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Welsh film festivals flourish with Ffilm Cymru Wales funding

Photo Credit: Iris Prize

Ffilm Cymru Wales supports seven film festivals and community cinemas serving exciting cinematic experiences to audiences across Wales.

Through their Film Exhibitor Fund, with funding from the National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales provides £170,000 annually to support independent cinemas and film festivals to entertain and inspire people throughout the nation with a greater choice of films. As part of the organisation’s commitment to innovation, inclusion and sustainability, the fund encourages exhibitors to develop their work in an evolving sector, connecting their local communities through cinema.

Nicola Munday, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Audience Manager, says “I am always impressed by the resilience and passion shown by film exhibitors based in Wales. Their dedication to creative and cultural film is formidable, especially during a challenging time, in which the nation is gripped in a cost-of-living crisis. But a strong commitment to audiences shines throughout these awards. I am looking forward to working with these organisations and future applicants working toward our second round.”

In the first of two funding rounds for 2023, Ffilm Cymru Wales has awarded over £63,500 so far and is currently welcoming applications for the final deadline on 2nd November 2023.

Organisations awarded so far include:

Abertoir International Horror Festival

Haunting Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 14th to 19th November, Abertoir brings the best in world horror to Wales with feature and short film screenings, Q&As, live performances, special guests and a pub quiz. Audiences are treated to a variety of terrifying films reflecting authentic representation of different cultures and experiences, and the festival has a keen focus on accessibility for all, including a virtual version later in the month.

Cardiff Animation Festival

Cardiff Animation Festival offers a wide range of exciting animated short and feature films, exclusive Q&As and social learning activities to audiences in Cardiff, as well as a tour programme celebrating Welsh animation at independent cinemas across the country. This year, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ funding will support CAF to develop partnerships and projects focussing on wellbeing and environmental sustainability, working with neurodiverse animators and audiences, and reaching rural communities and refugees. 

Community Cinema for All

Growing from Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Film in Afan mobile cinema scheme, the community cinema at Gwynfi Miners Community Hall and Cymer Afan Community Library affords local families access to wonderful cinema experiences without the worry of prohibitive costs and transport troubles. Children get free admission at their monthly screenings, with more scheduled for school holidays, and the organisation provides a bus service for customers around the area.

Ffilm Llanfyllin

This north Wales community cinema is run by Arts Connection / Cyswllt Celf, providing monthly film screenings for older audiences at their local pub. Their new funding from Ffilm Cymru Wales will support them to trial relaxed screenings for adults with learning disabilities and additional needs, and host Q&As and workshops to increase interactivity and introduce young people to local independent cinema.

Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival

Cardiff’s Iris Prize Film Festival shares LGBTQ+ short and feature films to foster inclusivity, support future storytellers and engender empathy through the power of cinema. With funding from Ffilm Cymru Wales, this year’s festival in October opened with a celebration of short films from Welsh filmmakers, featured a suite of original content including podcasts, videos and daily bulletins, and was fully accessible with captions and BSL interpretation. 

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival

Kotatsu returns to Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre and Pontio Bangor this autumn with a new selection of animated feature and short films from Japan. Catering to audiences young and old, the festival also features animation workshops, a marketplace and a raffle, making it the premier place to celebrate Japanese culture in Wales.

Wicked Wales Film Festival and Film Programme

Wicked Wales delivered its 8th annual international youth film festival in Rhyl this year, showcasing the work of young people from around the world. Having found a new home in a local community centre, Wicked Wales will continue to host regular screenings for young people throughout the year, as well as provide filmmaking workshops to build skills, confidence and networks through their virtual Wicked Wales Studios.

In addition to the funding, Ffilm Cymru Wales will be offering business support workshops to all applicant cinemas and film festivals, featuring professional guidance from industry experts.

The next application deadline for Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Film Exhibitor Fund is 2nd November 2023.