As part of the exciting range of ancillary events hosted by the Smithsonian Institute and the Welsh Assembly Government this June and July, a number of award-winning films from Wales will be premiered. Audiences will be treated to a visual feast of moving image with an opportunity to meet and hear from the film-makers and special guests.
The films will be screened at the Goethe Institut.
Tickets are free and can be booked online at www.wales.com/smithsonian . See Wales in Washington sidebar
WEDNESDAY 24 June - 20.00 DAL: YMA NAWR (2004) (Welsh language with English sub-titles) Director: Marc Evans (Snow Cake, Trauma, My Little Eye, Beautiful Mistake) Duration: 73min with thanks to S4CThis film takes the audience on a 2,000-year odyssey through Europe's oldest surviving bardic tradition. It takes in everything from Aneirin's sixth-century war reportage to today's modern poetry slams, along with subtle clues to the secrets of its survival. The film features some of Wales' greatest performing talents. Sian Phillips, Ioan Gruffudd, Matthew Rhys and Rhys Ifans are among those reading poems while singer-songwriters Cerys Matthews and John Cale perform their own arrangements of two Welsh melodies. The film has a stirring musical score composed by Catatonia's Owen Powell and Bedwyr Humphries.
Q and A with BAFTA Award winning producer Ynyr Williams following the screening
THURSDAY 25 June – 19.30 National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales Showcase
DAVID (1951) Director: Paul Dickson Duration: 37mins Principal cast: D R Griffiths, John Davies, Sam Jones, Rachel Thomas.Few British ’50s drama documentaries begin to compare with Cardiff director Paul Dickson’s poignant Festival of Britain film. It homes in on an old school caretaker and former miner, seen – retrospectively – through the eyes of a former pupil at the Ammanford county school. Dickson gradually reveals, with great clarity, the attributes and setbacks which contribute to Dafydd’s ultimate grandeur as a human being.
DYLAN THOMAS (1962) Director: Jack Howells Duration: 37mins starring Richard Burton. An Oscar-winning combination of lyrical photography, poetry and music, this film, which also won a Special Award at Cannes, is Jack Howells's "elegiac tribute" to Dylan. The atmospheric evocation of the poet's life, as he travelled from Swansea to London and Laugharne, is aided by the mellifluous voice of Richard Burton who not only narrates but also appears in the film.
Films will be introduced by Iestyn Hughes, Head of the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.
FRIDAY 26 June – 20.00 SLEEP FURIOUSLY (2008) Director: Gideon Koppel Duration: 94min. Principal cast: Locals of Trefeurig near Aberystwyth, Wales.Set in a small farming community in mid Wales, a place where Koppel's parents - both refugees - found a home. This is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanised world is dying out. Much influenced by his conversations with the writer Peter Handke, the film-maker leads us on a poetic and profound journey into a world of endings and beginnings, a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire.
‘Sleep Furiously is simply a masterpiece’ John Banville – Sight and Sound June 2009
Q and A with director Gideon Koppel following the screening
THURSDAY 2 July – 19.00 ABRAHAM’S POINT (2008) Director: Wyndham Price Duration: 100min.Principal cast: Mackenzie Crook, Harriet WalterMackenzie plays a young man, Comet Snape, who steals a grandfather clock and sets off to bring it back to his dying father in west Wales. Sometimes poignant, often very funny, Abraham's Point takes Comet on a journey of redemption from the dark streets of London back to the beautiful landscapes of Wales and to the little coastal village where his parents still live. Here, in a shattering climax, we discover the dark secret that has haunted Comet for so long.
Q and A with director Wyndham Price following the screening
FRIDAY 3 July – 19.00 I KNOW YOU KNOW, (2008) Director: Justin Kerrigan (Human Traffic) BEST FILM AWARD – BAFTA CYMRU 2008Duration: 81min Principal cast: Robert Carlyle, Arron Fuller, David Bradley
Twelve-year-old Jamie’s mission in life is to be a man, for his dad Charlie (Robert Carlyle), his idol. Life for Jamie means forever changing schools, getting followed and looking over your shoulder. But Jamie doesn’t mind because his dad Charlie is not only his hero, he is a secret agent! Jamie is determined to become a ‘Tough Cookie’ and Charlie is single-minded in helping by setting him special missions. But Jamie’s real challenge arises when he realised that Charlie is living a different reality and is out of control. To save them both, Jamie has to take charge. It takes a tough cookie to do that.
I Know You Know
Q and A with director Justin Kerrigan following the screening
The event is co-ordinated by Sarah Howells in association with the Film Agency for Wales and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales and is funded by Henry and Diane Engelhardt.