WOW has been celebrating the riches of world cinema since 2001, bringing an eclectic, intriguing, and moving selection of films from around the globe to cinemas across Wales. WOW presents a selection of the very best in world cinema – and sometimes a film from Wales too.
We recently held our first Newport Women's Film Club, screening the heartwarming Saudi Arabian film Wadjda at the Riverfront arts centre.
Thank you to all the women who came along to enjoy the film, plus a big shout out to those at all the organisations who supported the event: Theresa from Redcross, Bronia from Welsh Refugee Council, Sarah from the office of Jessica Morden MP/Welsh Labour, Sarah from The Gap Centre, Roy from Sewrec, Marilyn from Coffee and Laughs, and Patience and AnaMaria from BAWSO.
The next Newport screening will be on July 17th - watch this space for announcements!
As regular followers of WOW may be aware, over the past few years the festival has grown it's focus on women and film, in relation to both the stories we share on screen, and the makeup of the audiences who come to see them. The WOW Women's Film Club was set up specifically to provide a safe space for women from all backgrounds and cultures to come together to experience some of the best women's stories from around the world.
We're about to hold our first Women's Film Club screening in Newport, Gwent later this month. At the planning stages we started having discussions about what imagery we might choose to attract women to the Film Club. We would usually choose a film still but this time we decided to try something a little different.
Florence Jackson is a young artist from west Wales whose work has a beautiful quality and often features women. We decided to commission Florence to come up with an illustration for the film club that would communicate the essence of what the film club is about.
Florence has very kindly written a few words about her work:
"My work is largely influenced by Eastern mythology philosophy, Folk Art and storytelling. I am wildly curious about the nature and identity of people and animals from all walks of life and the way in which they interact and coexist with their surroundings.
I initially studied fashion and textiles and have carried my love of rich patterns, textures and colours into my illustrative voice. I believe that the clothing and we drape over our bodies can act as symbols of our identity and culture.
When asked to illustrate this image, it was important to celebrate women from a diverse range of cultures. I considered the unifying qualities of all women and what stood out for me was the subtle and undemanding strength that radiates from them. I wanted to highlight the importance of sisterhood and unity, both empowering qualities that we must embrace in a world that often undermines them."
Thank you Florence - we hope you like the image she produced as much as we do!
Last Saturday the WOW Women's Film Club shared a programme of animated shorts at Volcano Theatre and Coastal Housing's Jamborî!
Jamborî! was a two day festival on Swansea's High Street, packed with creative things for families to see, do and discover.
We were there to promote the WOW Women's Film Club, which has more women-only screenings happening in and around Swansea soon (watch this space).
Here are some of the families enjoying a selection of short animations from Japan, Russia, the US, France and Wales.
The Welsh animation was Uncle Ahmed's Canaries which was made with Syrian families recenlty settled in Ystradgynlais.
Thanks to Caroline Lane of WOW Women's Film Club and the festival volunteers for making this happen.