The third annual Wales International Film Festival (WIFF) has been officially launched in Neath.
It will be staged later this year with partners including Neath Port Talbot Council, Neath Port Talbot College Group, Neath Inspired and Confucius Institute UWTSD.
Singing super star and Port Talbot resident Paul Potts was the guest of honour at the launch. He wished the festival well in a short speech in which he recalled the film One Chance starring James Corden based on his overnight success after winning Britain’s Got Talent.
The festival organisers have received a large number of high calibre, independent submissions from around 30 different countries for the 24 categories and 50 diverse features, short and animation film projects which have been selected for screening at the festival.
The 2019 Awards Ceremony will be held on the evening of Monday, September 23rd at the Gwyn Hall, hosted by Kev Johns MBE when WIFF’s partners and sponsors of categories including ‘Best Short Film’, ‘Best Feature Film’ and ‘Best Short Comedy’, will be on hand to award a total of 30 prizes. The festival runs between September 23rd and 24th.
At the launch, the Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Anthony Taylor, said:
“This festival will give us the chance to sell Neath Port Talbot to a wider audience. This is also the perfect location for the festival as it is right in the heart of Neath and the County Borough has a long history of producing talented, creative people.”
The Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Councillor Scott Jones added:
“Local businesses, attractions and the local economy will benefit from the increase in visitors to the town and surrounding areas.
“The creative workshops and networking sessions involving film makers and producers from all around the world will inspire our youth by outlining skills and employment opportunities within the film/tv and creative sectors that are available as a future vocation.
Hollywood actor Michael Sheen has already sent his best wishes to all the competitors via a video on his social media platforms and has said as he will be away filming during the festival, his father Meyrick Sheen will be attending and supporting the event on his behalf.
Wales International Film Festival Director Samira Mohamed Ali said:
“WIFF 2019 will be an excellent event for up-and coming film makers to meet industry experts and experienced producers and directors to network and exchange ideas with people from Europe, US and Canada.
“The ethos behind our non-profit organisation is that we showcase and elevate the best talent with the aim of expanding the festival on multi-platforms across Wales, the UK and internationally.”
Other guests included Neath Town Council Mayor Bob Price, Michael Sheen’s father Meyrick who has been involved with the festival for some years and Vivienne Zheng of the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD).
The third Wales International Film Festival (WalesIFF) will take place on 23-24 September, 2019 at the Gwyn Hall, Neath, South Wales.