Summary

-          It is evident that the Welsh Government has robust policies in place to support the film and major television production sector in Wales.

-          Wales has access to a wealth of excellent industry experts and sector leaders. Welsh Government could showcase and celebrate these further to help enhance its own objectives but also the aims of other organisations, such as Into Film. 

-          Information and data linked to skills shortages within the sector could be used to influence curriculum provision and increase people’s understanding of the diversity of the sector, thus leading to more skilled individuals working in the sector in the future. In addition to this, sharing such intelligence could shape and influence the development of other sectors where we can see transfer of skills, for example; skills used for VR/AR development can be relevant and useful within other sectors, not just screen industries but military, health care, fashion and sport.

-          Film education has a central role to play in ensuring the sustainability of the screen industries in Wales by nurturing both the future workforce and the future audience.  It has an equally central role to play in the educational, cultural and personal development of children and young people.  Into Film Cymru delivers an array of activities that help to achieve those outcomes, and complement and support a number of Welsh Government policies; including those relating to the film sector; Welsh language; education and culture. However, there’s potential to expand and strengthen these links further. 

-          There are several national organisations working hard to support and deliver Welsh Government’s vision for the film sector in Wales. We are all offering something slightly different, resulting in quite a robust film sector; however, a more coherent and aligned strategic approach is required to help develop the ‘ideal’ landscape for the industry in Wales.

Background information: Into Film

Into Film is a charitable organisation that works across the UK, with a mission to put film at the heart of children and young people’s educational, cultural and personal development. Its principal funding support comes from the BFI (through the National Lottery in the form of a five-year agreement from 2017-22).  Further support comes from Northern Ireland Screen and Cinema First (an industry body representing exhibitors and distributors).

Our UK-wide programme, available free to state schools and other relevant youth settings, seeks to provide inspirational opportunities that fully realise the educational, cultural and social power of film in children and young people’s development. The programme includes:

·         Into Film Clubs – in school and out-of-school settings, clubs provide rich and varied opportunities to watch, discuss, review and make films

·         Resources – high quality learning outcome-focused materials to enable teachers to embed film across a range of subjects and curriculum areas

·         Continuing professional development – training and support for teachers to develop their skills to teach in, through and about film

·         Into Film Festival – the largest youth film festival in the world, comprising screenings, discussions, filmmaking workshops and Q&As

·         Get into Film (GiF) – hosted on YouTube, the channel provides a wealth of vibrant film-related content including star-studded interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and industry insights. GiF’s topical and exciting targeted content for young people also supports audience development and raising careers awareness in that age group. It currently has over 20,000 subscribers.

 

 

 

Some key Into Film outputs – 2017/18

• Into Film Clubs – 9,270

• Educators trained – 4,813

• Into Film Festival bookings – 411,466

 

Into Film’s Careers Strategy

The film industry is one of the UK’s great strengths. As one of the sectors that make up the creative industries, it has over recent years demonstrated that it makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy, but it is beginning to show strains flowing from an acute skills shortage. 

To support the sector wide strategy to develop a future workforce, Into Film will be developing a careers strategy that will focus on the following areas:

 

This will result in supporting educators and careers advisors and thus children and young people to develop their awareness of film industry career opportunities, the skills required by the industry, the routes into the industry and the relevance of particular subjects to various roles. In addition to this, young people will get access to careers education, information and guidance from informed educators and will therefore be better placed to map out next steps within their career pathways

Into Film’s impact

On educational and academic attainment

Into Film champions the cultural value of film, thus all areas of our programme reflect this, including our approach to raising educational and academic attainment. Driven by the desire to see our programme provide real and effective results in schools across the UK, Into Film has developed and delivered tailored initiatives to support engaging learning through and about film. Evidence gathered via independent evaluation of projects such as the Media Literacy Project in Wales, Paul Hamlyn ‘Full STEAM Ahead’ initiative in Northern Ireland and Bradford Literacy programme illustrates clearly how film supports learning in a wide range of curriculum areas; it has a unique ability to bring a subject to life and facilitate deeper, more engaged learning. Teachers have seen significant progress in pupils' writing and reading scores, improvement in pupils’ problem-solving, collaboration skills and self-confidence, group work, creativity and sharing ideas, engagement of pupils from lower and middle ability levels and pupils' enhanced ability to express themselves.   In our extracurricular film clubs 88% of club leaders said that the Into Film programme had benefited the study of English, 80% said it enhanced the study of literacy and 97% said that it increased their members enjoyment of school. 

 

On cultural and audience development

Recent research (Into Film Panel and Control Research waves 1 to 5, Childwise (2016-17) shows that children and young people involved in the Into Film programme develop a closer relationship with film and cinema than those who don’t. Film club members watch 10 more films a year than non-members and are twice as likely to visit the cinema once a week, film club leaders report that their clubs have motivated their members to go to the cinema. Children and young people who attend the Into Film Festival also develop a passion for cinema with 74% saying it has made them more likely to go to the cinema and 72% saying it has inspired them to watch more films. The Into Film programme clearly fosters a positive attitude towards the film industry, with film club members being twice as likely to state ‘I respect the British Film industry’ than non-members.

Overall Into Film offers unparalleled opportunities for children and young people to engage with film which can only help to support film and associated industries both now and as these young people become adults.

 

Background information: Into Film Cymru

Our programme in Wales (delivered under the Into Film Cymru brand) aims to support and complement key national initiatives, and is tailored to meet the needs and priorities of the Welsh educational and creative sectors.  Working with partners such as Film Hub Wales, BAFTA Cymru, Ffilm Cymru Wales and S4C, the Into Film Cymru team delivers its programme throughout the nation, inspiring teachers through its innovative training provision, delivering resources to schools and clubs, organising industry-led activities and events, and developing young people's interest in working within the creative sector in Wales. 

Our activities in Wales reflect our commitment to supporting Welsh Government to address some of its agendas around raising literacy attainment, closing the gap, developing digital literacy skills and promoting the use of the Welsh language.

 

Some key into Film Cymru outputs- 2017/18

Into Film Clubs- 417

417 is the number of Welsh clubs that confirmed that they were actively engaged with us in 2017/18. However, Into Film Cymru has engaged with up to 50% of Welsh schools via our events, CPD and club activity.

Educators trained-430

Into Film Festival bookings-19,996

 

At Into Film, we also believe that learning film's language and discovering its repertoire should be an entitlement for all young people: to enable them to understand how meaning is made and stories are told; to develop their awareness of film's central place in our cultural history and heritage; to encourage them to become informed, curious audiences and, through acquiring creative and practical filmmaking skills, to be able to tell their own stories and become active participants in the making of the culture of the future. This is why Into Film Cymru’s workaims to complements Professor Donaldson’s objective to support young people in becoming capable, creative and confident students. These knowledgeable, ambitious and well-rounded young citizens can go on to contribute to a thriving, bilingual, creative and digital society. Into Film Cymru produces resources tailored to specifically support Welsh schools; they include resources that, for example, provide guidance on how to make films on the legends of Wales, a digital literacy resource linked to the Digital Competence Framework (implemented in all Welsh schools) and the popular Wales on Film resource, celebrating the Welsh film industry. In addition to this, the Into Film Cymru team produce Welsh-language versions of many of Into Film’s most popular resources and promote all these via Welsh Government’s HWB platform to schools, reaching up to 14,437 downloads on HWB up to April 2018.

Into Film Cymru is currently working closely with the Welsh Government on the development of its ‘Expressive Arts’ area of learning within the new curriculum for Wales and commends the Welsh Government’s innovative approach to introducing learning through and about film within this new Area of Learning. As part of this consultation, Into Film has highlighted the need to invest time and funding to support teacher training in film literacy and filmmaking to help ensure an effective and successful implementation of the new curriculum within Welsh schools over the next few years.

Our ethos, via our careers and outreach strategy in Wales, is to raise awareness of the opportunities available within the film and wider screen industries by providing cultural experiences to those who may not otherwise have the chance to take part in such activities, to equip them with transferable skills and develop the confidence they need to reach their potential. One in three children in Wales live in poverty and we work hard to try and break down barriers into the industry.  Into Film Cymru aims to work closely with partners within the sector to coordinate events to promote the opportunities available and showcase the impact of the sector on the Welsh economy. Over the last 12 months, some of the highlights include: Rhys Ifans spoke to 200 young people about his career and experiences, film production manager Andrew Gwyn Davies visited an FE college in Cardiff, screenwriter Rhydian Brook hosted a session in Newport and director Sophie Francis talked about her work with 16-19 year olds in Swansea. During the summer term, we’ll be running an open evening for teachers at GloWorks, a foley artist will be visiting a school in Cardiff, a production designer attending 3 schools in the Rhondda and an animator running a workshop in Conwy. In addition to this we will be holding events and workshops using archive film, running key initiatives aimed at 16-19 year olds and running screenings events at Film Hub Wales venues. 

Into Film Cymru has 16 Youth Advisory Council members from all areas of Wales, 20 teaching Ambassadors and 3 Ambassadors; Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys and Celyn Jones, all of which support our programme by providing advice, guidance, ideas and help with our advocacy work.  Year 5 teacher, Mr Thomas-Williams wrote an article about his experience in using film to develop literacy and digital literacy skills for the Western Mail last September (see appendix 1) and actor Matthew Rhys’ opinion piece about the future of the film industry appeared in the Western Mail in April 2018 (see appendix 2).

 

Welsh Government’s policy aims for funding film and major television production in Wales and transparency as to why and how decisions are made in this area;

  1. Into Film supports Welsh Government’s policy aims for funding film and major television in Wales and commends the Welsh Government (and BFI) for its diverse range of funding to support and facilitate all aspects and stages of the film value chain; from the development process to distribution and exhibition. Providing sufficient funding to those who are yet to break into the industry is essential to help secure the future of the industry.   
  2. At Into Film we would welcome further opportunities to cross-promote the various funding opportunities available so we can sign-post those who are at the top end of our age range (18/19 years old) to this information and ensure they continue to develop their ideas and skills post-school/college.
  3. Into Film would also welcome the opportunity to maximise opportunities linked to these Welsh Government funded projects by organising set visits/industry-led activities to help inspire the next generation of Welsh filmmakers and enhance their understanding and appreciation of the diverse range of productions produced in Wales.
  4. Into Film would benefit from gaining a greater insight into the funding decision-making process. Such decisions could influence our careers strategy in Wales; for example, if decisions are made based on sector skills gaps we would be able to match our delivery to complement these strategic aims, which in turn could also influence and shape the educational provision of film within the new curriculum of Wales i.e. VFX developments and promoting the links of VFX to STEM subjects at school level (e.g. getting science teachers to embrace learning through film).

 

Economic impact of the support given to develop the film and television industries in Wales

1.   Into Film welcomes the fact that Welsh Government has a strategic approach to support and expand the film industry in all regions of Wales.

2.   South East Wales is a region that is increasingly developing into a creative hub; however, it would be useful and beneficial to know of any significant sub-sector hubs or key regional sector developments. This would help organisations such as Into Film act as a bridge between local employers and schools/colleges within regions.

3.   Into Film would suggest taking advantage of the opportunities that arise from this inquiry to showcase the diversity of jobs within the creative sector in Wales and the wide range of growing sub-sectors in Wales.

4.   A recent NESTA report, Creative Nation, showed that the creative industries have “a good deal of potential to further support employment growth and entrepreneurialism right across the UK. The sector has expanded faster than others in most local economies”. Welsh Government should use such evidence and any other significant evidence that highlights the economic impact of the creative sector on the economy of Wales to help raise the profile of the creative industries in Wales.

 

Cultural impact, including the Welsh language

  1. Film should be a cultural entitlement for all children and young people, and through exploring and building an appreciation of film via the Into Film programme, young people become more curious audiences and develop an appetite for watching and making films. Into Film club members watch 10 more films over the course of a year than non-members and film club members are twice as likely as non-members to visit the cinema once a week. Into Film also fosters a positive attitude towards the film industry; with film club members twice as likely to strongly agree with the statement ‘I respect the British Film Industry’ compared to non-members. Into Film works closely with venues and organisations throughout Wales via support from Film Hub Wales to provide opportunities for young people to access their local cinemas and watch films outside of school.  92% of our young club members agreed that the Into Film programme enhances access to culture.
  2. Into Film Cymru has a produced film guides for Welsh films and Wales on Film and Legends of Wales resources which are aimed at showcasing the diverse range of films produced in Wales and help teachers utilise film for teaching aspects of the current Welsh curriculum. In addition to this, Into Film run workshops and events to help young people access archive films and learn about their area, history and heritage via archive films. Into Film works closely with the National Screen and Sound Archive on its archive film projects and is focusing work on two themes in 2018/19: the ‘Coast/Sea’ to complement the Welsh Government’s ‘Year of the Sea’ activities and ANIM18 to coincide with Film Hub Wales’ celebrations around a of 100 years of animation.

In addition to this we have delivered film archive projects such as The Greatest Generation. The project saw 7-11 year-olds interview members of the wartime generation and combining their footage with archive material, to produce short documentaries.

  1. Wales has produced and continues to produce excellent Welsh-language film content and Into Film Cymru works closely with the production companies and organisations involved (Boom Cymru, Ffilm Cymru Wales) to promote and celebrate this content via its film catalogue and industry-led events. Some Into Film members have even noted that they would never have had access to Welsh-medium content if they were not members of their Into Film clubs (at Welsh-medium and non-Welsh-medium schools). Into Film would welcome further opportunities to celebrate and showcase Welsh-language content and work with the talent involved to help inspire its young audiences further, thus supporting Welsh Government’s agenda of reaching 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.
  2. Into Film Cymru encourages and supports young people to make their own films, as part of classroom activity or outside of the classroom, and provides filmmaking guides in both Welsh and English to help them structure and plan their films appropriately. Young people can also share their films with Into Film and submit them into a monthly Film of the Month competition or the Into Film Awards. Schools and youth groups all over Wales make films on a regular basis and we’re currently in the process of making three short films with three schools in Cardiff on the title of ‘Fy Nghaerdydd’ (My Cardiff) which is funded by the Welsh Broadcasting Trust.  Through making their own films, young people in Wales can be inspired to recognise their potential and have the confidence to tell their own stories so the rest of the world can one day hear them.

In addition to this, making films through the medium of Welsh provides opportunities for young people to use Welsh in an informal setting, thus leading to greater confidence in collaborating and communicating in Welsh. Into Film Cymru would welcome further opportunities to explore the benefits of interactive filmmaking activities on the normalisation of the Welsh language and believes this could contribute to Welsh Government’s Welsh language agenda.

  1. In 2016, BAFTA Cymru in partnership with other national organisations, including

Into Film Cymru launched ‘Sinemaes’ -  a unique film-themed space at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, aimed at celebrating the Welsh film sector. Sinemaes will be at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff in August 2018 and has grown in popularity and appeal since it launched at Abergavenny. BAFTA Cymru with support from Into Film Cymru and Film Hub Wales will also be introducing ‘Cinemor’ at Barry Island in July 2018, thus taking Welsh film and celebrating Welsh content to new audiences and regions of Wales.

 

Value for money

  1. Into Film Cymru works with some of the national organisations involved in the screen industries in Wales to provide opportunities linked to Welsh-based productions; such as industry visits and premiere events for teachers and young people. We have been able to leverage considerable in kind support from partners and other organisations in film and education across Wales, such as those based at GloWorks. However, Into Film Cymru would welcome opportunities to collaborate and promote the success stories of the Welsh film industry further, leveraging more funding and ensuring a more joined-up approach to strengthen the profile of the sector in Wales.

 

To investigate how Ffilm Cymru Wales, the BFI and others support the sector, and how this work complements the work of the Welsh Government in this area.

 

1.      Into Film Cymru is funded by the National Lottery through a grant from the BFI. Into Film Cymru’s reach and footprint extends the length and breadth of Wales; teachers, career advisors, children and young people gain rich opportunities to enhance their understanding of film, harness their filmmaking skills, learn about potential careers within film, watch and discuss a more diverse range of films, and use film to support effective curriculum learning due to Into Film Cymru’s provision in Wales. The Into Film Cymru programme does not currently receive funding support from Welsh Government but where possible aims to link its delivery to Welsh Government policies. However, as noted throughout this submission, there is potential to expand and strengthen these links further through greater collaboration, communication and resourcing.

2.      Into Film Cymru works closely with Ffilm Cymru Wales (which also receives BFI funding) and is aware of the diverse range of opportunities it provides that aim to harness, support and inspire filmmakers in/from Wales. Into Film Cymru and Ffilm Cymru Wales collaborate on projects such as industry-led events and promoting Ffilm Cymru Wales educational resources to Into Film Clubs.

3.      Into Film Cymru works with Film Hub Wales (one of eight Film Hubs around the UK funded by the BFI) to identify ways of engaging young audiences and establishing links between venues and local schools/colleges. Over the last few years, collaborations have included hosting events as part of the Into Film Festival, screenings to support key Film Hub initiatives such as Roald Dahl centenary events and ANIM18 and running teacher training and industry-led events at Film Hub venues. Film Hub Wales and Into Film Cymru work together to improve cultural engagement in film and map out provision so audiences from north to south are provided with opportunities to watch an eclectic mix of films and take part in inspiring events.

4.      Many other national organisations run innovative events and activities linked to the creative sector in Wales, including BAFTA Cymru. In January 2018, spearheaded by Film Hub Wales, a new working group for those working within the Welsh film industry was established so that we could discuss our remits, cross-promote events and look for opportunities to celebrate Wales on Film. This working group provides an array of interesting and exciting opportunities to enhance the collaboration between film organisations in Wales and Into Film Cymru would welcome further discussions on how this could be supported further by Welsh Government.

 

The support given to develop skills and address skills shortages in the industry, whether there is sufficient data to map existing skills.

 

  1. Into Film Cymru currently uses data and research papers available via Welsh Government, Creative Skillset and NESTA to map out its careers provision and programme activities. Into Film would appreciate and welcome any further support and guidance from Welsh Government on identifying skills shortages so it can plan more effectively and help meet Welsh Government’s agendas. In addition to this, it would be hugely beneficial to receive further intelligence on specific regional and linguistic skills shortages.
  2. Into Film Cymru would welcome further discussions around industry needs and how this influences the provision of creative industry-related FE/HE provision in Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1

Opinion Piece, Mr Thomas-Williams – Year 5 teacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Treganna (with support from Mr Rhys Harries, Head), Western Mail, 21 September 2017.

How using film helped transform our lessons

Teaching is about helping pupils to become the ambitious, creative citizens we all want to see thrive in Wales. I try my best to carefully instill in them a range of transferrable skills that will not only benefit their academic progress but social learning too.          

My film-based lessons, thanks to the support of Into Film Cymru, have been a powerful educational tool in improving standards in literacy, numeracy and digital literacy. This is important given the value placed on all three competencies following the 2015 Donaldson Review and the new ‘Successful Futures’ curriculum. Digital literacy is a new competence, which seeks to develop digital skills that can be applied to a wide range of subjects and scenarios.

I'm delighted to work in a country that values and promotes a curriculum that isn't simply focused on numeracy and literacy. Automation is this generation's industrial revolution. Last year’s McKinsey Report claimed that 60% of all current professions would soon be undertaken by robots. The opportunities afforded by this new order will almost certainly be snapped up by people with strong digital literacy.

I’ve found Into Film Cymru to be fantastic at providing consistent support, including curriculum-linked resources that I can use creatively within the classroom. The introduction of film into lessons has made for a startling breakthrough with some pupils. Progress in all three competencies improved, particularly reading and writing skills. This multi-platform medium has brought lessons to life, opening a new way of learning for visual or kinesthetic learners.

This "hidden" learning helps pupils to bridge the border between subjects (this is cross-curricular learning). Watching and talking about film requires the same language and reasoning skills that you need when writing a letter or a short story. A pupil’s use and understanding of graphs is also improved in film-based lessons, when they use a tool called an ‘axis of emotions’, which tracks a character’s emotions.

Perhaps most striking is pupils’ ability to structure their own creative stories. I suspect this is mainly because they start thinking in terms of camera shots, with an extra-long shot for establishing a story and a close-up for character. The purpose of their sentences and paragraphs become clearer and they are better able to sustain their ideas.  

The 3 Cs (camera, character and colour) and 3 Ss (sounds, story and setting) approach to filmmaking not only facilitates pupils’ understanding and appreciation of film and storytelling in and of itself, but also inspires them to create their own, more advanced, content.

Most pupils are now so digitally literate that they can pick up any piece of technology. We’re really lucky in our new school to have so many resources provided by the Council. Pupils can pick up an iPad, laptop or a Mac and work creatively and cooperatively to develop an idea, such as an opinion piece on bullying or a creative presentation on their favourite hobby. Many are now able to create with little to no guidelines.

Some schools like to organise film clubs. Simply watching and reviewing a film, or comparing and contrasting a book with its film adaption, such as Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, can be enough to spark young minds. Teachers less confident in digital literacy could explore this approach by taking advantage of the wonderful Into Film Festival in November, which offers a range of free films and complementary resources.

At Ysgol Treganna, we have tried to nurture an environment that is not risk averse. We work as a team, supported by our Board of Governors, to explore new developments, and embrace them for the benefit of our pupils. The children blaze a confident trail in digital literacy and teachers aren't there to corral ambitions.

In using film as an educational medium, I am able to create a common familiar medium for staff and pupils of all ages, enabling them to collaborate in a thrilling exploration of digital media for the future.

 

 

 

Appendix 2

Matthew Rhys Opinion Piece : Western Mail 2018

Growing up in Whitchurch, Cardiff, in the 80s and 90s, the likes of Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins were my inspiration. Seeing them up there on screen made me believe that my own ludicrous hopes could one day become real. They were proof that it was possible for people from Wales to get a foothold in the industry.

In recent years, I’ve started to think about the ways I too can help the next generation fulfil their potential and find the confidence to attempt a film career. I want to play my part in making their hopes and dreams come true.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see my fellow countrymen and women do well in this industry that has served me so well. The Awards Season is one indication of how well we are doing in inspiring the next generation.

The future is certainly getting brighter. In February, Welsh-Zambian director, Rungano Nyoni, won a much-coveted BAFTA for her outstanding debut, I Am Not A Witch, which tells the story of an eight-year-old Zambian girl. The warm ‘diolch’ thrown into her acceptance speech made us all cheer.

But we need more Runganos. That’s the primary reason why I’m an ambassador for Into Film Cymru, a branch of the leading UK-wide education charity that puts film at the heart of education. I want to promote this important charity so they may provide the support schools need to nurture our home-grown talent.

Obviously, I feel incredibly fortunate to be making my living as an actor. After all, it is one of the most overcrowded professions in the world, requiring as much luck as you have talent.

Indeed, after The Graduate I didn’t work for a year and it was touch and go whether I’d carry on. During that difficult time, I must confess I considered other professions.

None of which, interestingly, would have seen me stay within the industry itself. While I had an excellent education at Ysgol Melin Gruffydd and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, with lots of drama lessons and school performances, I was given little information or advice about the potential job opportunities behind the camera.

I know this is now changing. As a proud Welshman, now living in New York, it is gratifying to know that the Welsh Government is one of the few governments worldwide recognising film as an integral part of its new curriculum, Successful Futures.

There’s now a deliberate policy to include film in Welsh classrooms. Not only as an interactive medium to dramatically improve literacy, numeracy and digital literacy levels, but to help students learn about the multi-faceted elements of filmmaking, and open their eyes to the career opportunities on offer. The new curriculum, as far as I can tell, has the potential to be the equivalent of Welsh rugby’s fly-half production line, found deep in the Valleys.

Providing young people with a rounded education of this kind should not be underestimated. It will absolutely equip them to work in what is now a £1bn industry in Wales and the fastest growing sector in the country. 

The Welsh Government seems to be joining the dots, investing in the creative industries while simultaneously recognising that our schools need to feed this growing sector if it is to become sustainable. 

This is eminently sensible. First, it plays to our strengths as a nation – we’re a creative lot, with strong choral and Eisteddfod traditions. Second, there’s more to the industry than those archetypal sorts who like to dress up for a living. A whole other world exists and the industry will create a staggering range of jobs. 

Good filmmaking is very much an ensemble piece. The great Orson Welles once said ‘A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army’. Never a truer word spoken. 

As an actor and director, it would be impossible for me to do my work without the lesser known roles, like a carpenter, make-up artist, or even accountant. And there are plenty of Welsh role models behind the camera too.

Lynwen Brennan, originally from Penally, is the general manager of Lucasfilm in San Francisco, responsible for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. She’s a powerful woman and, incidentally, the person who may well be responsible for the appearance of our beloved Welsh flag in the blockbuster, Black Panther.

 

Similarly, Leonardo di Caprio’s go-to make-up artist is none other than Cardiff raised Siân Grigg, an Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning make-up artist known for her work in Saving Private Ryan, The Departed and The Revenant

We need to celebrate these shining lights as much as any actor. To me, this is how we can help young people see the film industry as a viable career opportunity, regardless of their skills and interests. 

Thanks to Into Film Cymru, and the new curriculum, schools are in a position to make some headway in this regard, by establishing film clubs, using the charity’s resources to teach production processes, and making the most of their free film festival in November. 

Some of the outcomes have been stunning. Last year, children from Ysgol Cefn Coch in Gwynedd were able to make an award-winning film, Ysbryd (Ghost) by only using a smartphone and in March students from Coleg Sir Gar in Llanelli found themselves taking home the Into Film Award for Into Film Club of the Year at the prestigious Into Film Awards at the Southbank, London. 

This is an exciting time for film in Wales, where investment and education seem to be dovetailing perfectly to create the infrastructure we need. I believe a thriving film industry in Wales is there for the taking. But each of us need to play our part.