In 2015-2016, Valleys Cinema aimed to increase access to British independent and world cinema in areas where there was otherwise little or no film provision, bringing the magic of the big screen to community venues in parts of Rhondda RCT, Ebbw Vale and Bridgend, offering something for all the family.
Delivered in Wales by Zoom Cymru and Moviola, the project was developed by Film Hub Wales with funding from the British Film Institute’s (BFI) Neighbourhood Cinema Fund. The venues screened twenty-four acclaimed new and classic films, spanning comedies, animation, drama and more.
The screenings started on Tuesday 24th February 2015, including How to Train Your Dragon 2 and A Most Wanted Man, at Valleys Kids’ Soar Centre in Penygraig and the Ebbw Vale Institute. Other venues, including Valleys Kids at Penyrenglyn, Rhydefelin, and The Factory in Porth participated. Maesteg Town Hall in Bridgend also offered an extra special film and tea dance event called Strictly Cinema.
With a film showing in each community venue every month, moviegoers watched BAFTA-winning Pride, which is set in Wales during the Miners’ strike, and the 2014 British adaptation of bear-favourite, Paddington. Movies such as Imitation Game, Mr Turner and What We Did on Our Holiday also featured, broadening choice for community audiences across the area.
Film Hub Wales were proud to develop this new and exciting project in partnership with Zoom Cymru. Rural and community venues have an important and active part to play in the landscape of independent cinema in Wales as the often bridge a gap for audiences particularly where transport links are poor, where ticket prices are unaffordable or where nearby independent cinemas have been forced to close. Valleys cinema allowed us to work with four new venues and new cinema audiences across areas of South Wales.
Moviola provided equipment to screen the films and content from their vast film catalogue. They work with over 20 existing venues in South and Mid Wales through their film booking and advice service.