WOW Wales One World Film Festival begins this weekend – here’s our pick of what to watch.

A Story Of Children and Film

In his latest documentary director Mark Cousins examines the way film has presented children since the silent era, spanning over fifty films from around the world to show the affinity between film and childhood.

The buzz: Mark Cousins’ A Story of Film was a mammoth study, and his most recent monolith is another cine-essay that has been lauded since its release last year. Catch the Welsh premiere and a Q&A with the director himself.

Where: Chapter Arts Centre, Friday 21 March, 18:00

The Past

A study of modern family life in flux, The Past sees French actress Bernice Bejo play Marie, a woman whose husband has travelled from Tehran to Paris to divorce her.

The buzz: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi follows up A Separation with a stellar script. Bernice Bejo’s ball-breaking performance as a tempestuous mother of three won her the Best Actress Award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Where: Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Tuesday 29 April – Wednesday 30 April, 20:00

The Rocket

Ahlo is a twin whose family believes has brought bad luck after a series of disasters befall them. To prove he’s not cursed, Ahlo is determined to win the lucrative and dangerous Rocket Festival and restore his family’s luck.

The buzz: Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival and glowing reviews mean this coming of age story set in the gorgeous Laos lanscape is one to watch.

Where: Screenings at Chapter, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Aberystwyth from Wednesday 19 March – Wednesday 30 April

Winter Nomads

This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows herder Pascal and his partner Carole as they drive their 800 sheep across the mountains of Switzerland.

The buzz: Winner of the best documentary at the European Film Awards 2012, this Swiss film looks cheering and inspiring.

Gloria

Gloria is a middle-aged divorcee determined to enjoy life to the full – happiest when out dancing, when Gloria meets Rodolfo, her latest conquest, she gives her all.

The buzz: With an engaging performance from Paulina García – who won best actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her role – this story of a vivacious, charming woman on a quest for love is heart-lifting.

Where: Theatr Mwldan, Sunday 23 March, 17:50, Taliesin Arts Centre, Wednesday 9 April, 20:00

To book tickets for any WOW screening visit their website – find out more about the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Young filmmakers have been invited to showcase their work to industry professionals at to Chapter Arts Centre this July as part of a new event.

Image: astronomy_blog

Image: astronomy_blog

Y Gwasanaeth Ffilm/The Film Assembly is offering young directors the chance to enter short films into an event to be seen by industry figures, held on 26 July.

The event will also include a panel discussion featuring some of the Welsh film industry’s most prominent voices followed by a chance to network.

Rhiannon Allen, event director at Y Gwasanaeth Ffilm/The Film Assembly says, “As a filmmaker myself, it’s often frustrating to feel there’s no platform where you can just get your film screened. I wanted to create a friendly, relaxed space where young filmmakers in Wales can see each other’s work and meet and chat.

“It’s a competitive industry, but more importantly, it’s a collaborative one too.”

Entries are now being accepted for short films to appear at the event, including shorts from those who may not have any formal training in filmmaking. Y Gwasanaeth Ffilm/The Film Assembly doesn’t care if you’ve studied film at university or elsewhere, said Allen.

“Right now, we just need those filmmakers,” she said.

Submission is free, and all relevant information can be found on the event’s website. The deadline for submissions is 25 April 2014.

WOW Wales One World Film Festival is back with a A Story of Children and Film

WOW Wales One World Film Festival is returning to venues across the country for another year from Friday 21 March to Wednesday 9 April.

The Welsh premiere of A Story of Children and Film kicks off the festival at Chapter Arts Centre, with an introduction from director Mark Cousins.

The festival continues at the Samaj Community Centre in Grangetown with the Best of Bollywood Live, a pop-up film and live music event on Saturday 22 March and then moves to Aberystwyth, where Gareth Jones’ film Delight premieres on Wednesday 26 March.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre also plays host to a screening of The Second Death, and Argentinian supernatural thriller presented in partnership with Aberystwyth’s Abertoir Festival on 24 March.

Festival Director David Gillam said, “It’s a pleasure and a privilege for WOW to showcase some of the finest films from around the world. I’m particularly looking forward to celebrating the very best of Indian cinema with the Bollywood Brass Band playing live at our pop-up cinema event in Grangetown. This fabulous festival event shows how WOW continues to entertain audiences throughout Wales in exciting, intriguing and innovative ways.”

For more information on all the cinemas taking part and all the films being screened during the in the WOW Wales One World Film Festival, visit http://www.wowfilmfestival.com

Ffresh festival shakes things up with new name and new board

Ffresh, The Student Media Festival of Wales, has announced a “brand refresh” and undergone a change in remit and management, it revealed yesterday.

New festival director Jody Tozer will be co-ordinating this year’s festival in Cardiff, where she has been director of the Cardiff Mini Film Festival for the past two years.

Ffresh festival, established in 2003, was previously based in Newport.

Tozer said of the changes: “I’m really looking forward to bringing Ffresh back to Cardiff and creating a varied and unique programme of events – not only students, but anyone who is keen to get into the media industry.

“We have expanded the categories this year to cater for a digitally advancing world of media, of which many students have vast experience of already.

“The majority of our categories are still moving image, but we have introduced categories for radio, print journalism and news broadcasting and will be reflecting these categories in a new programme of masterclasses, screenings and networking events.”

Ffresh will begin on the 10th May with an opening party and a showcase of the 2014 entries.

Host venues for the 11 and 12 of May will be Cineworld, Porters and Gwdihw. Partners and guests as part of Ffresh have so far been confirmed as On Par, Darkened Rooms, Philip John (director of Downton Abbey) and It’s My Shout.

On the evening of 12 May the annual awards ceremony will take place handing out trophies for 11 categories.

Find out more about Ffresh on Twitter and Facebook

Welsh indie director Kieran Evans has been recognised in this year’s Baftas for Kelly + Victor

Welsh talent has been recognised in this year’s Bafta shortlist with director Kieran Evans shortlisted for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for his love story Kelly + Victor.

Funded by Film Agency Wales, Evans adapted his debut from a novel by Aberystwyth author Niall Griffiths. It tells the story of a young couple, played by rising star Antonia Campbell-Hughes  and Julian Morris, who meet in a Liverpool nightclub and begin a destructive relationship.

Speaking to WalesOnline, Pembrokeshire-born Evans thanked Film Agency Wales for their support, saying, “…a lot of people worked hard to make this movie happen, especially everyone at Wales Film Agency who believed in me from the very start.

“So this is for them as much as it is for me as we’ve all had to travel a very long road together in order to get to this point.”

Evans, who also adapted Kelly + Victor for the screen, has also directed music videos for the Manic Street Preachers, including for their single “Show Me The Wonder” starring Submarine’s Craig Roberts.

The UK independent filmmakers network is coming to Cardiff with Channel 4

Shooting People, the UK’s independent filmmaker network is coming to Chapter Arts Centre on Monday 4 November with Channel 4 to find new Welsh talent.

The network has been travelling around the UK and comes to Chapter’s Movie Maker to scout out filmmakers.

Channel 4’s Ian Cartwright, who oversees strands such as Random Acts and The Shooting Gallery will be hitting the road with Sarah Chorley and Stephanie Walton from Shooting People, and introducing filmmakers, artists and animators in the UK regions to unique and exciting short form film opportunities at the broadcaster.

Chapter Movie Maker screening will be taking place from 6pm and the Channel 4 discussion starts at 7pm.

Come along to Chapter and meet Shooting People at a Shooters in the Pub Special – email stephanie@shootingpeople.org to RSVP

Cinemas and castles have gone dark for the BFI’s Gothic season this winter

While any time of year is the time of year to watch a horror film, as the nights draw in and a chill appears in the air there’s never been a better time to find a cosy blanket to get scared under.

And Wales has never been better placed to enjoy a scary film that now – Wales Goes Dark is spooking audiences in cinemas and on sofas as part of film experience programme Gothic from the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).

Gothic is being held across the UK, from the Southbank to Chapter Arts Centre. Celebrating the British tradition of the gothic and macabre, FAN aims to reach out to audiences and will see a “film hub” based in Wales based around all things horror.

The programme starts ahead of Halloween week and spans to February 2014.

The season has reissued classic British horror and the release of new titles from Welsh directors including Chris Crow’s The Darkest Day. Screenings of some of our best loved (and aged) horrors are also being held in some of Wales’ most imposing and dramatic locations.

Dracula is being shown at Cardiff Castle with Darkened Rooms on 29 October and 5 November; Hotel Transylvania at Cardiff Castle on 29 October and at Tredegar House on 30 October; and Night of the Demon at Tredegar House on 30 October. The latter are in conjunction with Darkened Rooms, who have teamed up with Adam Chard from Croatoan Design to make some lovely posters for the events.

The Gywn Hall in Neath and the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven are also getting involved with screenings, the Neath holding its first horror film festival.

While not part of Wales Goes Dark, Abertoir Horror Film Festival kicks off on 5 November and features a screening of 1963 film The Haunting, complete with an appearance and Q&A from actor Richard Johnson. There’s also a centenary celebration of the work of Hammer star Peter Cushing.

Are you catching any of the Gothic season? Tell us what you’re looking forward to on Facebook and Twitter with #walesgoesdark