the next project you working on?

I’m currently writing a feature film called BLUE MOTHER, which will be my first feature as a director. I’m excited about getting the story out there – the film will examine mother-daughter dynamics through the high-stakes lens of prostitution, sex-industry work, privilege, and morality, set in our internet-obsessed world.

Useful links:

Read More
Mothers Day 2021
Depictions of Motherhood

For Mother’s Day in 2021 we’re thinking about motherhood and representations of maternal care, in their numerous alternative forms on screen. The Film Hub Wales Team have been reflecting on what this means to us individually.

Scroll down to see a list of films with Welsh connections from our Film Catalogue, plus wider British and international titles for #MothersDay that recognise how everyone’s experiences are different.

Read More
Women's Month Montage
Women’s History Month: Celebrating Female Filmmakers in Wales

To celebrate ‘Women’s History Month’ 2021 the Film Hub Wales team are excited to bring you #HereAreTheWomenWho

Throughout March, we will be releasing short interviews with some of the women writing, directing and telling unique stories in Wales. Our cultural landscape has never been richer thanks to the truly original narratives they’ve been working hard to tell.

These profiles have 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.

Read More
Head Shot Efa
Women’s History Month: Efa Blosse-Mason

Biography

Efa Blosse-Mason is a filmmaker from Cardiff who wrote and directed a short Welsh language film ‘Cwch Deilen (Leaf Boat)’ which is currently on BBC iPlayer. Efa went to University at the Bristol School of Animation and her graduate film ‘Earthly Delights’ won the Royal Television Society Award for best student animation in 2019. Her work is usually focused on the themes of women, LGBTQ+ stories and nature.

Website

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I wanted to be a filmmaker from quite a young age, and when I was a teenager my parents gave me a camera for Christmas and I made a few short films with my friends. I thought I wanted to be a live-action filmmaker before I discovered animation. I did some work experience with an animation company, which made me decide to go to university to study it, and the more I did the more I fell in love with it.  I just love how you can create worlds and fantastical things.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last project I worked on was a really tiny 1 minute animation I made in collaboration with the singer Casi Wyn called ‘Y Genhinen Aur’ (‘The Golden Daffodil’ in English) which we made to celebrate St David’s day and the coming of spring…but also acknowledging the hard year we’ve collectively had due to the coronavirus pandemic…and the hope for better days ahead.  

What are you up to now? / What is the next project you’re working on?

I am currently doing something new and trying my hand at making a comic!  It’s a bit different from animation…telling a narrative across the space of a page rather than a timeline.  I am hoping to make it into a whole graphic novel but am at very early stages so far. I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels to get inspired, my favourites are ‘Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel and ‘Persepolis’ by Marijane Strapi, ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman and ‘Ant Colony’ by Michael De Forge.

Useful links:

Read More
Me B&W Graded
Women’s History Month: Liana Stewart

Biography

Liana Stewart is self-shooting Producer/Director from Cardiff with over 10 years experience producing factual, current affairs and documentary content for television. From landmark series to single documentaries and short form, recent credits as a self-shooting director include: Bafta award winning series Ambulance (BBC One), Get Your Knee Off My Neck (C4), Black and Welsh (BBC One Wales) and Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over (Sky).

Website

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I’ve always loved movies. I’d sit and watch Disney films on repeat as a kid but it wasn’t until I was a teenager – and I got the Spike Lee experience – that I thought…‘maybe I could do that’ – but it wasn’t directing and it was acting. I originally wanted to be a dancer and went to musical theatre college in London, but after the 1st year I came back to Cardiff to focus on acting. The plan was to imitate Spike Lee and direct films…and act in them too! Long story short, I ended up making factual programmes..not fiction and I wouldn’t change a thing..but I am still a Spike Lee fan!!

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last series I worked on was Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over for Sky. It was so much fun and I got to make an episode in Wales!

What are you up to now? / What is the next project you’re working on?

I’m currently working on a development for a single documentary.

Useful links:

Read More
Female Film Makers Hanna And Georgia
Women’s History Month: Hannah Daniel & Georgia Lee

Biographies

Hannah started her career as an actor and has worked for over 15 years in theatre, film and television. Credits include Hinterland, Keeping Faith, and Holby City. In 2016 she spent time  improvising at the UCB Theatre and The Groundlings in Los Angeles, where she began her work as  a writer-performer.  

Georgia started her career as a musician and songwriter and was signed to Island Records with her band JUCE. Since 2017 she has been working full time as a screenwriter and producer. She has  collaborated with screenwriter John-Henry Butterworth and a number of British and US production companies on a range of dramas for TV and film.

Website

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?  

We met in university in 2005, studying English Literature. We lived together, studied together and, both avid  film fans and masters at procrastination, watched a lot of movies together. We’d watch the Coen Brothers’  back catalogue repeatedly – lapping up the fluidity of genre in their films – their darkness, their humour, the  breadth of wild and wonderful characters. We’d sit on the sofa dreaming up the films that we, like The Coen  Brothers, would one day write, direct and produce ourselves…  

Finally, in 2017, having started writing together a year previously for television, we decided it was time to write and direct our first short film. DESTINATION was shot in three days around Cardiff, in Hannah’s mum’s car on a  shoestring budget. It follows a day in the life of a young Welsh female Uber driver facing a huge life decision.  

The film went on to win multiple awards internationally.

What was the last project you worked on / made?  

We completed our short film BURIAL in August 2020 (As part of Beacons: Short Films From Wales). A dark comedy set in a very Welsh funeral, about grief, sisterhood and complicated family ties. We shot it in Port Talbot with a wealth of Welsh talent. We had a ball!  

What are you up to now? / What is the next project you’re working on?  

We’re currently working on our first original feature script. Other projects in development include TV comedy NANNIES, a series following a bunch of delinquent childminders chancing their way through the madness of  Cardiff’s “New Parent” scene, and THE INVISIBLE WOMAN a truly unconventional superhero story.

Read More
1 2 3 4 23
^
EN