We're delighted to confirm that Heavenly Nomadic is to open the 2018 WOW Film Festival at Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea on Tuesday 13 March!
WOW’s special focus for 2018 is ‘Tales from the Silk Road’, a cinematic journey across the heart of the world. Following the ancient trade networks from China through Mongolia and Central Asia to the Mediterranean, this programme presents some outstanding films that have won festival awards across the world. At Taliesin we are featuring the beautiful Heavenly Nomadic from Krygyzstan about a family of horse breeders. With its wistful humour, this is a warm, atmospheric, sweet natured tale about nomadic traditions that are slowly disappearing from the magnificent mountains of Central Asia.
Set on the shores of the Caspian Sea the visually striking The Gulls plays out amongst the striking cultural mix of Kalmkyia, the only country in Europe where Buddhism is the national religion.
Details of the festival programme at Taliesin Arts Centre are now up on the venue's website: https://www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk/cinema.php
One of this year’s highlights is the hugely powerful, stunningly beautiful Aboriginal tale Sweet Country directed (and filmed) by Warwick Thornton who made the memorable Samson & Delilah.
Not to be missed is highly acclaimed The Square, a wickedly funny, bracingly surreal satire on the pretensions of high art.
Members of Swansea Palestine Community Link, David Gillam and Ambulance director David Gillam on stage following our recent screening of Ambulance at Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea.
This year we're holding an activist marketplace at Chapter throughout WOW's opening weekend Friday 17 - Sunday 19 March.
Among the stall holders is Charlotte Peacock of "Twin Made Things". Charlotte has turned images of the quirky placards she saw on the Women's March into "Protest Stitches", which she will be selling in order to raise funds for the women's charity Refuge.
Anaya Aid is a humanitarian organisation which sends sorely needed supplies to those suffering under the conflict in Syria. This spring they are part of the Unity Convoy which will be delivering ambulances to Syria.
As a reaction to events currently taking place in the world, The Listening Project are experimenting with finding ways to provide people with a space for thinking. While we are all bombarded with opinions and perspectives that people want us to agree to, we often don't get a space to consider our own thoughts on important issues. It's through the process of thinking aloud, and noticing what we feel and the complexities of our reactions that we get a chance to think freshly, shift our positions and decide on action. The Listening Project offers this space for people to be heard and to reflect. They will be a small group with listening ears and placards with a few key questions to get people thinking, look out for them on Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the weekend we'll also have stalls from the Cardiff People's Assembly, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hope Not Hate, Stand Up to Racism, Abortion Rights Cardiff, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, UNICEF and Alternatives to Violence.
In the 2017 WOW Film Festival cinema and activism combine, so come and see the films and then see what you can do to help make a better world.
At Chapter on Sunday 19 March we have a number of activist workshops:
1pm: Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Discussion chaired by Prof. Sharif Gemie with Ambulance director Mohamed Jabaly and apresentation by Rod Bull, who has worked in hospitals in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank.
2pm: Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Cymdeithas Y Cymod arms fair workshop.
Discuss what you can do in response to DPRTE in Cardiff.
3pm: Hope Not Hate - “How to have challenging conversations”
This workshop explores how we can constructively challenge prejudice in our everyday conversations.
5pm: Eco Assembly with Cardiff Activist Cafe and People’s Assembly
Help generate creative, sustainable solutions for Cardiff’s communities.
As fiercely talented as he was modest, in 1962 Finnish boxer Olli Mäki swept into national stardom as he trained for a once-in-a-lifetime fight against the World Featherweight Champion. There was only one problem: he had just fallen in love. Inside of the ring, it was Finland vs. the USA, but outside, it was boxing vs. romance.
Based on this true story, Juho Kuosmanen's charming debut feature, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Here Juho reveals why he found Olli Mäki's story so compelling.
The Syrian Civil War is the most catastrophic humanitarian crisis of our era. The conflict has killed more than 400,000 people, wounded almost 2 million, and forced more than 11 million people to flee their homes – more than half Syria’s pre-war population. Of those who have fled their homes, 6.6 million are internally displaced, 4.8 million are refugees in neighbouring countries, and another 1 million have fled to Europe.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, half a million Syrians have been held prisoner or “disappeared” since 2011, mostly in government prisons and security facilities where torture has become industrialized, with some 60,000 people having been tortured to death or died as a result of inhumane conditions.
As of 2016, dozens of governments – including from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, among many others – have spent billions of dollars either directly participating in the conflict or training, funding and arming different parties to the war. At the same time thousands of foreign nationals from dozens of countries have gone to Syria to fight with one or another side. Moving in the opposite direction, the Islamic State group is thought to have sent hundreds of operatives into Europe amongst the fleeing refugees, some of whom were responsible for terrorist attacks in Paris and in Brussels.
Against this backdrop, in this interview The War Show directors Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalgaard discuss mainstream media's portrayal of Muslims, common misunderstandings about the conflict in Syria and what they would like the audience to take with them when watching the film.
On the eve of International Women's Day, we're celebrating with a series of posts on the female directors whose films are appearing in the festival.
Here Anocha Suwichakornpong discusses history, memory and the 'past perfect progressive' tense in relation to her latest film By the Time It Gets Dark.