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're delighted that Dukhtar/Daughter Director Afia Nathaniel and Co-producer Cordelia Stephens, will be joining WOW for Q&As following all three screenings of their award winning film at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff this month. They have some amazing stories to tell about their experiences, both in the lead up to and during the making of Dukhtar/Daughter, which was filmed in the Himalayan mountains in the north of Pakistan. For example, how they overcame the obstacles of getting a film made in a desolate region disputed between Pakistan and India, where no other film crew had been given permission to film.
We're really fortunate to have quite a few director Q&As in the festival this year. If, like us, you enjoy getting the chance to ask questions about the film you have just seen and are fascinated by what inspires filmmakers and what it takes to get the job done, then come along and join in with what promise to be some fascinating discussions.
Afia Nathaniel, director of Dukhtar/Daughter, the award-winning Pakistani independent film, will be joining us for a Q&A after the 2.30pm screening at Chapter on Friday 20 March. Hear about her experiences in charge of an all-male crew and the beauty and challenges of filmmaking at a high-altitude.
Iranian cinema experts Dr Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad from the School of Oriental and African Studies and Dr. Maryam Ghorbankarimi from St Andrews University, who is an expert in Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and gender representation in Iranian film, will be taking part in a panel discussions which are part of the Iranian Film Day at Chapter on Saturday 21 March. Joining them will be Ehsan Khoshbakht, an Iranian film critic, curator and architect who has written extensively on Iranian documentary films. The discussion will also be 'skyped' simultaneously to the audience in Aberystwyth Arts Centre the same evening.
Fadhili Maghiyar, director of the Watch Africa Film Festival, will chair the discussion with Dr Rachael Langford from Cardiff University and Sandra Skinner from Hay-Timbuktu link after the screening of Oscar nominated Timbuktu at Chapter on Sunday 22 March.
Welsh filmmaker Helen Iles will be joining us via Skype from Australia, where she has been directing her latest eco-documentary Deep Listening: Dadirri, all three screenings of her new film, which will be shown at Clwyd Theatr Cymru on Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Monday 23 March, Clwyd Theatr Cymru on Tuesday 24 March and Chapter Arts Centre on Wednesday 25 March.
Co-producer Cordelia Stephens will attend both screenings of Dukhtar at Chapter Arts centre on Tuesday 24 March. Cordelia Stephens Executive Produced fourteen short films for Cineworks, the UK production scheme, in the early 2000s, six of which won New Talent BAFTAs. Cordelia spearheaded the development of Dukhtar, and participated with the project at Fast Track in Los Angeles.
Palestinian filmmaker Leila Sansour will give a Q&A after all three of the screenings of Open Bethlehem, her powerful documentary about her experiences trying to run an initiative to keep Bethlehem open to the outside world. Come and hear her speak about what keeps her motivated to tell her story and what we can all do to help bring about change for Palestinians. Catch Leila and her film at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wednesday 25 March, Taliesin Arts Centre Swansea on Monday 20 April and Torch Theatre Milford Haven on Tuesday 21 April.
We hope you can make it and come and join in the debate. The Iranian Film Day and Timbuktu are also part of Conversations About Cinema's Impact of Conflict season. Tweet to @convocinema to join the conversation or use #convocinema and #IranUKculture.
Persian New Year, or Nowruz coincides with the opening weekend of the WOW film festival. Deeply rooted in Zoroastrian traditions, Nowruz, meaning ‘New Day’, has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years to mark the start of Spring.
When we found out that it was actually celebrated for two weeks, it was the perfect excuse to hold a little party in our west Wales home town of Cardigan, on Saturday 28th March.
Here we have Small World Theatre, a sustainable community arts venue resembling of a pagoda, creating the perfect space for a sociable evening involving great food and a great film!