Page last updated at 07:14 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Film-makers up for 'young Oscars'

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Young film-makers talk about their trip back to Victorian times

Three groups of young movie makers from Wales have been nominated for a series of high profile children's film awards.

The children, from Cardiff and Newport, will join 007 star Daniel Craig at the Activision First Light Movies awards ceremony in London on March 17.

Their films, a blend of animation, humour and drama, are being judged by a selection of Hollywood luminaries.

First Light chair Barbara Broccoli said: "The quality of this year's nominated films has been outstanding."

Skool Daze, a short film made by 24 year five pupils, aged 9-10, from Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch in Cardiff, has been nominated in the best film by under-12s category.

The film is a period piece combining drama and animation techniques about a young girl transported back to Victorian times.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
Bond star Daniel Craig will attend the ceremony

Supported by production firm Cinetig, it takes a humorous look at the 19th century attitude to the Welsh language.

Head teacher Anna Roberts, who acted the part of a teacher in the film, said the experience of producing it had been a huge learning process for the children.

She said: "The children loved it and responded very well. We are very proud of them.

"The trip to London is very exciting. It is going to be a red carpet experience and I think we are going to have some posh pupils walking on that carpet.

"We hope we win but the experience has been amazing for the children. Winning would be a huge bonus."

Culture and identity

Life On The Edge, a short film made by a group of 12-18 year-old girls from Pillgwenlly, Newport, is shortlisted for the best screenplay award.

The girls came together through a youth group that meets weekly at the Pillgwenlly Millennium Centre.

Their film looks at the issue of arranged marriages from the point of view of two sixth-formers with a very different mind set, who face up to questions about their culture and identity.

The third film, Ware U At?, has been made by another group of 12-18-year-olds from St Julians, Newport.

A contemporary production about teenage pregnancies, reflecting the emotions and decisions of two young people in urban south Wales, the film is up for a best drama award.

First Light Movies award
We hope we win but the experience has been amazing for the children
Anna Roberts, head teacher, Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch

Both films from Newport were supported by the local council.

Among the judges adjudicating on the Welsh-made films will be Orlando Bloom, Joseph Fiennes, Juliet Stevenson , producer Kevin Loader and director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace).

The winning film from each category will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Odeon, Leicester Square, which James Bond star Daniel Craig is also expected to attend.

Expertise

Ms Broccoli, also co-producer of the Bond movie franchise, said: "The future success of the British film industry is reliant upon us identifying the next generation of filmmakers.

"I'm really proud of the young people and their achievements, and the hard work and commitment that they have demonstrated."

First Light Movies provides funding and expertise to enable 5-19-year-olds, from all backgrounds throughout the UK, to make their own short digital films.

The organisation distributes £1.1 million of National Lottery money through UK Film Council funding every year.

Since launching in 2001, First Light has helped over 12,000 young people produce more than 900 films, which range from animations and dramas to comedies and documentaries.

Young people are given the opportunity to work alongside professional film-makers and are involved with every aspect of film-making, from forming the idea and script, through to directing and editing.



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