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Welsh Filmmakers offer New and Urgent Stories

Seven new short films from Welsh filmmakers have been selected to go into production through Ffilm Cymru Wales and BFI NETWORK Wales’ Beacons fund, in partnership with BBC Cymru Wales.

The scheme has already helped to propel the careers of distinctive Welsh filmmakers, including Rungano Nyoni, who progressed from shorts to her BAFTA award-winning debut feature I Am Not a Witch, last year’s UK Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. Previous Beacons alumni Catherine Linstrum (Nuclear), Ryan Hooper and Matt Redd (The Toll) have also recently wrapped on their debut feature films. 

Now a new cohort of talented filmmakers will be forging their creative careers in Wales’ flourishing film industry. Their work includes a period drama that offers a fresh take on the Ladies of Llangollen; an animation that reflects on what it means to be young, lesbian and in love, and a cross-cultural documentary that portrays a Welsh-speaking community in Japan. 

Congratulating the successful filmmakers, BFI NETWORK Wales Manager Alice Whittemore comments “We’re immensely proud of Wales’ talented and hard-working filmmakers. This year’s films are timely and distinctive, and offer a real range of perspectives. We look forward to accompanying them on their journey and showcasing these stories to audiences across Wales and beyond.”

This year’s Beacons films and filmmakers are:

Father of the Bride
Writer-Director: Rhys Marc Jones
Producer: Alex Polunin
The best man attempts to keep face and deliver his speech at his brother’s wedding following a sexual advance in the hotel bathroom by the father of the bride.

Jelly
Writer-Director: Sam O'Rourke
Bored of the white male politicians and ageing population of her small north Wales town deciding what her national identity should be, check-out girl Kerry plans a new jelly-filled nation in a mountain cave.

Leafboat
Writer-Director: Efa Blosse Mason
Producer: Amy Morris, Winding Snake Productions
An animated short about queer love, fear and a boat made of leaves.

Mist
Writer-Director: Zillah Bowes
Producer: Jack Thomas-O’Brien, Sixteen Films
A woman from the city has a brief but life-changing connection with a hill farmer and the landscape in remote mid-Wales.

Motion Sickness
Writer-Director: Nan Moore
Producer: Bethan Jones
On an overnight coach to Wales, a woman tries to decipher whether or not the driver is an ex-convict.

Sally Leapt Out of the Window Last Night
Writer-Director: Tracy Spottiswoode
Producer: Kathy Speirs, Up Helly Aa
Ireland, 1788. To escape the fate their families plan for them, two women flout convention and scandalise society by eloping. (Based on the true story of the Ladies of Llangollen).

Takeshi
Writer-Director: Griff Lynch
Producer: Gwen Hughes
This documentary takes an inquisitive look at Takeshi, a lecturer from Tokyo, with an incredible and unusual passion towards the Welsh language and its culture.

Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning for BBC Cymru Wales, says “Congratulations to the successful candidates – it was a really strong shortlist, which was discussed at length by the execs. Beacons offers a superb opportunity to nurture and develop the very best creative talent, and BBC Cymru Wales is looking forward to broadcasting these little gems.”

Funded through Ffilm Cymru’s BFI NETWORK Wales and BBC Cymru Wales, Beacons invests in emerging writers, directors and producers from Wales to develop bold and unique voices, explore diverse forms of cinematic storytelling, and establish flourishing careers as feature filmmakers.

The next round of Beacons is due to open for new applications at the end of summer 2019. For news and updates follow BFI NETWORK Wales on Twitter and Facebook.