As the 2017 National Eisteddfod draws to a close on Saturday 12 August, we’re pleased to say that the second iteration of the Sinemaes cinema tipi has been even more successful than in the inaugural year in 2016.
Attendances at the 47 screenings and events and those enjoying popcorn and finding out more about the organisations, venues and festivals that have come together to create the Sinemaes experiences have increased by 20% compared to 2016.
Highlights of the week of activities has included workshops for children; multiple screenings of newly digitised archive films from the 1920-1960s; premieres of television programmes which will air later this year with Q&A sessions with the creatives behind the scenes. The week culminated in a live band perfoming to a collection of archive pop videos and an impromptu performance as the tipi was dismantled.
A number of events have been full to capacity with audiences standing in the door straining to view the screen, prompting us to consider larger venues for the now popular programme for future Eisteddfods.
By being able to offer access to 53 guest speakers, many of whom had a local Anglesey connection – from animators to director and actors, the audiences have also been encouraged to find out more about the work being created in Welsh for domestic and international film and television and consider careers in the growing sector.
Other noted highlights have included tribute screenings – a reunion of the Miri Mawr 1970’s cult children’s programme actors and writers which celebrated the work of the Anglesey-born producer Peter Elias Jones; a screening of Bride of War with a Q&A with the film’s lead actor Huw Garmon which paid tribute to director/producer Peter Edwards and a special screening of 20 year old film Branwen, which was introduced by actress Morfudd Hughes who spoke of the close working relationship she had with the film’s co-lead JO Roberts, also from Anglesey.
Those who have not been able to attend the events will now be able to watch a selection of streams from the events on the Sinemaes Facebook page (though please note these are in Welsh) and can see the images from the week here.
For the first time this year, supported by the Arts Council of Wales, the streams and a series of fringe events allowed access to the talented creatives who engaged with Sinemaes for those who were not attending the Eisteddfod. These events have included a sell out screening of recent Welsh film Their Finest and a Q&A with Stephen Woolley; a Career Clever workshop with the BAFTA-winning producer – both held at the Ucheldre Arts Centre in Holyhead; a special archive screening at Oriel Mon in Llangefni and an acting for the screen workshop for young actors from Llangefni with Aneirin Hughes (Hinterland / Y Gwyll).
Feedback from those who attended events, from the youngest of 4 to the eldest at 89 was universally positive about the idea of having a cinema on the Eisteddfod Maes – and a chance to enjoy older feature films to new short films in a cosy and welcoming environment.
Sinemaes is coordinated by BAFTA Cymru on behalf of the following partnership: