My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

USW Film students keep Rhondda memories alive with dark comedy

The crew of Vanishing Act (clockwise): Lloyd Hughes, Joel Williams, Andreas Kyriakides, Daniel Evans, Kacper Pilzys, Ben Huw Tiley, Jodie Agius, Jake Thompson

A group of filmmakers from the University of South Wales (USW) are giving back to a Rhondda valleys community with their latest project.

Led by producer Daniel Evans, 33, who is originally from Ynyshir, the students – collectively named Arcadian Owls – are looking for support from the local community for their short film, Vanishing Act.

The dark comedy tells the story of Joe, who has developed a fear of dying, and his experience of meeting Bill, a suicidal children’s entertainer who has connections to Joe’s childhood. As they spend more time together in Bill’s theatre, the two dig up the past and help each other towards a new future.

The team chose Tylorstown Welfare Hall as the location for the film – a Grade II listed building in the heart of the Rhondda Fach. Daniel, who is in his third year of studying BA (Hons) Film at USW, tells us more…

“Beyond its comedy, Vanishing Act has a serious message at heart, which is to appreciate life. This is especially prevalent in today’s society where life is becoming ever more fragile around us.

“Tylorstown Welfare Hall is close to my home village and is home to many memories of childhood for me, so to go back there to film was special as a result.

“As soon as we walked into the place on a recce, we knew it was perfect. The location in the story was meant to convey the past, somewhere where memories are kept, and it had that vibe. The community there was amazing and allowed us to make this film as we intended. They took an interest in the project, and have been warm and welcoming!

“We also believe that supporting local businesses is important, and I hope that we can give something back to them via the promotion of this film.”

Arcadian Owls have set up a crowdfunding page to support the film, and would like the community to be involved in shaping the project as it progresses.

Daniel added: “We need the chance to make the film the best it can be, and we’d like to give something back for the support we have had. Without money we wouldn’t be making the film we are passionate about making, or at the very least not making it to the highest standard we can, which is important as we head into the next phase of our development.

“We want our team and the donors to be a community where they trace our progress. It’s vital that they feel they are part of the experience and feel what we feel, and we welcome that and want to share it. When the final film is done, I hope we would all feel a huge sense of accomplishment.”