Home

Ffilm Cymru Wales ignites new Beacons shorts

Ffilm Cymru Wales has invested in seven exciting new short films from emerging Welsh filmmakers through their Beacons scheme.

From coming-of-age drama to animated comedy, the short films will prove a crucial step for Welsh talent, working towards making their first features. With funding through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ BFI NETWORK emerging talent strand and vital support from BBC Wales, the successful teams will start production on their shorts this summer.

Congratulating the successful filmmakers, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Head of Creative Business Kimberley Warner says “These awards demonstrate the breadth of talented emerging filmmakers in Wales, some of whom have already had their work acknowledged by Oscar-qualifying film festivals.”

Now in its third iteration, the Beacons short film scheme was designed to support emerging writers, directors and producers from Wales to develop bold and unique voices, explore diverse forms of cinematic storytelling and establish flourishing careers as feature filmmakers. Previous Beacons short Beddgelert, written and directed by Medeni Griffiths, premiered on S4C as part of their Legends season and won Best Short Film at Kinofilm Festival, while Ewan Jones Morris’ This Far Up won Best Short Film at last year’s BAFTA Cymru ceremony and was selected for the prestigious Clermont Ferrand Festival.

Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning for BBC Cymru Wales says “This is an exciting list of projects, and it reflects the depth and variation of talent that exists across Wales. Beacons is important in nurturing and developing the skills of new storytellers and allowing them to work with accomplished producers as they develop their craft. I’m really looking forward to seeing these films make an impact on the world stage.”

The successful shorts are:

A BITTER SKY

Writers: Joseph Ollman & Christopher Spurdens
Director: Joseph Ollman
Producers: Peter Lee Scott & Jennifer Gelin
A coming-of-age drama set amongst the wild terrain of Mid Wales in the nineties. Troubled, tough and incredibly bright Nia begins to unravel the mystery of her absent mother. Joseph Ollman was nominated for Best Director at BFI Future Shorts for his debut short film Throw Me to the Dogs, and his follow-up short Meat on Bones was nominated for a BAFTA Cymru in 2017.

ASHES

Writer-Director: Clare Sturges
Producer: Hannah Thomas, Severn Screen
Following the death of the tree she planted in memory of her lost twin, Laura returns home to the Gower – where she must overcome profound grief and the guilt she shares with her estranged brother Joe, before she can let go of her sister. Clare Sturges is a two-time BAFTA Cymru-winning writer and director whose work has screened at international festivals including Ireland's Foyle Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, and the Women’s International Film Festival in Hollywood.

BAICH

Writer-Director: Mared Swain
Producer: Hannah Thomas, Severn Screen
Desperate for five minutes peace and quiet, a struggling mother leaves her house and screaming children behind, but fantastical visions take her further and further away from home. Mared was shortlisted as Best Director at the Wales Theatre Awards for the original production of A Good Clean Heart in 2015, and her previous short film Gadael Snegi was broadcast on S4C after winning her a Best Director award at the It’s My Shout awards in 2013.

BURIAL

Writer-Directors: Hannah Daniel, Georgia Lee
Producer: Liz Kessler
Following their father’s funeral, identical triplets Sian, Greta and Ani find themselves in the cells of Carmarthen’s police station. As they wade through a mess of family secrets, will the sisters dig up more than they bury today? Hannah Daniel and Georgia Lee partnered in 2016 and their first short, Destination, was winner of Best Original Screenplay at Catfish Shorts 2017, and Official Selection at Underwire, Sydney’s WMAFF and Wales International Film Festival.

CLOCKWORK

Writer-Director: Rhiannon Evans
A cuckoo clock town is run to a strict schedule with little time for fun in this animated short. When the townsfolk rebel against the cuckoo in charge, they discover the truth about their little town, and find out what really makes them tick. Rhiannon Evans' previous animated films have played worldwide at festivals, winning multiple awards, a Vimeo Staff Pick and a Short of the Week premiere.

DIRT ASH MEAT

Writer-Director: Sion Thomas
In the aftermath of a foot and mouth outbreak on their farm, a family of Welsh hill farmers are consumed by bitterness and paranoia. Adapted from 'White Ravens' by Owen Sheers. Sion Thomas’ first fiction short Two Player Games was broadcast on the BBC and won the It's My Shout People's Choice Award, and his second, Stiff Punch, is currently starting its festival run.

UNTITLED - TINA PASOTRA PROJECT

Writer-Director: Tina Pasotra
Producer: Alice Lusher
Rupi longs for a life of choice, battling inner conflict and cultural heritage, she sacrifices all that she has ever known and escapes to Wales with her two young daughters. Tina is an accomplished multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker, whose latest Channel Four / Random Acts film But Where Are You From? has screened across the UK and India. She is currently the emerging director on Sisters, National Theatre Wales’ international collaboration with Junoon Theatre Mumbai.