Feature film projects from three teams of burgeoning Welsh talent have been selected to progress into production through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme.
Congratulating the selected teams, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Adam Partridge noted that “choosing just three films from such a high quality crop of projects was a difficult decision, but those we’ve selected reflect the distinctive and diverse voices and visions that talent from Wales has to offer. We’re excited to see how all the filmmakers involved will progress along the bright paths ahead of them.”
Nuclear is a supernatural thriller and directorial feature debut from writer-director Catherine Linstrum. In a small village under the shadow of a nuclear power station, a toxic family with a combustible past must face the ghosts that threaten their future. Linstrum, whose writing credits include Dreaming of Joseph Lees and California Dreamin’, has co-written the script with David John Newman, while Stella Nwimo will produce. The three had previously collaborated on the short film Things That Fall from the Sky, starring Ophelia Lovibond and Steve Waddington, through BFI NETWORK Wales’ Beacons scheme.
Cadi (previously Gwrach) is a contemporary Welsh-language horror, set in the beautiful yet brutal landscape of Snowdonia, about a young woman returning home under mysterious circumstances. Produced by Roger Williams of Welsh production company Joio, written by Siwan Jones and directed by Lee Haven Jones, Cadi will be the feature film debut of this team, which has extensive experience in Welsh language television, including Alys, Tir, and 35 Diwrnod.
The Toll is a darkly-comic thriller about a lone toll-booth operator with a past that is fast catching up with him. The film is written by Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab alumnus Matt Redd and will be directed by BAFTA Cymru nominated Ryan Hooper. Producer Vaughan Sivell (Third Star) is the founder of Western Edge Pictures, whose recent credits include Alice Lowe’s critically-acclaimed horror Prevenge.
The three projects will now start pre-production, with principal photography due to commence later this year.
The second iteration of Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme will produce three films from emerging Welsh filmmakers with bold and unique voices, showcasing creative appeal, commercial potential and market focus. It is financed through a partnership with the BFI, using National Lottery funding, and S4C, with additional support from Fields Park Media Partners and Warner Music Supervision.
Ten teams of Welsh writers, directors and producers were shortlisted for the feature film scheme in December 2016, before embarking on a period of intensive development and training. Supported by Creative Skillset, the training explored innovative distribution models, audience development, environmental sustainability, and maximising the value of intellectual property through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Magnifier approach. The filmmakers were also connected with expert mentors including Billy O’Brien (I Am Not a Serial Killer), Dan Mazer (Borat, Brüno), and Samantha Taylor (Tom of Finland, Return to Montauk).
BFI Senior Production and Development Executive, Mary Burke, comments “The BFI’s mission to support talent from across the whole of the UK is only possible through effective partnerships, and we are delighted to work with Ffilm Cymru Wales to back these three distinctive filmmaking voices. Cinematic backs filmmakers at a critical point of their careers and we are confident the teams behind these three exciting projects will flourish.”
Amanda Rees, S4C Creative Content Director adds: "It's fantastic that talented writers and producers have the opportunity to nurture and develop their skills with the support of Cinematic, and S4C are very proud to be a part of it once again. We have already been treated to award-winning high-quality feature-length films, and the hopes are high for the next three stories to come through the process."
Previous films produced through Cinematic comprise Craig Roberts’ directorial debut Just Jim, Euros Lyn’s award-winning adaptation of Fflur Dafydd’s Welsh-language novel Y Llyfrgell / The Library Suicides, and Chris Crow’s historical chiller The Lighthouse.