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Its all about making a film

The festival is the result of a partnership project between LOCWS International, the WEA YMCA CC CYMRU, and all five cluster areas of Communities First in Swansea, initiated via the local authorities’ Swansea Creative Learning Partnership. Local residents have been attending courses led by artist David Marchant to gain accredited qualifications in film & media and learn skills in using still cameras, video cameras, green screening, animation and editing.

The film makers also completed a course on planning the festival. Both courses have been a great achievement for the participants.

The completed films will be shown at a day-long event at Cinema & Co. on Castle Street, the ideal community focused venue in the heart of Swansea. This inaugural event features 13 films premiered by aspiring local film makers of all ages.


Film Workshops Spring 2016

These creative skills development programmes for residents of Communities First areas in Swansea, were formed in partnership with the City and County of Swansea, Communities First, the Swansea Creative Learning Partnership, the WEA and LOCWS International.

The programme has ran since August 2015 and offers a 4-day group workshop project led by artist David Marchant to enable participants to design, develop and create their own film, animation or music video. Participants will be encouraged to develop their own ideas from the outset and guided through the process of scripting, designing, filming, and promoting their films as part of a dynamic film crew. The project offers a first taste of a popular medium in an enjoyable and instructive way that aims to give participants employability skills, build confidence, broaden horizons and encourage further study, training and seeking employment.

IMG_0212We created a documentary film that captures the stories and development of participants during the first series of Art Across The City film workshops during 2015. It shows how participants have engaged with the workshops and what they learned and achieved as they developed their own films over the course of 4 days.

See the films they produced during the workshops on our YouTube Channel.


Swancomm Film Festival

New Independent Film Festival Set for Swansea’s Cinema & Co next month.

15.06.16 Evening Post article written by Geraint Thomas.

GET your popcorn ready! A new short film festival is coming to Swansea next month showcasing the best of community movie-making.

SwanComm Film Festival will see more than a dozen films, by aspiring local film makers of all ages, ranging from comedy-horror to animation and documentaries which have been created by residents and groups from across the county.

The free day-long festival will take place in the city centre Cinema & Co venue on Saturday, July 9, and is a joint project by Locws International, a Swansea-based artist-led charity, WEA YMCA CC CYMRU, providers of accredited community learning, and Communities First groups.

A spokeswoman for SwanComm said: “It is hoped that the festival will become an annual event celebrating community film making in Wales.

“Local residents have been attending courses to gain accredited qualifications in film and media and learn skills in using still cameras, video cameras, green screening, animation and editing.

“The film makers also completed a course on planning the festival. Both courses have been a great achievement for the participants, many had no experience of film making or event planning and some had no previous formal qualifications.

“Space is limited so each film will be shown twice during the day to give as many people as possible the opportunity to drop in to see the films.”

Gemma Bevan, learning communities project officer for Communities First, said: ” The film-making workshops went very well. There was a lot of activity packed into four days. Seven children from Townhill Community School participated in character design, animation, creative writing, video recording, sound recording and editing. The group provided positive feedback, they were all pleased with the activities and are looking forward to seeing the final result once the editing has been completed.”

Theo Tennant, a founder member of Cinema & Co, said: “We are hosting the SwanComm Film Festival which is a really great opportunity for film makers in the city to try and get their films on the big screen. It’s not an opportunity a lot of people get.

“They are independent films, made by people in Swansea, and are the product of a load of workshops that the filmmakers have been involved in learning how to develop films from beginning to editing. It’s fantastic to be part of something so localised; all of the films are about Swansea.”

Amongst the films are The Backflat, a comedy horror short made by a group of filmmakers from Bonymaen and Townhill Street Names made by young filmmakers from Townhill Community Primary School.

Photo: Sea View Community Primary School, filming for Football Fever.


Mal Pope, who has enjoyed international success in the world of film making himself with From a Jack to a King and Set Fire to the Stars, gave the festival the thumbs up and praised it for giving others the chance to experience film making.

He said: “The amazing thing is today, if you have an iPad or a smart phone then you can a film. Anyone can do it if you really want to it’s just down to having a good idea. There’s no excuse anymore; if it’s good enough, and you put it on the internet, then people will see it. There’s a whole world out there just an internet click away.”

Read the Evening Post Article online.



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.


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.