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, ac 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:

Check out the many other female filmmakers telling unique stories in Wales yma

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