Rhowan is WOW's marketing officer. As a Japanese language graduate (SOAS), unsurprisingly she is a massive fan of Kore-eda Hirokazu, Beat Takeshi and all things Ghibli.
With animation, anything is possible - even magic!
Come and discover your inner powers in this two-hour magical animation workshop. Cast animated spells and bring to life your own fantastical creatures. Earn your magician's license and take your very own flipbook home with you. Or work together with your fellow witches and wizards to add enchanted colour to some white magic!
Inspired by WOW Film Festival's magical Tales From The Silk Road season, the workshop will follow on from a screening of the extraordinary Mary & The Witch’s Flower, and will be followed by a screening of the breathtaking Big Fish & Begonia.
All little witches and wizards aged 8+ and their families are welcome.
This workshop is led by professional animators Lauren Orme and Chris James, run by Wales One World Film Festival in partnership with Cardiff Animation Festival.
Discover your inner powers
Cast animated spells
Bring your own fantastical creatures to life
It’s International Women’s Day this week (March 8th) and by way of marking the celebrations, it’s traditional for WOW to train it’s lens on women’s filmmaking around the world. Usually we focus on the handful of F-Rated movies in the current festival programme, but this year something different has happened. For the first time, 50% of the WOW Festival programme is F-Rated.
Since announcing this, we’ve been praised for being “groundbreaking”, but considering that approximately half of humanity would describe themselves as women or girls, the fact that half the films in WOW’s programme have been made by women shouldn’t really be anything remarkable, right? 100 years on from (some British, mostly white and wealthy) women first gaining the right to vote, shouldn’t this ground have been broken a long time ago?
Although 2018 coincides with both the centenary of women’s suffrage and the popularity of #metoo, this year’s 50% F-Rated programme hasn’t been a conscious response to either. Rather, it’s come about through a long-term commitment to sharing films made by women around the world, and a deep appreciation for the interesting ways that women’s voices can shed light on particular experiences.
That said, if there’s one film in this year’s festival that does tie into the mood of #metoo, it has to be Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s tense and at times nightmarish Beauty and the Dogs, in which a young woman, Mariam, fights back against the normalization of evil. From Mariam’s perspective, the trauma of a rape and its aftermath is cruel, but for the hospital staff and the police she encounters, it’s just another day at work. The difference between these two attitudes, that of personal tragedy and the insensitivity of institutions, defines the tone of the film.
The hippy trail to the East can be dated to 1957, with the publication of Kerouac’s On the Road. In the 1960s and 70s, hundreds of thousands of young people from Europe and North America set off for adventures. Different causes inspired them: some were looking for easily available drugs, others admired Eastern spiritualities, most were seized by an indefinable urge to explore. In this talk, based on interviews with those who did the trail, it will be suggested that even the most secular and worldly resembled pilgrims.
The five “stans”, or republics of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – have a long and rich history thanks to their central location on the Silk Road. Forming a bridge between West and East, their cultural heritage brings together nomadic with settled cultures, Turkic languages with Farsi, and indeed, their jewellery combines corals transported from the seas with silver mined from the mountain ranges that cross the region.
Spirited Away meets Little Mermaid in this animated extravaganza that will sweep you away on a tidal wave of magic, mystery and wonder. Chun lives in a magical realm inhabited by an amazing array of fantastic creatures. When she travels to the human world in the shape of a dolphin Chun is saved by a young fisherman when she gets into trouble.
Based on Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, this tells the story of a pint-sized, petulant and recklessly bored young girl who finds a strange flower that gives her magical powers. With a foretaste of Harry Potter, she flies on a broomstick to the fantastical Endor College, a school for witches, where perilous adventures await her.
This stunning depiction of the impact of conscription on Jonathan, his friends and family, is quite simply the most powerful film we saw last year. With a compelling combination of straightforward realism, deadpan surrealism, and domestic tragedy, Foxtrot takes you deep into the reality-altering nature of a society at war.
In a desolate village left high and dry by the disappearance of the Aral Sea, environmental catastrophe has bred social breakdown. Amongst the rusting hulks of long-abandoned ships, men and boys alike pass their days in a listless atmosphere of alcohol-fuelled brutality. Surly teenager Ruslan is haunted by idyllic childhood memories of his mother and their trips to the seaside.
This skillfully told, sensitively paced, compelling story has echoes of Cormac McCarthy, Toni Erdmann, and Chevalier. Deep in the beautiful Bulgarian mountains a group of German construction workers set up camp outside a sleepy little village, where conflicts inevitably arise.
The masterful Kore-eda (Our Little Sister, Still Walking, I Wish) brings his familiar clarity and precision to this richly rewarding exploration of truth, justice and whether we can ever truly understand why people behave as they do. Misumi readily confesses to the brutal murder of his former boss.
Eloquently exploring love and loss, this powerfully directed, sensitively scripted and magnificently performed love triangle shines a revealing light into the segregated women’s world of contemporary Iran. After twenty years, Mahi’s first love Behrouz returns to their small hometown, rekindling their love.
Set on the grungy backstreets of an unlovely Chinese town, this crisply told adult animation is a bold, frequently hilarious dig at China’s enslavement to capitalism. Downtrodden delivery driver Xiao Zhan steals a bag containing a million yuan so that his girlfriend can have plastic surgery.
This crooked tale of deceit is a deadpan little gem that’s a wonderful combination of Keaton, Beckett, and Kaurismaki. Set in a wintry, derelict town full of desperate conmen, where one pretends to be a monk, and another a soap salesman with a trick or two in his briefcase, all watched over by a pair of bumbling policemen.
This terrifically accomplished debut of a strong female voice reveals much about contemporary Tunisia. Having fun at a student social, Mariam catches the eye of a handsome new face.
An exile in Rome, Shadi returns home for the first time in years, to honour the centuries-old Nazareth tradition of hand-delivering his sister’s wedding invitations with his father Abu, a grouchy teacher who has suffered the inevitable compromises of life under occupation.
This is a smart, powerful, culturally sensitive Aboriginal story set in the stunning outback as Europeans imposed their ways on the people who were their first. A committed Christian Fred (the ever dependable Sam Neill) is unusual in that he treats Sam and his wife Lizzie, the Aboriginals who work for him as equals.
Set against the background of modern Kalmykia (the only country in Europe where Buddhism is the national religion), the haunting story of Elza, a fragile, beautiful fisherman’s wife who yearns to escape, unfolds in a small town squeezed between the sparse steppes the shores of the freezing Caspian Sea.
This wickedly funny, bracingly surreal satire is a masterly dissection of the pretensions of high art. A respected curator of a contemporary art museum, Christian is desperate to make a splash.
A family of nomads live in the high, remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan breeding horses. There is wise old Grandfather Tabyldy, his wife Karachach, their dutiful daughter-in-law Shaiyr and their sweet granddaughter Umsunai.