Stories of refugees past and present through beautifully animated films.
The screening was a celebration of a film education project called ‘Cynefin – Our Welcome’ funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales, and supported by Michael Sheen and the Josef Herman Art Foundation.
The Welfare Ystradgynlais’ community arts team have been working with Ysgol Maesydderwen, Ysgol Dyffryn Y Glowyr and Syrian families who have settled in Ystradgynlais to tell stories of refugees past and present. Award winning animation company Winding Snake Productions worked with the community to produce the two animated films that were screened at the event.
The films share stories about how people fleeing conflict have been made welcome in Ystradgynlais, and how the town has provided them with a place of sanctuary.
Cynefin is a short film made by the schools about Polish artist Josef Herman and voiced by Hollywood star Michael Sheen. The talented pupils came up with the idea, wrote the script and created the characters and backdrops, they tried out stop-motion animation and also created the films score with BAFTA Award Winning Composer Tic Ashfield.
Uncle Ahmad’s Canaries was created at The Welfare Ystradgynlais with Syrian families living in the area, and is based on their stories of moving to Wales and making their home in the Valleys. The families were also involved in creating the animation which is a poignant story of hope and survival.
The two films will screen at film festivals later this year, and you can watch a behind-the-scenes video here