Festival Planning Workshops

Written by: Peter H. Thomas. WEA Course Tutor  26.03.2016

Twelve groups, mainly from Communities First clusters in Swansea, came together in 2015 and 2016 with the support of Locws International and the WEA to write and produce a series of short films about the city.

The groups have now got back together to organise the first Swansea Community Film Festival (SWANCOMM) to be staged in the city centre in July.

The Festival Planning course has been delivered by the WEA with the support of Locws at the Phoenix Centre, Townhill.

In four half-day sessions, with one more to come, the groups have completed a detailed event plan which has included finding and negotiating a venue for the films to be screened (Cinemaco in Castle Street with the videos also, hopefully, being shown on the big screen in Castle Gardens).

The course has helped the group develop and build on a wide range of skills from IT (programme, poster, leaflet and website design and developing a social media platform) to event organisation and planning.

Literacy and numeracy have been developed through programme writing, event costing, preparing invitations to key stakeholders, writing press releases and planning media relations.

The course has also helped the participants build and develop social skills, coming together to work as a single group to combine the dozen separate film making projects into one event.

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It is hoped that July’s SWANCOMM will develop into an annual event promoting Swansea as a centre to celebrate community film making throughout Wales.

Future plans will depend in part on the success and the lessons learnt from this first festival and on continued funding.

The Cinemaco venue has a limited capacity of around 60 people so, with more than a hundred people involved in making the films to be shown, plus their friends, families and others who may want to become involved in future projects, it will not be possible to accommodate all involved at the same time.

As a result the festival will be promoted as a ‘drop in’ event with each film being shown twice, once in the morning and again in the afternoon.

The festival planning course, delivered by the WEA, has been linked to an Agored Unit and nine of the participants have to date been recommended for Credit as a result of the work they have put in preparing the event.

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