International Women's Day

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, take a look at just some of the Welsh women that are forging film careers, with support from Ffilm Cymru Wales.

"There's no shortage of talented women working in the Welsh film sector,” says Head of Creative Business Kimberley Warner, “and we're proud to have played a part in helping to bring that talent to light."

Rungano Nyoni

Rungano Nyoni, the BAFTA-winning writer-director of I Am Not a Witch, was born in Zambia and raised in Wales. Before making her feature debut she made several short films and was supported from an early stage by Ffilm Cymru Wales through our emerging talent fund.

A present-day African drama about beliefs in witchcraft, I Am Not a Witch revolves around a nine-year-old girl – Shula - who is accused of being a witch. As she navigates through her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom. Following its world premiere in Cannes, the film recently won the Outstanding Debut award at this year’s BAFTAs, and last year won three British Independent Film Awards including Best Director, and Best Breakthrough Producer for Emily Morgan.





Catherine Linstrum

Writer-director Catherine Linstrum is currently in pre-production on her debut feature film Nuclear. Produced through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme, the supernatural thriller was written by Linstrum with David John Newman, and is being produced by Stella Nwimo. In 2015 Linstrum wrote and directed short film Things that Fall from the Sky, which starred Ophelia Lovibond and was produced through Ffilm Cymru Wales and BFI NETWORK’s Beacons scheme.





Prano Bailey-Bond

Aberystwyth’s scream queen Prano Bailey-Bond is also in production on her debut feature with producer Helen Jones. Censor is an 80s-set horror flick that sees film censor Enid return to her childhood home to solve the mystery of a past trauma. Bailey-Bond has written and directed a clutch of award-winning horror shorts, most recently Shortcut, which was produced through Film4's Fright Bites series, and she was selected for Berlinale Talents at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. 




Catryn Ramasut

Producer Catryn Ramasut’s ie ie Productions have utilised Company Support funding from Ffilm Cymru Wales to develop a diverse and female-driven slate of film and television projects. Following her music documentaries Separado! and American Interior with Gruff Rhys, Ramasut produced Daisy Asquith’s BFI archive documentary Queerama, which chronicled a century of gay rights. Her new Welsh-language short film Elen, about a girl with epilepsy and a vivid imagination, recently premiered at TIFF Kids and will be broadcast soon on S4C.

Wales is rich with female filmmaking talent, and Ffilm Cymru Wales is proud to nurture the next generation of emerging directors, including Medeni Griffiths, director of Welsh-language short film Beddgelert, and Carys Lewis, who is currently developing her debut feature How Black Mothers Say I Love You following a pair of Ffilm Cymru Wales-supported shorts.

SHIFFT: Female Filmmakers

Carys has also founded the SHIFFT Female Filmmakers collective with producer Lisa Davies; the organisation supports women working across all disciplines of film and television in Wales. Their first event comprised practical workshops, panel discussions, keynote speakers, one-on-one coaching sessions and a networking event, providing an opportunity for participants to gather together and develop new skills while connecting and collaborating with peers and mentors. You can connect with the SHIFFT: Female Filmmakers group on Facebook here.

Inspiring Learning

Ffilm Cymru Wales’ education funding is also empowering women with opportunities to tell their own stories.

One of the latest projects is a collaboration between Griot Creative and Bawso - a voluntary organisation working across Wales to provide specialist services to victims and BAME people affected, by or at risk of, domestic and honour-based violence, Female Genital Mutilation, and forced marriage. This project will run film education workshops in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham for victims of human trafficking and slavery, offering them a chance to gain new skills and experiences.

Meanwhile, Winding Snake Productions, led by Amy Morris, are exploring the relationship between rangoli folk art and women's friendships in India, and introducing the practice to women and girls in Wales. The team are working with female artists in both India and Wales, and Dr Beena Jain of Rajasthan University and Rajni Kiran-Jha are collaborating with the Welsh animation studio to create animated rangoli designs.