By Tirion Davies
The Iris Prize Film Festival returns to Cardiff for its 13th anniversary this month, the same month the BAFTA Cymru 2019 Awards are taking place in the heart of Cardiff. Between these two mammoth events taking place in October and the recent announcement of Rhys Ifans as an ambassador for Into Film Cymru, support for film in Cardiff has earned a radical elevation. Here’s the low-down on what’s going on, how to get involved, and how the film industry in Wales is going from strength to strength.
The Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival began in 2007 and has prides itself on sharing the best of LGBT+ filmmaking in Cardiff each year. Year after year, many flock to Cardiff for the festival with Iris Prize earning publicity in recent years following the success of its previous winner, Dee Rees, who has since earned notoriety following her 2017 film ‘Mudound’ which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay for Rees.
As the festival approaches its thirteenth year later this month, and with Cardiff University one of many sponsors of the awards, the Iris Prize has elected to introduce a new showcase. The showcase, new for 2019, will include student filmmakers from across the UK.
The Film Festival will take place in venues around Cardiff centre, including Tramshed Cardiff, Cineworld, ATRium Cardiff and the Iris Festival Club (located on the first floor of the Captial Centre) between the 8th and the 13th of October. There is the option to buy a full festival pass, or simply a Weekend or Day Pass, with discounts for students also available!
By popping over to the Iris Prize Film Festival’s website, you can check the full programme of films, events, parties and prices. Although in 2019, Iris Prize Live is available to those who’d rather experience Iris from the comfort of their home or halls. But, if you’d rather be there in person, opening night is just £5 for students and takes place at 7pm at Cineworld Screen 8 on the 8th of October.
With Russel T Davies announcing the winner of the Iris Prize 2019, and the Iris Carnival returning for yet another year, the Iris Prize Film Festival is an unmissable event.
A staple of Welsh film and television appreciation, the 28th BAFTA Cymru Awards take place on the 13th of October this year at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. Celebrating Welsh film and television, the BAFTA Cymru Awards helps to boost the visibility of Welsh filmmaking. With the BBC moving its home this year from Llanishen to Cardiff Central, making home next to Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Cardiff’s support for film and television will be boosted further again this year.
If you’re on the lookout for a celebrity sighting, you can watch the BAFTA Cymru red carpet in person, for free. By arriving at 5pm, you have the chance to watch, take photos and even meet some of the celebrities attending this years’ awards ceremony. If you want a piece of the action, there’s the opportunity for £98 to attend the 2019 BAFTA Cymru Awards. This ticket offers access to the red carpet, a Champagne Taittinger reception, the awards ceremony, after party including food, free drinks and a special photo booth experience. The tickets also include access to the two rooms at the after party, with DJs to keep guests entertained until 2am.
As a way to celebrate Welsh film and television whilst rubbing shoulder with some famous celebs (note: Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen and Matthew Rhys are part of this year’s nominees), it’s definitely worth considering!
But if you’re not keen on spending that much money, there’s always the option of watching the BAFTA Cymru Facebook Live event or watch its Youtube from 6pm for exclusive interviews with attendees.
Welsh film has earned massive support with the recent announcement of Rhys Ifans as the newest ambassador for Into Film Cymru, joining the likes of Matthew Rhys, Celyn Jones and Michael Sheen. Into Film offers resources, CPD training and industry-led events developed and formed for Welsh audiences.
The programme was made in attempt to support schools and colleges in educating and promoting the use of the Welsh language and highlighting the career opportunities available within the Welsh creative sector.
This year, the Into Film Festival will take place between the 6th and the 22nd of November, showcasing films created by young people throughout Wales. Offering a platform for young filmmakers between the ages of 15 and 19, the festival also includes an awards ceremony, and each entry for the 2020 festival (entries open until 6 December 2019) will be entered into a draw to win £1,000 worth of filmmaking equipment.
Welsh filmmaking is earning its voice thanks to programmes like these, beginning the encouragement for filmmaking at a young age.
For young filmmakers from Cardiff, they’re getting the opportunity to gain experiences which would otherwise be hard to attain at such a young age.
Whether you’re interested in the Iris Prize Film Festival, the Into Film Festival, or BAFTA Cymru 2019’s Awards show, there’s plenty for the avid film fan this October here in Cardiff.
CUTV will be on the red carpet at the BAFTA Cymru awards, so be sure to keep an eye out for their coverage of the Awards!
To learn more about the Iris Prize, search iriprize.org