By Georgia Evans
The sense of pride, accomplishment and patriotism amongst the audience was overpowering as the auditorium at St David’s hall began to fill to the sound of Tenovus Cancer Care Choir’s rendition of Mr Blue Skies.
Over the past seventeen years, the It’s My Shout training scheme has brought out the best talent South Wales has to offer in the television and film industry. Originating in Pencoed, Roger Burnell sought to give young people of the Bridgend Youth Theatre the opportunity to create a series of short films. It has gone from strength to strength, the success of those featured in previous years a testimony to the success of the scheme itself. Today, it is supported by BBC Wales, S4C, Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales.
Filtering through over 1,800 applications, the It’s My Shout scheme aims to kick start the career’s of young creatives in front of and behind the camera.
I was feeling completely out of my depth simply sitting amongst the suited and booted, and that was before Stella’s Steve Speirs (Big Al) kindly informed me that our seats had been double booked. Several Welsh credits to the film and media industry showed their support for the fresh meat of the industry, including Melanie Walters (Gavin and Stacey’s Gwen) and Dame Sian Phillips.
Benjamin Jenkins welcomed the audience with an introduction to the great work of It’s My Shout, with which he is closely involved having produced three of the short films himself, and performances of Luck be a Lady Tonight and Don’t Rain on My Parade. The evening was narrated with a mixture of English, Welsh and sign language.
The first film, See Me Live, introducing the winner of the ‘Best Actress’ award Grace Thomas, explored dystopian themes forewarned in George Orwell’s 1984, featuring a world in which constant technology manipulates and controls the lives of civilians. The standard was set for the evening – it is suffice to say that the films that followed upheld the quality of sound, costume, script, filming and acting set by See Me Live.
Two of the eight films were featured in the medium of Welsh; including the thrilling ‘Nyrs Smith’ which explored the narrative of a deranged Widow and hopeful thief, and ‘Paid Troi Nol’ in which protagonist Rebecca struggles to humanize her Zombie parents.
For me personally, the pinnacle of the evening was the premier of ‘Love Therapy’, co-written by Amy Stacy and Stella’s Karen Paullada. Featuring comedy similar to that of Stella, Stacy and Paullada wrote and starred in a heart-warming, side-splitting tale that highlights the fragility and unpredictability of love. It was no surprise that the audience erupted at it’s rightful receipt of the Best Film 2018 award, as chosen by the expert panel.
‘Sherlock Jones’ was awarded the People’s Choice award for it’s brilliant comedy and emphasis on true friendship.
‘Dad’, based on a true story that delved into a fragile father and son relationship featured beautiful choreography and was especially receiving of the ‘Best Camera’ award.
‘Edgar’s Hair’ written by Liam Kelly, was honoured ‘Best Script’ out of the 260 submitted and met with laughter. The acting that gained Aditi Bhor the title of Best Supporting Actress was mirrored throughout ‘That’s what I ‘Eared’ by her fellow co-stars.
The eight fantastic titles will be available on BBC iPlayer from Monday the 10th of September for 30 days.