Nominated for Culture award
Blaenau Gwent Film Academy, run by Cymru Creations, is Wales’ first free film and training academy for young people aged 7-17.
Based in Tredegar, the Academy opened in March 2018 and meets 3 times a week to run classes in script-writing, acting and filmmaking.
During their first 18 months, the Academy has attracted 150 members and the young people have created 37 short films based on their own ideas, including the Bench, an award winning supernatural movie filmed in Poland which included school children from Wales and Poland.
Knight of the Blood Moon, an award-winning horror filmed exclusively in Tredegar, which has also been nominated and shown at film festivals in America. They have also worked on a documentary - How the Welsh changed the World: A Tale of Two Tredegars, based on the link between Ironworks in Tredegar, South Wales, and in Richmond, Virginia.
Their biggest project so far has been through Stephen King's Dollar Baby scheme, where they were able to buy the rights (for one year) for $1 to make an adaptation of a Stephen King short story. Using a very small budget, all students were involved in some part of the production. Older students helped to adapt the short story into a script, as well as story boarding, and the two students who suggested the idea learnt how to direct and organise cast and crew. Younger students took part as extras in a variety of scenes, honing the skills they have been learning in Film Academy. The completed Film has been nominated for four awards at the East Europe Fusion International Film Festival as well as at the World Premier Films in Hollywood LA.