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Short films saved for posterity

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A Journey Through Music by Dorothy Singh: June 2002, Llandybie

Nearly 600 short films made by people from across Wales as part of a BBC project have been saved for posterity.

The 588 films, known as digital stories, have been presented to the National Library of Wales' screen and sound archive in Aberystwyth.

They were made between 2001 and 2007 for a project called BBC Capture Wales.

The stories have been referred to as "scrapbooks" from the heart and were created using photo albums, computers, cameras and scanners.

They cover a range of subjects, including love, work, hopes, fears, the past and the future.

The people behind the BBC Capture Wales project described the digital stories as "sometimes poignant", humorous, "but nearly always with a stark personal honesty which sets them apart from much of today's media".

The Bards of Bonymaen by Kate Kelly: January 2003, Bonymaen

The films will be kept at the national library for posterity, as a "unique", first-person record of life at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Executive producer of Capture Wales, Mandy Rose said: "We're very proud of the Capture Wales digital storytelling project and it's fantastic to see these stories finding a home at the national screen and sound archive of Wales.

"It gives a legacy to the creativity and hard work of the storytellers, and of the BBC Capture Wales team.

"It's good to know that this collection of people's cherished stories will be kept safe, and be available to future generations as a unique record of our hopes and fears at the beginning of the 21st Century."

Iestyn Hughes (l) and Steve Bellis
Steve Bellis (r) hands over his film to Iestyn Hughes of the national library

The films were handed over to Andrew Green, librarian of the national library and Iestyn Hughes, head of the screen and sound archive, at a digital storytelling festival at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Ms Rose was joined by storytellers Alan Thomas, Dai Evans, Marsha O'Mahony, Rhian Cadwaladr and Steve Bellis.

Dai Evans of Brynaman, near Ammanford, is a photographer who made a short film about his manikins, which he used in his photos.

Alan Thomas, from Llanboidy in Carmarthenshire, has Ataxia, a degenerative disease which affects balance and co-ordination.

His digital story was about keeping active and not letting the disease ruin his life. It was broadcast on BBC Wales and BBC Radio Wales to mark International Ataxi Awareness Day.

Rhian Cadwaladr from Rhosgadfan, Caernarfon, is a part-time drama tutor, sometime actor and a full-time mother-of-four.

Her story is about hope and optimism, and she now helps others make digital stories.

Steve Bellis is a media lecturer at Yale College in Wrexham.

"The training workshops from the BBC cemented what I knew about digital storytelling," he said.

"As a result we've been putting together digital storytelling projects at the college, and working in the community."



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