WOW Wales One World Film Festival
From Thursday 21st March 2019
This is WOW Film Festival’s 18th journey of discovery through the riches of world cinema, bringing an eclectic, colourful and eye-opening view of our world to film fans around Wales.
As ever WOW brings to Wales the very best films that have won major awards at festivals worldwide, such as Dead Pigs (Sundance World Cinema Special Jury Prize), Aga (Best Director, Eurasian Film Festival), Birds of Passage (Honourable Mention Best Film London Film Festival), Burning (Cannes Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize), The Dead and the Others (Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival) and Three Faces (Co-Winner Best Screenplay Cannes Film Festival 2018).
“We’re immensely proud of this year’s festival programme” says David Gillam of WOW Film Festival who happens to be the UK’s longest serving film festival director. “WOW connects audiences in rural Wales to trends happening around the world. Sparking conversations around what we have in common is one of the reasons that WOW Film Festival is more committed than ever to giving more people and places around Wales access to world cinema.” This global-rural theme runs throughout the WOW Film Festival programme in 2019.
Some of rural Wales’s most socially isolated people are actively leading the development of AberCon, a comicon style anime event being hosted by the festival at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Saturday 23rd March. This ground-breaking new initiative is a partnership with Mencap Ceredigion, a grass-roots group who support people with learning disabilities, autism and brain injury. Animation is a brilliant way for autistic adults and children to improve communication skills, and over the course of the winter WOW Film Festival has been working with a group of Mencap Ceredigion members to create their own animations. AberCon will showcase their work alongside relaxed, accessible screenings of stunning Japanese animes.
WOW Film Festival’s sister project the WOW Women’s Film Club makes the cinema accessible to marginalised women from black and minority ethnic, refugee and asylum seeking communities in South Wales. On the morning of Tuesday 26th March in Newport (Gwent) the WOW Women’s Film Club will be hosting producer Flore Cosquer at the Wales premiere of the documentary Freedom Fields about the Libyan national women’s football team. Cosquer will be introducing her film in Aberystwyth that evening too.
WOW has a strong track record of showcasing films directed or written by women, who are still woefully underrepresented in top roles in the mainstream film industry. Margherita Pisano will join co-director Gaetano Crivano at the UK Premiere of En Route, their documentary about African migrants in rural Sardinia. Such ‘F-Rated films’ make up half of WOW programme in 2019 and include films such as Cathy Yen’s Dead Pigs, a smart, vibrant comedy set in Shanghai, and Dominga Sotomayor’s Too Late to Die Young, a sensuous coming-of-age tale that woozily evokes a Chilean summer after the fall of the Pinochet dictatorship.
Bringing films from South America, North Africa, Siberia, Iceland, Iran, Korea, China and Japan to Wales, WOW Film Festival takes place at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from Thursday 21st – Thursday 28th March before travelling to Swansea, Newport (Gwent), Fishguard, Cardigan, Narberth, Mold and Oswestry.
See www.wowfilmfestival.com for details of the full programme.
WOW Film Festival is funded by Film Hub for Wales and Ffilm Cymru Wales.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre: Thursday 21st – Thursday 28th March
The Riverfront, Newport: Tuesday 26th March
Freedom Fields Theatr Clwyd, Mold: Tuesday 26 March – Tuesday 9 April
Kinokulture, Oswestry: Wednesday 27 March – Thursday 4 April
Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard: Saturday 30 March
Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan: Sunday 7 April
Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea: Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th April
Queen’s Hall, Narberth: Sunday 14 April
The Courtyard, Hereford: Monday 29th April – Monday 13th May