ONES TO WATCH: FILM | FEATURE
Ones To Watch: Film
Compiled by Fedor Tot
Having recently programmed a number of films at Penarth Pier Pavilion, Snowcat Cinema are a pop-up cinema aiming to proselytise for cult classics and the undiscovered gems out there. Their Dec 5th screening of Oxide Ghosts: The Brass Eye Tapes, a documentary on Chris Morris’ legendary satire including outtakes from the series, was a taste of things to come: a one-off event in an unusual place that aims to imbue movie-going with the excitement and reverence that often comes from gigs or theatre.
Wow Women’s Film Club
Community cinemas are on the rise, offering a people-run alternative to the more passive interaction between audience and cinema so often found in the multiplexes. Of these, the WOW Women’s Film Club, a long-term project set up by Rabab Ghazoul, is perhaps the most interesting and most radical. With the aim of making a community-centred cinema that’s open and accessible to marginalised people in the cities (especially given the often-prohibitive prices one finds at mainstream cinemas), their programming choices – Oscar-nominated Lion sits alongside I Am Not Your Negro, the acclaimed documentary about American writer James Baldwin – speak to a desire to utilise cinema’s capacity to provoke discussion and debate.
My Grandfather the Spy
One of the more unique documentary offerings to come out of Wales over the past few years will hopefully be My Grandfather the Spy, directed by Martin Scanlan and BAFTA Cymru-winner Dave Evans. Worldwide rights have already been secured for the as-yet unfinished film, which, considering the stranger-than-fiction story, is not too surprising. The film will tell the story of Evans’ grandfather, and his frequent trips to Bulgaria during the height of the Cold War, which he now believes were for something more than merely “business”. Though one might have a fair idea from the title what these trips were about, we’ll have to wait until the finished film to find out for sure what happened.
Jack Parry-Jones won the BAFTA Cymru award for Best Actor in 2017, thanks to his role in the sleeper hit Moon Dogs, about two friends falling in love with the same girl on a trip across Scotland and now looks set for plenty more exciting things in 2018. Alongside his recent starring turn on S4C’s Bang, here is an immensely promising actor, with a cutting presence and versatility. Given the right projects, he can easily flourish towards grander things.
The Zambian-born Welsh-raised director has had a truly breakthrough 2017. Her debut feature, I Am Not a Witch opened to rapturous critical acclaim in the UK after premiering in Cannes, the world’s biggest film festival (not something that happens often to Welsh directors, nor for that matter, Zambian ones either). That the film found an audience at all considering the bleak subject matter of the film – a young girl in Zambia is accused of witchcraft and forced into a labour camp full of fellow accused witches – speaks to Nyoni’s talent in guiding her camera. Whatever she finds herself doing next, the film world will await with baited breath.