The first ever Ffilmic Film Festival took place at Theatr Llywn Llanfyllin in October 2007. It was conceived as a celebration of moving image culture and on offer were a range of feature films, shorts, workshops and talks from visiting film industry professionals. Children and young people took part in stop-frame and model animation workshops. In the week leading up to the festival Llanfyllin Primary and Llanfyllin High School took part in film literacy and digital story telling workshops.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the screening of the Take 1 Five Day Film Challenge entries. Entrants had just 5 days to make a 5 minute film. A packed Theatr Llwyn showed huge appreciation for the efforts of all entrants and Anthony Rosser, general manager of Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, who sponsored the competition presented the awards and said he was amazed by the high standard of the films.
Ffilmic was funded by the Film Agency for Wales with support from Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, Cain Valley Hotel, Valleys Film Society and Spar Llanfyllin.
Below is a list of people who have supported and helped the festival come to life:
- Ruth Carter – Voluntary Film Consultant – (who has contributed many hours!)
- the Valleys Film Society
- Lake Vyrnwy Hotel for sponsoring the Take 1 Five Day Film Challenge
- The Cain Valley Hotel
- Llanfyllin SPAR for sponsoring the Launch
- Dan Thomas – Film Agency for Wales
Young people took part in stop frame animation workshops last year, below is a selection of short films they made. Canllaw Online Cyf is a not for profit organisation and a registered charity established to develop and support information services for young people, offering a number of bilingual services linked to information distribution through a series of unique initiatives, to both young people and information providers for young people. These shorts were made by the young people who took part in the Being Young and… workshops with Chris Morgan. There are also some stop-trick shorts made at the open workshops held over the Ffilmic Festival Weekend. For more information and shorts made by other young people visit: www.credu.co.uk or www.canllaw-online.com
Here you will find more information and profiles of the Professionals giving Talks and Q&A’s:
Jacqui Bellamy – Sound for Film
Talk with Q&A – Saturday 27 October – 1 hour – 12.00pm Jacqui Bellamy has worked in the film industry as a freelance sound recordist and boom operator since 1994. Also a freelance photographer, she brings a mix of skills relevant to film-making. She has a background of working with young people and adults, ranging through social work with young offenders to community work with young people and adults. She also teaches Film Production at Sheffield Independent Film and Television (SHIFT) and Sheffield Hallam University.
Mark Gwynne Jones – Live Performance
Talk with Q&A – Saturday 27 October – 1 hour – 1.15pm Through a combination of live performance and film screenings, poet and screenwriter, Mark Gwynne Jones will take us on a journey into his ‘surreal and mind altering’ world. Giving an insight in to his working relationship with film maker Andy Lawrence which has successfully produced a number of short films that fuse poetry, drama and film in an exploration of the subconscious. Screenings will include: Possession (duration – 6.55) – A film poem that explores dream symbolism and a search or the universal self. The Message (duration – 12 mins) – The story of a boy unable to give voice to his dreams, a postman who glimses another world and an old man who fears his life has been wasted. Mark Gwynne Jones is a poet, performer and screenwriter. For the past ten years Mark Gwynne Jones has been pushing the boundaries of poetry through his collaborations with Psychicbread and film maker, Andy Lawrence. His work has been broadcast on ITV, Sky and Manchester TV and has been screened in cinemas across London and at the Cornerhouse, Manchester. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, toured with Kate Rusby and performed alongside The Levellers, Half Man Half Biscuit, John Cooper Clarke and has twice won the Buxton Festival Fringe. ‘Mark Gwynne Jones is to poetry what The League of Gentlemen is to television. He should be ruined with fame and money before he shows the rest of us up for the bunch of sissies we are. But if you don’t want the truth, don’t call a poet, at least not a real one.’ – Martin Newell of The Independent For more information visit the website @ www.pyschicbread.org
Lee Kern – Film Maker
Talk and Q&A – Saturday 27 October – 1 hour – 2.30pm Lee will give a brief introduction to how he entered the world of film-making. He will screen a selection of short films and discuss how he has arrived at being commisioned to make a feature length film. Lee is a bit of a mixed bag. Writing, comedy, illustration and film-making are his main things. The low point of Lee’s career was two days work he had writing jokes for Angus Deayton. Lee’s most recent project was the film “Monkey Tennis” screened at the Edinburgh TV Festival and described by the Independent as one of the festival¹s highlights. In the film Lee went undercover with a fake production company and pitched ideas as diverse as “Rolf Harris Draws the News” and “18th Century Doctor” to TV commissioners. Lee also provides voice for the cartoon Modern Toss along with Mackenzie Crooke, Paul Kaye and Doon Machicon. His idiosyncratic film-making and lo-fi aesthetic is broadly at odds with a TV landscape which he believes to be tyrannised by formatted, branded, homogenised and uniform documentary styles and looks. Like an idiot unto the fray he keeps returning thinking he can somehow take this on and win. Subsequently Lee is very poor. Other credits include: The Edgware Walker; The House of Memory; Tales of the Creepy Crooked; The A-Z of Love; Meet the Psychics; October Mumbling and Rue Portobello. REVIEWS “…a terrifically natural and fluent style that is wholly his own…not documentaries in the usual sense they are something unto themselves….zesty and playful and they have heart…” – Louis Theroux “…a fantastic film – both funny and sad – by one of the most exciting new filmmakers around today…” – Robert Popper (producer of Channel 4’s Peep Show) “…one of the highlights of the Edinburgh TV Festival…a very funny writer and programme-maker…” – Conor Dignam (The Independent) For more information visit the website @ www.twinklebum.co.uk
Anthea Kennedy & Ian Wiblin
Q&A – Saturday 27 October – 1 hour – 8.00pm A chance to talk with the directors of Stella Polare.
Sunday 28 October – 1 hour – 5.00pm A one hour Master Class presented by young acclaimed British writer and director Greg Hall, who will be presenting an eclectic selection of work. Since 2004 Greg’s directorial debut “THE PLAGUE” (2004) has picked up acclaim and awards, and in 2007 his second feature film “KAPITAL” (2007), a co-commission with composer Steve Martland, was premiered at the Manchester International Festival. As an example of guerrilla film making Greg will show and talk about his feature films, music videos (with The Beta Brothers) and short films, and discuss his approach and thoughts on cinema and the social relevance of modern culture.
The films are being screened in partnership with the Valleys Film Society who run a programme of films from September to March.
The Host (Gwoemul) (15)
Friday 26th October, 7.30pm Director : Bong Joon -ho – Starring : Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hee-bong – Korean – – 2006 – 1hr 59 mins – Subtitles Seoul 2006. Hee-bong works and lives on the banks of the Han River. When his grand-daughter Hyun-seo is suddenly taken by a monster that rises from the depths of the Riven Han, the whole family have to go after it. This film has already been nominated and won a number of awards at the Catalonian International Film Festival, the Asia-Pacific Film Festival and many more.
Tales from Earthsea(Gedi Senki) (PG)
Saturday 27th October, 10.15am Director : Goro Miyazaki – Starring: (Voiceover) : : Timothy Dalton, William Dafoe – Japanese – 2007 – 1hr 55 mins – Dubbed An adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel ‘A Wizard of Earthsea’. Something strange is happening in Earthsea and nobody knows what is causing it. Ged, a wondering wizard, who meets Prince Arren set off together to discover the truth behind the strange happenings.
Woodstock… Can’t Get There from Here
Saturday 27th October, 3.45pm Director : David McDonald – American Woodstock…Can’t Get There From Here takes the historical events that transpired in the town of Woodstock, NY, and turns them into an epic metaphor for the rise and fall of the left in America. Or, arguably, the rise and fall of America itself.
Stella Polare (uncertified)
Saturday 27th October, 6.30pm Director : Anthea Kennedy & Ian Wiblin – UK – 2006 – 1hr 16 mins Stella Polare is a work of fragmented histories: of the catastrophes of empire, war, terror and resistance of our times. Its unseen narrator ‘encounters’ the inhabitants of an undisclosed port city in old Europe as they stroll along a jetty in the melancholic fading light of evening. These meetings are with terrorists, philosophers, writers, photographers, shopkeepers whose subjective accounts and speculations create a rupture within 20th century history and beyond. These sequences provide a central structure around which threads of image, sound and voiceover are interwoven to create an ambiguous and speculative narrative. Elsewhere the camera explores the interiors of opulently furnished 19th century apartments and museum vitrines of stuffed birds where the dusty faded traces of a glorious imperial past encounter the present tense materiality of the video image. Stella Polare is an essay film, occupying the ground between narrative, documentary and ‘experimental’ film-making. It is a work of contemporary relevance which through its particular engagement with history, reflects on time, memory and violent political action. Stella Polare has been screened with great acclaim at a number of Film Festivals in the UK, including the Leeds International Film Festival.
The Plague (18)
Sunday 28th October, 6.30pm Written and Directed by : Greg Hall – UK – 2006 – 1hr 44mins Welcome to the 21st century. A story of England told from inner City London. Set amongst a landscape of police wagons and estate blocks. Trapped in a world where hate breeds hate. A story seen through the eyes of four young multi-cultural friends. One city. One weekend. At the age of twenty-two Greg Hall shot his ultra low budget feature debut “THE PLAGUE” (2004), which landed critical acclaim on an international scale, screening globally and notching up three awards. Chosen by British director Mike Leigh to receive the inaugural Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Scholarship (10th Sarajevo Film Festival) who described it as “very exciting 21st Century cinema”; it also received the Best Director Award (Portobello Film Festival 2004) and the Audience Award for Best Feature (Raindance East Film Festival 2005). “THE PLAGUE” was released theatrically in 2006 and commercially in 2007 in the UK epitomises the shift in low budget digital cinema: “Gritty, realistic, sometimes electrifying, often inventive, always gripping, an essential piece of viewing. One of the most explosive pieces of independent British cinema ever.” Rogue Cinema (David Stephenson) www.prodigalproductionsltd.com – www.theplaguefilm.co.uk – www.kapitalfilm.com – www.myspace.com/thebetabrothers – www.myspace.com/brokebutmakingfilms
Saturday 27 October – 10.00am Director : Tony Rooke – Writer, Producer, Editor : Steve Roper – Australian (Tasmania) – 2002 – 15 mins – Muse Productions In 1953 in North East Tasmania, five children find more than they bargained for when they decide to follow the tracks of the possibly extinct ‘Tassie Tiger’. A children’s adventure film for all ages, set in the exotic landscape of Tasmania.
Selling the Moon
Sunday 28 October, 12.00pm Director : Tony Wainwright – Writers : Tony Wainwright & John Davies – UK – 2006 – Three Cats In The Yard This pirate romp across dry land was filmed around the Llanfyllin area with a cast and video crew of local amateur volunteers. Despite being a No Budget film the result is a highly entertaining rescue story involving two pirate crews and the evil customs officers. A pantomime style comedy that will appeal way beyond the local community in which it was conceived.
Sunday 28 October, 1.00pm
Small Birds Singing
Sunday 28 October Animator : Linda McCarthy – UK – 2007 Every day is Monday at the country home of the Unbelievable family. Tiny elephants, arguing apples and a body in the hedge… just another ordinary day at Small Birds Singing. Linda McCarthy studied ceramics at Harrogate College, North Yorkshire, followed by two years as Artist in Residence at Salford University. After taking a career break to have four children, Linda studied Animation at NEWI in North Wales, specialising in ‘stop-motion’ and graduating in June 2007. She has just formed Tiny Elephants Ltd, an animation production company.
Sunday 28 October Animator : Guy Levy – Songs written and performed by Hattie Hatstar – UK – 2006 One woman struggles to kick the evil weed…. badly!
Sunday 28th October Animator : Guy Levy – UK –
Woodstock… Can’t Get There From Here – The Culture Wars
Sunday 28 October Written and Directed by : David McDonald – 28 mins – America – 2006 – A High Fiber Films Production Parental Warning: some language may be inappropriate for young children. It’s memorial day in Woodstock, the world’s famous small town, and emotions are reaching boiling point. The centre of the conflict? Jay Wenk and his group Veterans For Peace, who insist on marching in the memorial day parade against the wishes of the parades organisers. Is expressing dissent at a pubic event meant to honour the dead an act of patriotism or disloyalty? What, exactly, does it mean to be an American in post 9/11 America? Both sides express their fervent and entertaining points of view in this dynamic short film by writer / director David McDonald, known for his groundbreaking work, Woodstock… Can’t Get There From Here. For more information about David McDonald visit: http://myspace.com/davidthedirector – www.youtube.com/davidthedirector
Sunday 28 October Writer, Producer & Director : Paulette James – Director of Photography : Jonathon Harvey – Starring : Nicole Smith, Tara Brown, Mellicia Le Host – 10 mins – UK – 2006 A black hair story set in Brixton, with a splash of 70’s Blaxploitation. Shantell must step up and find her feet on the street, in the battle to find out who’s ‘Super Bad’. The short film was winner of Best director and Best Female Actor at the BFM International Film Festival, London 2007. Website: www.shantelltown.co.uk