A weekend of indie films in Cardiff

Cardiff Independent Film Festival. Photo: Francesco Ugolini

Cardiff Independent Film Festival. Photo: CNP

A festival to celebrate and introduce people to independent cinema will be held in Cardiff this weekend.

The Cardiff Independent Film Festival will kick off this Friday at Chapter Arts Centre. The event will offer an opportunity to watch films that the general public wouldn’t normally have the chance to see and meet the people behind them.

A committee of volunteers has selected 70 features, shorts and animations from 300 submissions from 45 countries. According to Alistair Parkhurst, director and chairman of the festival, one of the goals was to provide a broad range of themes in order to entice different categories of people.

“We don’t have VIPs. We try to keep people together and as open as possible,” says Alistair Parkhurst. “It’s absolutely for anybody, whether for people who want to make film, or for people who have a sort of taste for independent cinema. We want to break this barrier, get people talking, get people friendly and hopefully have a lot of fun”.

The festival doesn’t look for profit and it’s funded by submission fees and private sponsorship. According to Alistair Parkhurst, the fact that the festival doesn’t receive any public funding helps ensuring more freedom in the choice of the contents selected and screened.

Alistair Parkhurst -Cardiff Independent Film Festival director and Chairman . Photo: Francesco Ugolini

Alistair Parkhurst – Cardiff Independent Film Festival Chairman. Photo: CNP

A new category

The animation category is the major new feature of this year’s festival. The new strand has been made possible by the collaboration of the festival organisation with Cardiff Animation Nights, a group of professionals and ordinary people that are passionate about animation.

Among the works in competition, Death in Space holds an individual record by being the shortest one. The animation is 40 seconds long and it’s made of 2-second sequences on humorous ways to die in the outer space.

Tom Lucas, a 28 years old Welsh animator, created Death in Space in his spare time. “I found it quite easy to churn out these 2-second animations,” he says, “I’m hoping people will enjoy it. I think it’s fun, it’s different to a lot of animation shorts you get. I’m aiming to bring a little bit of levity into it [the festival].”

During the three-day festival, there will be a series of talks with special guests from the animation world, such as the director and producer Peter Lord, whose animation studio is behind the films Morph, Wallace & Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep Movie. And there is also Ben Bocquelet, the creator of the Amazing World of Gumball. Moreover, short animations from all around the world, including family friendly ones, will be screened.

Tom Lucas - Animator and Director of "Death in Space". Photo: CNP

Tom Lucas – Animator and Director of “Death in Space”. Photo: CNP

What else to expect?

The Cardiff Independent Film Festival will keep awarding shorts and features.

Among them, Hossegor, a film made by the 25-year-old French actor and director Quentin Valois. His work is about the problems of his generation in his hometown, Hossegor, in south-west France.

“I wanted to show to other countries the way youths live here,” he says, adding that whether he wins or not, he wants people to enjoy and understand the reasons behind the film.

The Festival will end by awarding the best Welsh short, in a special section aimed at promoting local representation. The award is named after the Welsh actor Brain Hubbard, who has contributed in discovering and helping new Welsh talents in the cinema industry.

A detailed list of the events and of the screenings can be found on the website of the festival. The event will run from Friday till Sunday. Tickets start from £3.

Update (25/04/2016): The winners of the CIFF Awards were revealed at the closing ceremony in the Chapter Arts Centre last Sunday. Hossegor by Quentin Valois has won best feature. Artificial by the Spanish director David Pérez Sañudo has won best animation. Best short went to Snowfall by Irish director Conor Whelan. The Hibbard Award for best Welsh Short has been awarded to Mark Gets Coffee by Richard Starkey.

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.