Organisation: Wales Youth Festival Network (WYFN)
Led by Wicked Wales in Rhyl, WYFN is working to support the network of 40+ film festivals across Wales via programming, shared resources and networking. This year, they launched a new brand, established a Facebook group to support collaboration and raised £2000 from Arts Council Wales to bring the network together.
Organisation: Wicked Wales
Through their fourth annual film festival and six months of youth-led screenings at Rhyl Little Theatre, Wicked worked with their team of young volunteers to run events for families that might not otherwise be able to afford to visit the cinema. They screened films by young disabled filmmakers in addition to running a 10 week placement for a pupil from Tir Morfa with additional learning needs. They also worked with local police on a stand against violent crime (SAVI) scheme where vulnerable or excluded young people chose monthly films in partnership with Barnados and local schools.
Organisation: Galeri, Caernarfon
Galeri developed a new young programmers’ scheme in partnership with local charity Gisda’s LGBT+ Youth Club. Led by film reviewer Dion Wyn Hughes, the group organised an LGBT+ Film Festival that took place in Galeri’s cinema every Monday evening throughout February. The festival coincided with LGBT+ History Month, including films such as Tangerine and God’s Own Country.
Organisation: WOW Film Festival
This environmentally focussed project worked in a highly underserved rural areas of West Wales, bringing a programme of archive and documentary film to Abercych, documentary to Crymych, in partnership with Cwm Arian Renewable Energy (CARE) and German animation to learning disabled communities in Aberaron, in partnership with Mencap Ceredigion. WOW also mentored a young woman with autism, in programming, marketing and event management.
‘Going Deeper, Going Local’ aimed to reach out to diverse audiences across Cardiff in grassroots community settings, whilst building new, hyper-localised audiences from Gentle/Radical’s base at the Wyndham Street Centre community hub in Riverside. The programme and experiences represent minority ethnic audiences encompassing BAME women, BAME elders, BAME youth, addressing subjects as diverse as housing, adultism and the commodification of the refugee experience. The programme was affected by Covid-19 so the team took events online starting with Rethinking the Harvest.
Organisation: Watch Africa
Watch Africa expanded their initial film club pilot, creating four film clubs across six different venues in Cardiff, Wrexham, Newport and Swansea. Sessions covered LGBT activism, politics and sexuality, with workshops, Q&As, masterclasses, vox-pops, live music and food. Their ‘Sacred Water’ workshop sold out, with 23 participants. They also partnered with Go Wales, who volunteered to help with various elements of the festival.
TAPE delivered an inclusion film festival over three days in Colwyn, alongside a Chapel of Horror weekend and newly launched screenings at Ruthin Gaol. They offered 38 films, with a focus on neurodiversity, where volunteers were supported to get involved with the marketing, front of house and technical aspects of the screenings. The project introduced new partnerships with organisations such as Hijinx Theatre.
Organisation: Iris Prize
Iris on the Move travelled to North Wales for the fourth time in 2019, bringing LGBT+ cinema to venues such as Cineworld Llandudno Junction, Pontio in Bangor and Oriel Mostyn.
The programme included two new LGBT+ feature films and five programmes of shorts from the Best of Iris 2019, the shortlist competing for the Iris Prize and the Iris Prize Best British Awards in 2019. The shorts have been classified by BBFC and made available for venues to screen.
Working with Gisda in Caernarfon, they explored gender, dating and the need for freedom through short films. At Pontio, they offered a Q&A with Alfie Dale, director of the 2019 Best British Short winning film My Brother is a Mermaid. This allowed audiences in North Wales communities to engage with emerging filmmakers through Q&As and networking.
Organisation: CellB, Galeri, Neuadd Dwyfor, Neuadd Ogwen, Pontio, Dragon Theatre and Tape
Established in 2016. Off Y Grid (OYG) is a partnership between eight cinemas in North Wales who are working collectively to promote British independent and international film, including home-grown Welsh content. The project is designed to reduce isolation across venues, build creative project infrastructure and generate buzz around film titles in North Wales.
In 2019, Off Y Grid celebrated a number of key themes including the Year of Discovery, new Welsh releases and a specific focus on young audiences. They build on the success of the pop-up cinema in Portmeirion and supported a number of new collaborations in the North, such as Wicked and Cell B youth-led cinema.
Organisation: All Saints Community Cinema, Bonvilston Community Cinema, Colwinston Community Cinema, Dinas Powys Community Cinema, Llancarfan Community Cinema, Memo Arts Centre, Barry, Peterston Village Hall, Snowcat Cinema, Sully Community Cinema
Vale Venues is a rural, countywide, project led by the Memo Arts Centre in Barry, on behalf of 9 venues. In 2019, the coordinator developed the Community Cinema network, overseeing audience development focussed strategies to allow for inclusive and accessible programming and collaboration between partners, to generate a greater awareness of the cinema screenings and film events in each venue.
Venues worked collectively to share programming, distribution, licensing, marketing expertise and created shared leaflets, advertisements and social pages. They also led a programme as part of BFI Musicals.
Abertoir was a six-day international film festival screening titles from 16 different countries.. The festival featured:
- 26 feature films
- 6 UK premieres
- 18 shorts in competition
- 6 silent films with live accompaniment
- 7 Q&As
- 3 presentations
Plus an off site screening, special effects masterclass, live performances and an introduction to an anniversary screening of Alien from its writer Ron Shusett, from a computer launched into space!
Organisation: WOW Film Festival
Across the festival dates, WOW aimed to offer a wide variety of films and events representing diverse cultures and identities on and off screen, addressing current global themes. In the theme of Nomads, 2020 events included a range of talks, panel discussions and introductions and films outside of UK distribution. Special events planned included the WOW Women’s Film Club in Newport and Swansea and the return of Abercon, a mini anime convention co-programmed with Mencap Ceredigion at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The festival was directly affected by Covid-19 and the team are working on plans for the future in light of cancelled events.
Organisation: Cardiff Animation Festival
Cardiff Animation Festival is a biennial four-day celebration of animation for everyone, with a high calibre program of screenings, masterclasses, Q+As, workshops, networking, accessible events and an inclusive community atmosphere. The festival is supported by regular free events and an engagement program in partnership with organisations across Cardiff. CAF was sadly postponed due to Covid-19 but the team offered all sorts of exciting online activities including a 48 quick draw animation jam and industry led sessions around inclusion in animation.
We curated a programme of films marketing packs and event ideas in celebration of Welsh Government’s Year of Discovery, exploring what makes Wales unique, in particular adventure, culture, landscape and memorable experiences.
Members supported include:
- Magic Lantern: They screened 3 Welsh films, including Being Frank with a DJ set. Situated amidst Snowdonia and Cardigan Bay, they used the theme and a great love of the Welsh landscapes and rural life to attract rural communities and holiday makers to attend.
- Pontardawe Arts Centre: They offered a post screening discussion with Director/Writer of Ray & Liz.
- We also supported a tour of Williams McGregor’s Gwen in partnership with Bulldog Film Distribution which toured to 21 locations Wales wide. As part of this, we commissioned programme notes to distribute to venues and supported sites like New Dot (Llangollen) who screened the film with traditional folk music and a thematic short. See our case study for more details.
We curated a programme around UNESCO’s Year of indigenous languages scheme to raise awareness of language as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, identity, cultural history, traditions and memory.
Members supported include:
- Snowcat Cinema, Penarth: Snowcat offered a weekend celebration in March which brought less commonly heard languages to the big screen. They offered films such as Atlantics in Wolof and Edge of Knife in Haida, a language spoken by only a handful of people in the world.
- Pontio, Bangor: Tokyo Tales: Pontio held a mini film festival pairing two Japanese filmmakers from different ends of the century (Yazujiro Ozu and Hirokasu Kore-Eda) to show how the cinema has always been fantastic at examining human nature, relationships and families. They also held a week-long residency for a new Welsh language art film Dyfodiaith.
- The Italian Film Festival: IFF screened Arbëria, L’uomo che comprò la luna, Fiore Gemello and Bangla in partnership with the Sardegna and Lucania Film Commission. Each film had a Q&A and poetry reading, focusing on minority languages in Italy.
Behind the scenes we have been researching Welsh short films in order to grow our Made in Wales catalogue and celebrate Welsh talent and support programming. This is a work in progress and will be uploaded during the course of 2020. This year we added a collection of shorts from the archive screen gems, It’s My Shout, animations made by young people, Bafta Award winners and Iris Prize.
Organisation: FHW, in partnership with The Welsh Books Council/Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru
Picturing Our Past/Fframio’n Gorffenol, is an enhanced e-book on the history of Wales on screen that will be launched alongside a series of screenings throughout Wales in which recent Welsh films are linked to important Welsh films of the past.
Sinemaes offers an exciting programme of screenings of new and archive films, workshops for children, discussion panels, networking events and more National Eisteddfod of Wales. The fourth edition of the event expanded the cinema programme to three venues, with 47 events across 8 days in Llanwrst. In partnership with the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales we offered a special event celebrating the work of pioneering Welsh filmmaker, Arthur Cheetham along with a daily programme of specially curated archive films from the National Library catalogue.
We supported 10 Made in Wales member programmes, several of which worked in connection with Year of Discovery. Read all about the projects here.