Wales has a record five nominations in this year’s UK-wide Into Film Awards, which seeks to honour the most talented and innovative young filmmakers, reviewers and film clubs in the UK.
It also gives recognition to educators who use film as an education tool. Some of the biggest stars in the industry attend the ceremony, with previous attendees including Daniel Craig, Eddie Redmayne, Lily James, Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman and Naomie Harris.
Welsh actors Rhys Ifans and Luke Evans presented awards at last year’s ceremony, and this year's will be hosted by top comic actor and author David Walliams at the Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square, in London, on 18 March.
Wales has a record five nominees this year, including 15-year-old Eden Quine-Taylor, from Crickhowell High School, who is competing for the Best Film (12-15 years) award, for her short film ‘I’m the One’. This poetic and impressively staged one-shot film offers a glimpse into the lives of residents in one small town to demonstrate that each one of us has our own story and issues to deal with.
Speaking ahead of the awards, Eden said:
“I am honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award. Being able to have my work seen by industry professionals is so very exciting. Making films has always been my passion. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Sixteen-year-old Hedydd Ioan, from Penygroes, Gwynedd, will pick up a coveted ‘Ones to Watch’ Award at the ceremony, which can be added to his mounting achievements.
Hedydd’s love of filmmaking started at just seven years old, when he began making simple stories with his toys. Since then, he’s gone on to win a local film award, formed his own production company, Trac 42, and is currently getting paid for his projects.
On hearing the news, Hedydd said:
“It's an honour to be chosen as one of the ‘Ones to Watch' this year. I'm so glad for this chance to be able to develop what I love doing.”
Seventeen-year-old Cai Dadds has been nominated for Reviewer of the Year. Coincidentally, his father Tim has also been nominated for Teacher of the Year.
Cai became interested in film reviewing as a member of Into Film's Youth Advisory Council. He continues to develop his review writing skills whilst applying to study film at university.
Cai told Into Film:
“It is an incredible honour to be nominated for this award. I am so pleased that Into Film recognises young people who are trying to get into the film industry.”
Two of the three nominees for the Teacher of the Year Award come from Wales. This is a strong category for Wales, with Mr Rhys Roberts of Llanharan Primary School winning Teacher of the Year at last year’s ceremony.
Ms Yasmin John, from The Hollies School, Cardiff, has worked in education for a number of years, and was instrumental in supporting her pupils to win Best Film Club of the Year at last year’s awards. This year she has been nominated for her teaching, and specifically for her work in embedding the film club in the school’s curriculum.
Commenting on her nomination, Ms John said:
“I am incredibly honoured to be nominated for such an award. I enjoy every moment of my job and feel privileged to play a part of such a wonderful organisation. It’s an amazing opportunity to showcase the students’ achievements through film and I am extremely proud.”
Mr Tim Dadds of Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School – and Cai’s father – has also been nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award. He was also nominated in 2018.
Mr Dadds has been Deputy headteacher at Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School in Morriston, Swansea, for the past seven years and, in April 2019, the school was the first English medium school in Wales to be awarded excellent grades by Estyn in all five inspection areas.
He is an IntoFilm Cymru Teacher Ambassador and has talked about the power of film in education at the Senedd, and most recently at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 30th anniversary celebrations in Cardiff.
Mr Dadds told Into Film:
“It is a huge honour to be nominated as Into Film Teacher of the Year and for my school to receive recognition for putting film at the heart of our curriculum.”
Britain's Got Talent host and children's author David Walliams said:
“I love the Into Film Awards because it gives the opportunity to young people, from all kinds of backgrounds, to be a part of the film industry. As an actor, these young people are the future, and you want them to give you a job one day.
“Anything that encourages creativity is important, we have an amazing film industry in this country which is often ignored by politicians and we need to support it. Into Film is an amazing charity.”
Non Stevens, head of Into Film Cymru, said:
“The aim of the UK-wide Awards is to promote the power of film and highlight how the scope of Into Film's work can contribute to the educational, cultural and personal development of children and young people. We are delighted that, this year, we have a record number of nominations from Wales, demonstrating that we are punching above our weight as a small nation.”
The Into Film Awards, now in its seventh year, celebrates young people's creativity in film, showcasing and highlighting the wealth of tomorrow’s creative talent. Young people from across the UK whose short films and reviews have been nominated will be recognised at the star-studded ceremony.