Wales one world film festival WOW Film Festival runs from Friday 15 March to Wednesday 3 April taking an eclectic selection of the best of world cinema to all parts of Wales. There are six cinemas taking part this year: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Chapter Cardiff, Clwyd Theatr Cymru Mold, Taliesin Swansea, Theatr Mwldan Cardigan, and The Torch Theatre Milford Haven.
WOW Film Festival opens on Friday 15 March in Cardiff with an evening of Chilean film (Machuca, Nostalgia for the Light), with music, food and drink organised in association with the Chile 40 Years On network and El Sueno Existe Festival to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Pinochet’s coup.
WOW Film Festival presents a wide range of films that will transport Welsh audiences to places they rarely get the chance to see. From the vast landscapes of Tibet in The Sun-Beaten Path, to a remote hamlet in the far north of Greenland in The Village at The End of the World, to the extraordinary, Oscar nominated War Witch, about a child soldier in the Congo, which won the Cambridge Film Festival Audience Award.
Another the highlight of this year’s festival is the visit to Aberystwyth of two Cuban directors Juan Carlos Cremata andGerardo Chijona, who will be introducing their films, Viva Cuba (Tuesday 19 March), and Ticket To Paradise (Wednesday 20 March).
In a first for the festival Viva Cuba will be screened simultaneously in three cinemas (Aberystwyth, Chapter Cardiff, Clwyd Theatr Cymru Mold) and the Q&A will be ‘skyped’ between the cinemas so that audiences all across Wales will be able to ask questions. It is hoped that harnessing the latest technology to bring filmmakers from all over the world into direct dialogue with audiences across Wales will be the start of a new era for WOW.
WOW cinema audiences in Cardiff, Aberystwyth & Milford Haven will also be taking part in a satellite Q&A with Ken Loach after the screening of his latest film, The Spirit of 45 (Sunday 17). In Cardiff we will be joined by two impressive Welsh octogenarians: 82-year-old Ray Davies, a former miner and steel worker and lifelong political activist and the pioneering Valleys GP, Dr Julian Tudor-Hart, who both appear in the film.
There’s also a glimpse of the life of a spirited young girl growing up in Saudi Arabia in the utterly disarming Wadjda, Czech animated film noir Alois Nebel, which won the European Film Award for Best Animated Film 2012, and the hugely enjoyable music doc Mama Africa, which celebrates the life of the charismatic musical icon and political activist, Miriam Makeba. (“I do not sing politics, I merely sing the truth.” Miriam Makeba).
For more information on the cinemas taking part, the films being screened and dates of the festival, have a look at WOW’s website www.wowfilmfestival.com.