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Film Hub Wales appoints new Made in Wales Officer to champion Welsh film

Film Hub Wales (FHW) has created a pioneering new role,
dedicated to the promotion of Welsh films and the cinemas that screen them.

Radha Patel joins the team as the Made in Wales Officer at a critical time, as the film industry plans for a future beyond Covid19. Supported by funding from Creative Wales and developed in consultation with the Welsh screen industry, this innovative new role will explore ways to develop audiences for films with Welsh connections.

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager of FHW explains:

 The film industry has faced immense challenges during the pandemic, from long term cinema closures and festival cancellations, to delayed release schedules. Anticipated Welsh films such as Andy Goddard’s Six Minutes to Midnight starring Judy Dench and Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse starring Toni Collette, are just two examples of films impacted, losing crucial box office income but also a chance to celebrate Welsh stories. We are delighted to welcome Radha to our team, to a role which can support these and many other releases as they explore new pathways to reach audiences.

The role was developed in conjunction with FHW’s Made in Wales strategy which has been working to celebrate Welsh language, culture and heritage on screen since 2014. Over 700 films with Welsh connections are featured on the FHW website, along with an online preview room for film programmers and an option for filmmakers to submit their films for promotional support. Most recently, FHW undertook research into potential for a Made in Wales brand, which could be used as a symbol to promote Welsh film internationally.

Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director, Creative Wales said: 

“We look forward to the recovery of our creative industries in 2021. Films have played such a key role in keeping us entertained at home during 2020, but we look forward to audiences packing our cinemas once again. In Wales we have a rich heritage and strong track record of film, with many local cinemas waiting to welcome back audiences. We wish Radha every success in this key role with Film Hub Wales promoting Welsh films and cinemas.” 

Claire Vaughan, Programme Manager for Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff says:  

“We are very excited for Radha Patel begin work on this important role that will help promote Welsh film. This post will enable us to connect more filmmakers with audience members who are eager to hear Welsh stories. Radha is a talented artist who places emphasis on how we explain ourselves with stories and her warm approach to audiences and professional manner with stakeholders makes her a great appointment to the role.” 

Radha’s previous roles include Communications Officer at Age Cymru and Projects and Outreach Officer for Gentle/Radical, a grassroots socially engaged arts organisation based in Cardiff. Radha has a background in audience development and is passionate about ensuring that cinema is accessible to and representative of all.

Radha adds: 

“I’ve always been passionate about cinema, and making sure that it’s accessible to all. As the Made in Wales Officer, I feel honoured to continue doing this by making sure films produced in Wales, or that have Welsh connections, receive the attention they deserve from audiences nationally and internationally. Wales is home to incredibly talented crews and production teams, filmmakers and writers, actors and talented individuals working all year round to bring compelling narratives to life. To truly champion them, we also have to champion Welsh audiences because the stories we tell belong to us all.”

Find out more about Radha and how you can get in touch with her via FHW’s website.

FHW are led by Chapter as part of the BFI Film Audience Network. Thanks to National Lottery funding FHW delivers a wide portfolio of activity annually, bringing more films, to more people, at more cinemas and film festivals across Wales.

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The Iris Prize opens for submissions confirming the importance of diversity in its 15th anniversary year!

Submissions are now open for the 2021 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. Celebrating its 15th edition, the Cardiff (UK) based festival, will take place in October 2021. The organisers are keen to continue to share LGBT+ stories from all over the world and closer to home, with the introduction of community and education awards at main festival.

The festival present 9 awards:

  • Iris Prize – the largest LGBT+ short film prize in the world supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation
  • Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4
  • Iris Prize Best Feature sponsored by Bad Wolf
  • Best Performance in a Female Role sponsored by Diva Magazine
  • Best Performance in a Male Role sponsored by Attitude Magazine
  • Youth Jury Award sponsored by TBC
  • Community Award – £250 to enable the winning community group to make more films
  • Education Award – £250 to enable the winning education/youth group to make more films
  • Micro Short Award – £100 to enable the filmmaker to make more films

Andrew Pierce, Festival Chair commented:

Diversity has been at the heart of Iris from the beginning. Thanks primarily to the relationships we have with 30 partner festivals located in 20 countries we have always enjoyed seeing diversity represented on our screens.

Diversity across the board is taking a little longer. However, I’ve been encouraged by the improved gender balance and over the past three years we have seen women directors taking the main prize.

We have also seen a steady increase in the number of trans stories included in the festival programme. I’m hoping in 2021 and from this point in time we will also see an increase in films made by Trans filmmakers.

Community and Education Awards
The 2021 festival will see the inclusion of the fourth Iris Community and Education Awards, and for the first time they will be presented during the main festival in Cardiff.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director commented:

“We have a popular outreach programme at Iris working with community and education groups across Wales and the rest of the UK. Using film to further understanding and tolerance of LGBT+ issues we have been successful in introducing elements of the main festival into our outreach work. It was therefore only natural that we would bring the celebration of community and education awards into the main festival.

Who knows, the future community and education winner could be an Iris Prize winner of the future.”

“We can now look back at 2020 as the year Iris came of age – when she stood tall and stepped out into the world, stronger and more determined. We are going to build on the success of 2020, and over the next few months we are looking forward to sharing more exciting news about our work and how Iris is going to be continue to share LGBT+ stories to a growing audience.”

Details about submitting films can be found here

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film 4, University of South Wales, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

Cover image: 9 shortlisted filmmakers from 9 different countries taking part in the online edition of Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2020.

Clip of Iris Prize winner 2020, Victoria Warmerdam from the Netherlands discovering she was the winner here.

You can read the full press release here

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Inclusive Cinema tasks cinemas to take anti-racist action with launch of new guide

Inclusive Cinema tasks cinemas to take anti-racist action with launch of new guide 

The BFI Film Audience Network’s Inclusive Cinema has launched a practical guide for improving the cinema experiences of ethnically diverse audiences, and staff, which challenges institutions to make good on their Black Lives Matter and anti-racism statements from 2020. 

Inclusive Cinema is a UK-wide project funded by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) through the National Lottery to support exhibitors in welcoming everyone to participate in cinema, by countering cultural, systemic or physical barriers. The new guide ‘Dismantling Structural Inequality in Your Cinema’ was commissioned from artist and freelancer Sadia Pineda Hameed and focuses on the cinema experiences of ethnically diverse people, with reference to intersections including gender, sexuality, disability, income and class.

From immediately actionable tools, to encouraging inner, reflective and dialogue-based work towards undoing systemic injustice, the guide is intended to create lasting change for future generations, and sustain organisations in a meaningful way, cited by its writer as “the last toolkit that cinemas should need” when it comes to making their spaces truly inclusive of and led-by ethnically diverse people.

Speaking at film exhibition conference, This Way Up, in December 2020, Sadia Pineda Hameed, author of the guide said:  

This toolkit wants to help you within your cinema or organisation to dismantle historic, powerful and violent structures; it’s not about reforming a single workplace but actually creating a more sustainable sector. It’s about decolonisation not diversification. The toolkit does not prioritise visible diversity and inclusion, but prioritises making sure exclusion can’t exist in your space … Share it with your funder and ask your funder to hold you accountable to it, and vice versa.

The toolkit examines the role of cinemas in the context of systemic injustice and focuses on preventing harm towards people of colour as audience members, staff and creators who exhibit their films, and arrives in tandem with Dogwoof’s latest release, charting Martin Luther King Jr.’s mistreatment by the FBI, MLK/FBI, available in virtual cinemas and on demand, from 15 January.  

As audiences connect the dots between the seeds to Black Power rising from the ‘50s and ‘60s, to Black Lives Matter in 2020, the vital reminder is that institutional and structural racism are still endemic issues within our society and culture, requiring multiple strategies and committed action.  

Toki Allison, BFI Film Audience Network Access Officer, who oversees the Inclusive Cinema project, explains:  

“Many cinemas have made statements recognising that structural change is essential after the resurgence of Black Lives Matter bringing racism forcibly into the public consciousness in 2020. This toolkit provides short and long-term actions for organisations to take, to show their true commitment to not only making statements, but taking anti-racist action to create an equitable space for Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse talent, curators, staff and audiences. It’s a comprehensive and inarguably uncompromising document, but it will only be effective if organisations take it, absorb it, recognise the deep work that needs to be done, and get on and do it. I’m looking forward to seeing real change happen, including true accountability from white-led organisations who give up their power and make way for ethnically diverse leaders, makers and curators to share stories in their own ways.” 

Rico Johnson-Sinclair, director and founder of CineQ, and festival manager at SHOUT Festival, was consulted in the creation of the toolkit, and said: 

There’s been a bit of work in the film industry generally over the last couple of years. And whilst this work is formative, it’s still optional and very base level. While the industry is debating whether or not to even implement systems of equality within their organisations, people of colour from all perspectives are put on the backburner time and time again, in lieu of something, anything else, that seems to take priority due to its rise in the public sphere. As this happens, whole generations of black and brown storytellers, creatives and hard-working film-lovers are cast aside to protect a casually and subversively racist status quo. This toolkit not only helps organisations to acknowledge systemic racism happening in their backyards (within a film industry that was built during a time where the only representation we had was given to us by white people), it also shows us a path to valuable self-learning; to implement change across the team to ensure that as the conversation changes and evolves amongst marginalised people (which it will inevitably do), organisations are able to keep up. Instead of performative, this toolkit champions the formative and sustainable.” 

Alex Misick, programme coordinator at The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, who have begun the work to structural change in their venue, said: 

I like how the guide doesn’t pull any punches, and is quite explicit about the politics that underpin so much of what hopefully, should be a historic approach. One of Sadia’s key points is that this isn’t just a strategy to be implemented from the top-down of an organisation. These are conversations that need to happen between staff, not necessarily led by senior management, and to be implemented at an individual level… Instead of following capitalist logic of doing more, this is a moment to take a step back, and to recognise there’s a rupture in consensus and let’s not go back to normal.

You can find the toolkit in the how-to guides section of the Inclusive Cinema website here and/or download it here.

You can find virtual screenings and on demand links to watch MLK/FBI here. 

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CLOSED* VACANCY: Made in Wales Officer (part time)
  • Made in Wales Officer (part time) – 32 hours per week
  • 12 month fixed term contract
  • Salary scale: £25,399 pro-rata

Film Hub Wales (FHW) aims to bring more films, to more people, in more places around Wales. Along with its independent member venues, FHW regularly develops inventive ways for people in Wales to go to the cinema. FHW is one of nine UK wide ‘hubs’ funded by the British Film Institute (BFI) to form the Film Audience Network (FAN), with Chapter appointed as the Film Hub Lead Organisation (FHLO) in Wales. The aim is to develop the exhibition sector through dedicated research, training and audience development project support. Since Film Hub Wales set up in 2013, its supported over 225 exciting cinema projects, reaching over 465,000 audience members.

Purpose of the Role

To develop audience and industry awareness of films with Welsh connections. The post holder will work with the screen sector in Wales to develop new and sustainable audiences for Welsh film, exploring film performance data, marketing techniques and events which add value to the film’s release. This role is supported by funding from Creative Wales.

  • Application forms and job description available to download below. If you have any queries about the application process, please contact apply@chapter.org
  • Closing date for applications: 9am Monday 14th December
  • Interviews to be held: Friday 18th December via Zoom

Made in Wales Officer Job Description .pdf
Made in Wales Officer Job Description .Word


Application Form


Equal Opportunities Form


These documents have been optimised for accessibility.

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Film Hub Wales awards £52,000 in Covid-19 recovery funds to Welsh cinemas and festivals

Media Release:

Film Hub Wales awards £52,000 in Covid-19 recovery funds to Welsh cinemas and festivals

Film venues put wellbeing at the forefront of their post-Covid-19 reopening programmes.

Film Hub Wales (FHW) has awarded £52,000 in National Lottery funding, through the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, to 15 Welsh independent cinemas and film festivals as they plan for reopening.

Funds will be used to aid recovery, enabling venues to safely restart British and international film screenings, including through cabaret style seating and ‘big screen bubbles’, so that they can reconnect with the most isolated Welsh communities affected by lockdown.

Socially-distanced film activities will take place Wales-wide, creating safe spaces where people can still travel the world via the big screen, at affordable prices. Audiences will be at the heart of decision making, with their feedback valued by venues as they rebuild.

For example, TAPE in Old Colwyn is reinstating Sofa Cinema and will screen Sanctuary in partnership with a new local dating agency for people with learning disabilities. In Barry, the Memo Arts Centre will create ‘big screen Bub-L’ activities with digital and take-away crafts, and in Tywyn the Magic Lantern will ‘re-light the magic lantern’, positioning the cinema as a bold, brave beacon for the future.

Since the pandemic began, many sites have been unable to open their doors to the public. With an uncertain future still ahead, they have been working to diversify their business models, develop robust health and safety procedures and secure critical alternative sources of income.

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager of Film Hub Wales explains:

We need to recognise the impact of cinemas in our communities and the potential loss we will all face if they close as a result of the pandemic. From Neuadd Ogwen, which provided food to 600 people via its foodbank, to the Magic Lantern and Theatr Gwaun, which both delivered medical supplies and mental health support to vulnerable patrons, independent venues have gone above and beyond to help those in most need. They have done this whilst also planning for their own uncertain futures, interrogating their business plans, reviewing their approaches to access and equality and exploring environmental sustainability. These funds will help them to restart crucial social, economic and cultural provision through on-screen activity.

Annie Grundy, Co-Director of The Magic Lantern:

Getting this funding enables us to wrap a big ball of cotton wool around the British, independent and foreign language films in our programme which in the old days before the corona-coaster we underwrote ourselves. It ensures that even with a much reduced capacity (we have gone from 280 to 36 available seats due to social distancing) our audience can rock up to see an eclectic mix of fantastic films on screen at the Magic Lantern.

Sue Whitbread, CEO of Theatr Gwaun adds:  

Film Hub Wales’ support means we can move ahead with our new film strategy. Theatr Gwaun will now focus on diverse, independent films refreshing interest and developing new audiences in our community.  Funding is essential, but equally the expert advice, mentoring and enthusiasm of the Hub team has given us a tremendous boost.

Blanche Giacci lives a few streets away from Theatr Gwaun and in normal times would attend screenings at least once a week:

Theatr Gwaun is an essential part of our community, providing cinema, culture and entertainment for all age groups and interests. It is a social hub which improves the community’s well-being.

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI adds: 

This year has shown the absolute importance and need of programming beyond the mainstream, and we’re pleased to be able to support exhibitors in Wales continue to do that.

The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding, repurposed by the British Film Institute (BFI) via its Film Audience Network (FAN). The fund offers critical relief and business continuity to exhibitors across the whole of the UK. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.

Ends
Download the Press Release

Left to right: Galeri Caernarfon, Memo Arts Centre Barry © Jon Pountney, Theatr Gwaun, The Magic Lantern © Mathieu Gasquet, WOW Women’s Film Club © Jon Pountney, Wicked Wales Tir Morfa Awards, Memo Arts Centre Barry WAM © Jon Pountney, Monmouth Savoy © David Broadbent

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Yourscreen
Don’t Let Lockdown Beat You – Screen Films Throughout on YourScreen

‘Open your doors’ during lockdown and let your audience watch films – mostly new and unavailable on other digital platforms – on YourScreen.

By promoting YourScreen, you will be earning revenue now and well into the future.


What is it?

YourScreen
is your virtual cinema, a short-term solution to keep you going during the pandemic.  It also provides a long-term opportunity to add an extra screen to your film programme – to appeal to new audiences and to generate additional revenue without the overheads.

How does it work?
For every virtual ticket sold, YourScreen will pay you 30%.


Participation is simple:
– They will provide you with a promo code which will give you audience 25% off ticket purchases.
– You promote the films on your website / social media / e-shot.
– At the end of the season they will send you a sales report and an invitation to invoice them for 30% of all purchases made.

If you participated in YourScreen season one, your existing promo code will be valid for season two.

Contact:
Please get in touch to learn more: patrick.yourscreen@gmail.com or visit their website.

Current deal:
Season 2 will be available for you to programme between 01 Jan- 28 Feb 2021. Films available:

  • God of the Piano
  • Noah Land
  • Mister Universo
  • Rounds
  • Supernova
  • Winter Flies
  • And the Birds Rained Down / Il pleuvait des oiseaux
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Four Film Festivals join forces to present AMPLIFY!

A brand new virtual film festival streaming this November

Four of the UK’s top film festivals have joined forces in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver a brand new collaborative online film festival this November.

Unprecedented times call for an unprecedented response!

AMPLIFY! Film Festival is the most ambitious collaboration between UK film festivals ever undertaken and will see a truly diverse programme of films, many of them UK premieres, available to audiences across the entire UK.

AMPLIFY! will bring together over 100 years of film festival experience, to create a 17-day online event which will amplify the voices of diverse storytellers from the UK and around the world. 

For the very first time an exciting programme of films is being co-curated by four festivals — Bath, Brighton (Cinecity), Cambridge, and Cornwall — and promoted across the UK, opening up this unique festival to an audience of millions and allowing people to access these incredible films — over 50% of which are directed by women — from the comfort of their own homes.

AMPLIFY! will stream online 6–22 November, with the full programme of films, Q&As, masterclasses, and industry events to be announced in October. 

Full of dazzling debuts and spectacular previews, the online programme of AMPLIFY! offers a feast of movie viewing for audiences of every taste. Winner of Best Film at San Sebastián International Film Festival & nominated at TIFF in Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut, Falling, he directs himself in a powerful family drama about a son’s traumatic relationship with his father. With 5 wins and 11 International festival nominations Patrick (De Patrick) is a brilliant Belgian black comedy about a nudist camp; Patrick, the camp’s handyman, has lost his hammer, and nothing will make him happy until he finds it.

Travelling back 90 years, you can see the silent masterpiece Waxworks starring Jack the Ripper, Ivan the Terrible, and Harun al-Rashid, brought back to life by the great Emil Jannings introduced by the much loved BBC radio & TV presenter and pianist Neil Brand. The Audition stars one of Europe’s greatest actors, Nina Hoss, as an obsessive music teacher determined that her pupil will succeed. Piotr Domalewski picked up a new directors nomination at San Sebastián International Film Festival 2020 for his stunning debut Jak najdalej stąd (I Never Cry) which premieres at AMPLIFY.

There are lots of hot docs too: The Mole Agent is the unforgettable account of how a care home is infiltrated by an elderly gent who has been hired to find out what goes on behind closed doors. While Caught in the Net is the compelling story of a virtual flytrap set for online paedophiles, using women pretending to be younger. My Mexican Bretzel is a cracker — the winner of the Found Footage Award in Rotterdam last year, on a par with Sarah Polley’s stunning Stories We Tell.

Since 2011, Camera Catalonia has been an important and popular strand of the Cambridge Film Festival, presenting the interesting and creative work from new and experienced directors.  AMPLIFY! Includes a great selection of new films from Catalonia such as UK premiers of  La inocència (The innocence) , Keith Haring 1989 Barcelona & My Mexican Bretzel.

Six short programmes will be free to view, including the prestigious IMDb Awards from FilmBath, Cornwall’s International short programme & South West best regional shorts, as well as CINECITY’s New Voices — regional shorts made by 16 to 25-year-olds, supported by Screen and Film School Brighton. The UK Premiere of I Still Breathe by London-based filmmaker Alfred George Bailey’s response to the death of George Floyd with score from composer Nicky Brown and Academy Award-winning sound designer John Warhurst.

The Young People’s Jury Programme seeks to nurture visual literacy, criticism & decision making in the next generation and will culminate in the Young People’s Jury Prize awarded to one of the eight nominated features in competition.

As well as the diverse programme of feature and short films, AMPLIFY! will also deliver a range of director Q&As, workshops, and network events. 

Industry focused events include a BFI NETWORK breakthrough filmmaker event, a casting panel hosted by Backstage, a LIM (Less Is More) script development talk supported by Creative Europe.  A round table event ‘Distribution in uncertain times’ with Charles Gant. Q&A with German director-producer Jens Meurer for the UK Premiere of An Impossible Project hosted by Bill Lawrence, former Creative Director at Showroom Cinema, and Head of Film at the National Museum of Photography. Filmmaker networking events. 

AMPLIFY! Film Festival has received praise from across the UK film festival community. Among others, London Film Festival Director Tricia Tuttle offered her support:

AMPLIFY! is a fantastic initiative by some of the country’s top regional film festivals. We’ve all been keeping in close contact over the last months, sharing information on the challenges and strategies for planning film festivals in a pandemic. These festivals do such important work in getting independent films to audiences, championing underrepresented voices — films from female and LGBQI+ filmmakers, film and filmmakers from around the world and from diverse backgrounds. This year has seen so much great collaboration between festivals and it’s an absolute pleasure to see them combining forces for the good of audiences and filmmakers. I will be settling down after my own festival to watch some great work on the AMPLIFY! platform.

The teams behind the four AMPLIFY! partner festivals are excited to be collaborating on such an innovative project. 

Holly Tarquini & Philip Raby, the co-directors of FilmBath, stated:

The COVID crisis has threatened all of our organisations, so it’s an absolute joy to be able to work together and put on such a juicy online festival — with tons of Q&As and special events.” Tim Brown from Cinecity Brighton added, “Working with new partners in a completely new way is the best response to events and an exciting way to take audiences on new adventures in world cinema.

Director of Cornwall Film Festival, Louise Fox believes AMPLIFY! will be a celebration.

The joy of film sits at the heart of this year’s celebratory festival programme, a great example of how we can come together whilst being apart to be engaged and inspire our local and national audiences.”

And while Cambridge Film Festival’s 40th edition may be on hold, Tony Jones & Matthew Webb from Cambridge Film Trust are confident AMPLIFY! can more than fill the void, stating:

2020 would have marked the 40th Cambridge Film Festival and it is only right that during these times we are working, side by side, with our friends FilmBath, Brighton CINECITY, Cornwall Film Festival to offer an exciting film experience for you all. We hope to see you at AMPLIFY!

THE FULL PROGRAMME, AND BOOKINGS ARE AVAILABLE VIA WWW.AMPLIFYFILM.ORG.UK AND THE FOUR PARTNER WEBSITES NOW.

AMPLIFY! WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM FROM 6–22 NOVEMBER

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Iris Prize LGBT+ Festival Announces 2020 Winners

Short Calf Muscle, directed by Victoria Warmerdam, has been announced the winner of the Iris Prize 2020, Cardiff’s International LGBT+ Short Film Prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation. This was the first time in the festival’s 14-year history that a film from the Netherlands has won. The £30,000 prize enables Victoria to make a new short film in Wales, becoming the thirteenth Iris production.  Better, directed by Michael J. Ferns, wins Best British Award.

The winners of all Awards categories were announced at a special awards ceremony on Saturday night marking the successful end to the unique virtual festival that has attracted a UK wide audience to watching film screenings and talks online for free, which included the UK premiere on opening night of Lloyd Eyre-Morgan and Neil Ely’s S.A.M.

The awards show included performances by Welsh singer Casi Wyn and pop legend Heather Small.

THE WINNERS 

IRIS PRIZE

The international winner of Iris Prize is Victoria Warmerdam for SHORT CALF MUSCLE from the Netherlands.

Philip Guttman, from the Iris Prize jury says,

Short Calf Muscle captures a universal sense of being misunderstood in an hilarious yet absurd comic tone, setting it apart in a class of its own. Piquant dialogue, accomplished storytelling and tongue in cheek acting are distilled into a potent black comedy, where Anders, a gay man, suddenly finds himself labelled to be a “gnome” by everyone around him, harkening to our own society that all too often misgenders or misidentifies others. Filmmaker Victoria Warmerdam masterfully tackles themes of prejudice and societal authoritarianism, captured through an impeccable Stepford style lens which contrasts the loss of control in a world gone mad. Ms. Warmerdam reveals herself to be a singular, exciting and rising comedy director.

The film was the chosen nomination of Iris partner festival Roze Filmdagen; Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival. Werner Borkes, the festival’s Director, said of Victoria’s win,

as a festival we are already extremely honored that we have been a nominating festival for years, but we are all the more proud that our nominee actually takes the prize home. (Eight times is a charm). It is great to see how very ‘Dutch’ the film is in tone and style, but still connects with an international audience through its original but still universal relatable story about whether or not to be different.

The shortlisted finalists also included Runner Up Victoria, as well as Boys and On My Way.

Of Victoria, jury members and previous Iris Prize winners Lara Zeidan and Sarah Smith say,

A brilliant setting for a simple and touching story perfectly contained within one scene. The shifting of perspectives deftly executed in the writing and directing gives voice to both characters’ complicated emotions. The performances, the pacing, the compositions, the colour palette, and the use of the Victoria Amazónica as metaphor, all work in harmony leading towards a beautifully poetic ending, and demonstrate a remarkable command of the craft of filmmaking.

Of Boys, Mikael Bundsen and Philip Guttman, say,

In Banim (Boys), filmmaker Lior Soroka, draws us into an aching coming of age story depicting one teen’s fight for independence and his mother’s struggle to let go, while simultaneously evoking questions about gender norms in contemporary society. With its riveting performances, the striking complexity in the character’s relationships, and for what is left unsaid, but deeply felt, Soroka has captured our hearts and our imaginations.

Of On My Way, Mikael Bundsen says, “Filmmaker Sonam Larcin crafts an intimate story potent with questions to reflect on long after the film’s running time. Complex characters navigating the conditions of a vulnerable migrant to a clandestine gay relationship teetering on the edge are masterfully brought to life by a stellar cast. It’s beautiful, accomplished and it leaves us passionate to see more”.

BEST BRITISH AWARD

The winner of Best of British short films is Scottish-born Michael J. Ferns for BETTER. The other films that made the final shortlist are Runner Up Queens, as well as The Passing and Wings.

Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, who chaired the jury for Best British Short, commented:

The quality and range of this year’s Best British Short film contenders has been excellent – so much so that the jury was spoiled in having to choose a winner. Michael J Fern’s short film Better was distinctive for its quietly controlled and beautifully orchestrated examination of gender as a young mother tries to cope with the bullying of her young son at school. Our other shortlisted titles, Queens, The Passing and Wings raised the bar in their unique portrayals and studies of LGBT+ lives and stories.

Additionally, cementing the first of a three-year sponsorship deal with Film4, all 15 films in Best British programmes will be available for free streaming on All 4 from 11th October.

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM AWARDS

Best Performance in a Male Role in a Feature Film, sponsored by Attitude, was awarded to Leandro Faria Lelo from DRY WIND, directed by Daniel Nolasco and distributed by TLA Releasing.

Lewis Bayley, chair of Best Feature jury made up of film students from Bournemouth Film School, says,

The award for Best Performance in a Male Role is awarded to Leandro Faria Lelo in Dry Wind, whose compelling performance of sexual desire captivates the audience and explores the intensity of yearning in the monotonous confines of an oppressive system.

He adds,

an honourable mention to Oscar Chiu’s performance in The Teacher, where his gentle and tender performance exposes the audience to the realities of life in Taiwan as a queer teacher through his vulnerability, and spark that commands attention to this quiet protagonist.

Best Performance in a Female Role in a Feature Film, sponsored by Diva, was awarded to Lena Urzendowsy for COCOON. The winner was announced pop legend Heather Small.

Of Lena’s performance, Lewis says,

The award for Best Performance in a Female role goes to Lena Urzendowsky. Lena’s honest and raw portrayal of Nora in Cocoon captures a teenager in a time of self-discovery, complicated by the dramas and vices of those closest to her. In this beautiful coming-of-age story, Lena holds the attention in each frame she appears with quiet nuance and vulnerability.

“The jury would also like to draw attention to recognise the performance of Alexandra Grey in Gossamer Folds, whose warmth and determination to live authentically serve as a beacon of hope in a film where so many characters exist in a state of such uncertainty. Although the film is based in 1986, the relevance to the world today are particularly poignant and a reminder of work yet to be done, and Alexandra’s performance is nothing short of essential.

The Best International Feature Film Award, sponsored by Bad Wolf, is won by COCOON, directed by Leonie Krippendorff and is distributed in UK by Peccadillo Pictures.

Of Cocoon, Lewis Bayley says,

The winning film is an honest and open coming of age story, addressing its lead’s sexuality with delicacy and heart that speaks directly to personal experiences. The innocence of self-discovery, in the midst of the complexities of the lives of those around us are explored with nuance and authenticity. The supporting visages are dreamlike, relatable and beautifully rendered.

YOUTH JURY

The winner of the Youth Jury Award is WINGS from UK director Jamie Weston, and the runner-up is Luca Padrini’s When In Rome (Paese Che Vai).

The four short-listed films, chosen from 35 nominees for the main Iris Prize, were Wings, My God I’m Queer, When In Rome (Paese Che Vai) and Snake, which had been specially programmed by a group of young people from Into Film and Pride Cymru and then voted for by young people from schools across Wales.

AUDIENCE AWARD

One of the additional innovations for this year is the introduction of the Co-op Audience Award, the natural next step in the strong relationship with the Iris Prize, started by Co-op Respect. This year Co-op shoppers will be encouraged to watch the 35 short films – and vote for their favourite.

Those who votes will be eligible to win a trip to attend the 2021 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in Cardiff, the prize will include train travel within the UK, hotel accommodation and a full VIP Pass for two people. Other prizes include luxury Co-op Hampers, just in time for Christmas! When can I vote? Voting for the Co-op Audience Award opens on Wednesday 7 October and closes on Saturday 31 October 2020.

Lord Glendonbrook said during his address:

The Iris Prize continues to be the world’s largest short film prize and I’m delighted that through The Michael Bishop Foundation we have been able to support the winners, to create new short films. These Iris Productions are wonderful opportunities for the film makers to be given the freedom to share our stories to a world that sometimes ignore us and sometimes hate us.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair says “Against the odds, film makers, sponsors and our UK audience have come together this week to celebrate our stories through film. As David Llewellyn mentioned duringIris Live!,“We may be watching these films in separate rooms, but we’re still watching them together.”

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film 4, University of South Wales, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

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Dial F For Freelancer Launches Online, Making Space for Valuable Voices in Film Exhibition and Distribution

Thursday 8th October 2020: A network boasting over 250 members has unveiled their dedicated space celebrating the massive talents represented by the freelance cohort of the UK’s film exhibition and distribution sectors. Dial F for Freelancer is led by film freelancers for their peers, sharing past projects and reaching potential clients. Dial F for Freelancer is the first of its kind and the only dedicated space for freelancers working in film distribution and exhibition.

The current unfolding news regarding the future of film exhibition highlights the pressing need for this platform to exist. Whilst the film industry relies on freelancers, there are currently no formal structures to support them collectively:

“…more than half of the industry workforce are freelancers or mix freelance work with periods of employment. Freelancers are the lifeblood of our industry, yet they don’t have access to the benefits, security or workplace support of permanent employees.” – The Whole Picture Programme Report – The Film and TV Charity, 2020

The Dial F for Freelancer platform has been developed with the needs of freelancers at the forefront to celebrate the sector’s unique skills. The founding members are looking to reduce the barriers and labour to finding paid work by creating an ever-growing network of freelancers.

The grassroots-led project places the platform in the hands of the users rather than a third party. Users control their pitch and profile, choosing the projects of which they’re proudest to showcase. Members of Dial F for Freelancer are also supported with resources, contacts and opportunities to collaborate.

The origins of this concept began during discussions at This Way Up 2019 (the UK’s film exhibition industry conference), a sidebar talk for freelancers led by Toki Allison spoke about the need for an informal network to be created to provide peer to peer support and reduce the feelings of isolation which are prevalent in freelancing. In March 2020 as freelancers began to lose work due to the pandemic, Allison, along with Moira McVean and Jo Taylor-Hitchinson decided to make the network a reality.

Initially a Facebook group set up to support freelancers affected by the onset of the lockdown attracted over 250 members and the trio realised a more formal platform was needed. They were awarded a Community Grant from The Film and TV Charity and have gained further industry support which has allowed them to create the Dial F for Freelancer platform.

The Dial F for Freelancer Steering Group, comprising eight freelancers working in the sector, have worked with a developer to design and launch Dial F For Freelancer to the industry.

This project has been supported by The Film and TV Charity’s Community Grants, a fund from the Film Distributors’ Association, and with further contributions from film distributors, including Altitude Film Distribution, Bohemia Media and eOne. The new platform endeavours to celebrate the wealth of talent and expertise represented across the network, whilst also creating a warm and welcoming space for freelancers working in exhibition and distribution to build their profiles and networks in an effective and easy way. They also plan to build a collective public presence and signpost available support for members.

Jo Taylor, co-founder of Dial F for Freelancer said:

My freelance career has been powered by collaboration and with the invaluable support of my peers. Creating a network such as this has been an aspiration of mine for a long time and so it’s gratifying to be working with colleagues and supporters who feel the same. It is so exciting to see Dial F for Freelancer come to fruition giving our sector the spotlight it deserves.

Andy Leyshon, Chief Executive, Film Distributors’ Association said:

The varied nature of the films FDA members distribute are often reliant upon project-focused freelance expertise across film booking, marketing and publicity specialities. Freelancers have been hit especially hard across the film ecosystem lately and we are pleased to support this worthwhile initiative during these challenging times.

Mark Jones, Head of Publicity, Altitude Media Group said:

Freelancers have played an integral role in several of Altitude’s releases and it’s been brilliant for us to be able to collaborate with a range of dynamic individuals. We know one of the greatest challenges of freelancing is the absence of close knit ‘colleagues’ to introduce new ways of thinking, building skills and further opportunities. Dial F for Freelancer is the perfect dedicated platform to offer that expanded network to those in the industry and also give distributors such as ourselves the opportunity to discover new talent to work with us on our releases.

Timon Singh, Campaigns Manager, Film Hub South West said:

For the BFI FAN New Release scheme, freelancers have been invaluable both to venues and distributors. Venues are often short-staffed, so having someone available to help with social media marketing and promoting the film has been incredibly useful for many. For distributors, freelancers also help to give their titles a fighting chance in an increasingly populated marketplace by promoting their films in more rural venues and organising events around screenings that make them stand-out from the crowd.

Anthony & Teanne Andrews, co-founders, We Are Parable said:

The need for a platform that can bring together freelancers who work in either film exhibition and/or distribution is absolutely essential. It provides the industry with a key place to seek out a wide variety of talented people, enabling opportunities to be visible for all, as well as offering freelancers a network to keep informed of an ever changing sector.

Anna Navas, Director and Programmer, Plymouth Arts Centre said:

Here at PAC we really value the work that freelancers do and have worked with many on different projects over the years. What they bring is new energy, insights and a whole world of different experiences and ways of working. What that does is invigorate organisations in a way that should be celebrated. The work they do is invaluable to the independent exhibition sector.

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Full programme announced for Cardiff Animation Festival 2020 Online!

Cardiff Animation Festival has announced their full online festival programme. The festival has added further announcements to their exciting 2020 line-up, including masterclasses and Q+As with key talent behind The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, Strike and The Adventures of Paddington™. The online celebration of animation for everyone will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world for adults, families and filmmakers.

The rescheduled spring 2020 festival will now run online, with events starting 17th October, building towards the main festival week 24th October – 1st November. Tickets for individual events are now on sale, and Early Bird passes are available for £15 per pass.

Festival Director Lauren Orme says:

We’re so proud of this programme and thrilled to finally be bringing it to audiences! This has been a difficult year for everyone and it was really important to us to be able to offer passes at such a reduced price and individual tickets on a pay-what-you-can basis, so as many people as possible can access the festival. The online format has also enabled us to subtitle all our events to make everything even more accessible which is really exciting.

A range of family-friendly events will run throughout the festival, including an incredible chance to see behind-the-scenes of the brand new CGI series The Adventures of Paddington™ by Blue Zoo Animation for StudioCanal & Nickelodeon, presented by Producer Simon Quinn.

Ed Foster, creator of Illuminated Films’ hit animated CITV comedy The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, will tell the story of his 16-year journey from student film to directing his own series, and the origins of underdog, unlikely hero and unwitting creator of chaos Dave Spud and his family. With a voice cast featuring Gina Yashere and Johnny Vegas, and animation by Cardiff’s Cloth Cat Animation, the show’s ratings have been far from rubbish since its launch last September and it’s now in production for its second series.

The programme includes British stop-motion feature film STRIKE, a story of a young mole trying to achieve his impossible dream of becoming a footballer to save his hometown from a greedy supervillain. The film is Sussex-based Trevor Hardy’s first feature, produced by Gigglefish Studios. After the film screening audiences can go behind-the-scenes with an engaging Q+A with the film’s director Trevor Hardy, voice actor Lizzie Waterworth and producer Neil James exploring the unique way recycling helped to bring the film to life, chaired by Suraya Raja.

The festival is teaming up with Visible in Visuals, a platform aiming to make animation and VFX more inclusive, for a panel and Q+A focusing on different careers in animation and advice for students and those looking to get into the industry.

These events and many more add to an already spectacular line-up, including masterclasses on directing Bob’s Burgers with Welsh animator Simon Chong, Moominvalley with episode director Avgousta Zourelidi, the world’s first sand animated feature film Heart of Darkness currently being made in Wales by director Gerald Conn.

Festival-goers will be able to come together for live watch parties of the seven themed programmes of the festival’s favourite new animated shorts from around the world, swapping rounds of applause in the cinema for clapping emojis in the live chat, and voting for their favourites to win the CAF Audience Award. There will be a chance to meet some of the brilliant independent filmmakers behind the films in competition at Animators Brunch, live Q+As hosted by Skwigly’s Ben Mitchell and Laura-Beth Cowley on Sunday 25th October and Sunday 1st November.

Cardiff Animation Festival is funded by Arts Council Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film Hub Wales as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), BFI NETWORK Wales, and Ymddiried through the Owen Edwards Scholarship Fund, and sponsored by Cloth Cat Animation, Picl Animation, Creative Europe Desk UK – Wales, the University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Jammy Custard Animation, the British Animation Awards, S4C and by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2020 online will run from Saturday 17th October to Sunday 1st November online. Cardiff Animation Festival passes and individual tickets are on sale now, with a limited number of reduced-price Early Bird passes available at  https://watch.eventive.org/caf2020 and https://caf2020.eventive.org/passes/buy

To keep up to date, follow Cardiff Animation Festival on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and sign up to our mailing list for more updates and announcements as they are released.

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Applications are now open for Sustain Lift – Autumn 2020!
  • Want to re-evaluate after lockdown? 
  • Looking to develop skills or polish existing ones? 
  • Want to connect more as a team and start working towards your next big project?

As part of the Cinema For All LIFT package helping community cinemas return to screening films after lockdown, we are running another round of our BFI funded coaching programme, Sustain! 

This autumn we have places on all three strands of Sustain available. Find out more about each below:

Sustain Shine – for existing community cinemas to reflect on what they have achieved and where they want to go next. This programme will follow our previous and popular Sustain format, providing groups with three coaching sessions and a £200 bursary to build on and explore the sustainability of their community cinema.

Sustain Develop – a new programme for community cinemas with a clear idea of their next stage of development with a specific project. The programme will consist of three bespoke coaching sessions tailored to your group, along with a £600 bursary to help realise, plan and achieve your community cinema’s next ambition.

Sustain Collaborate – This programme will support groups with ideas for an interesting collaboration with other community cinemas. It provides a bursary of £1000 to help cover the costs of making your in person or online collaborative project happen. 

Deadline for applications is 15 October 2020. To find out more about Sustain and how to apply, please visit Cinema For All’s website here, or contact Ellie at ellie@cinemaforall.org.uk

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