Report by Charlotte Awstwick
Self-shooting an anthropological film in 40 degree heat, with a minimal budget, a language barrier and being eaten alive by red ants whilst trying to hack your way through the jungle with a machete was an interesting experience and a very steep learning curve.
But one I wouldn’t change for the world!
My expedition to create my MA Dissertation film to Belize was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did I self – develop as a filmmaker and discover that I had a natural gift for cinematography, but I also developed as a person. I saw and experienced events that some people can only dream about. I bathed in a crystal clear river and even saw a woman plucking and cleaning a chicken in it.
The actual filmmaking was somewhat complicated. Forgot the ease of working on a drama set with people at your beck and call.
Back in the editing room, I struggled. The software was new to me and although I could see the bigger picture, I had problems with tiny details and wished now that I had paid a professional sound editor to help me out.
My Masters course was a 50/50 spilt between Social Anthropology and Filmmaking.
I managed to successfully fundraise sufficient finance to complete my dissertation via external sources. I am eternally grateful to the Welsh Broadcasting Trust without whom it would not have been possible to complete my fieldwork.
Its donation was the equivalent of some 2021 Belizean dollars, which was more than some of the indigenous population can earn in a year.
So to the Welsh Broadcasting Trust, I say thank you for your support.
Report : Deborah Perkin
Flying into San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge was a marvellous experience, as I headed for the United Nations Association Film Festival. I would not have been crossing the Atlantic without the help of the Welsh Broadcasting Trust who provided me with a travel grant to attend this prestigious festival.
I was there to promote my first cinema documentary Bastards. It follows the battle of one illiterate young woman trying to make a good life for her illegitimate child. The stakes are high because the woman lives in Morocco, a Muslim country where sex outside marriage is illegal.
The networking was marvellous, with many contacts made for potential future projects. In terms of distributing the film in America, it was excellent to meet so many academics from the University of Stanford, where the festival was being held. The head of the Middle East department vowed to ensure that Stanford buys my film for their library, and this will be a great sale to quote to other universities around the US, where my film is being promoted by Icarus Films.
Course attendee: Gabriella Lewis
On my return from the Cannes Film Festival, I would like to once again extend my gratitude to the Welsh Broadcasting Trust for your financial support.
My internship experience with Paramount Pictures was extremely enriching and has greatly assisted to my growth as a film entrepreneur
Course attendee: Robert Gwyn Davin
The introduction to directing at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was a very good way of dipping your toes into the world of directing theatre, within the confines of a drama college. There were 16 of us in the class. The tutor who took the course is an actress herself, who has gone on to direct. There were two classes a week, Mon and Wed eves, 7 till 9.30.
I loved the start of it, the outlining of purpose, and setting the boundaries, writing a contract of responsibilities within the class and towards ones classmates. I felt very safe and protective to make mistakes, a place to learn. Most had not directed before but there were one or two who had, so one had to make allowances that they knew more than the rest of us.
There were two occasions where we directed speeches/monologues using students from other courses of the same length of time, that were running in conjunction i.e. foreign language students learning to act in English.
The use of games and leading the class in warm ups at the start of each class was a good, though scary, learning experience.
Central have a fantastic library there as well, state of the art equipment and great rehearsal spaces. If one is going to study drama in any way, I can think of no better place to go.
Congratulations to Clare Sturges on being awarded the 2015 BAFTA Cymru Breakthrough Award.
Clare is one of the many talented individuals the Welsh Broadcasting Trust has supported with its grants.
Clare is the first female director to win this award and did so with her documentary, Sexwork, Love & Mr Right. The documentary is about an Amsterdam red-light district sexworker who falls in love with a customer. The documentary has already aired on ABC2 in Australia and screened at the Los Angeles International Women’s festival last year.