A magical journey through the best in world cinema lies in store with the WOW Wales One World Film Festival.
Highlights include the premiere of the eco-documentary Deep Listening (Dadirri), directed by Swansea filmmaker Helen Iles, a celebration of the golden age of Iranian cinema and marking the 150th anniversary of the Welsh emigration to Patagonia.
WOW Wales One World Film Festival returns to Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold from Tuesday, March 24, bringing the very best in world cinema from the snowy mountain passes of Pakistan to the sandy streets of Timbuktu.
The festival opens with the UK premiere of Deep Listening (Dadirri), supported by BAFTA Cymru with a Skype director Q&A following the film with Helen Iles.
Helen, an independent filmmaker from Swansea who made Living in the Future about the Lammas eco village in Pembrokeshire, is currently based in Melbourne where she has made this new film.
In the 1970s a growing movement for social change resulted in planning being granted for the first eco-villages in Australia.
Deep Listening includes illuminating interviews not only with some of the leading lights in the Australian alternative living scene, but also with Aboriginal elders who share their own wisdom on the indigenous way of Dadirri, a form of connection to land and people, which underpins the ‘alternative’ way of life.
The lessons learnt by a generation who have spent their lives creating harmonious societies that reflect their shared values, give us all tools that can enrich our own lives and help us to live sustainably.
Charlie’s Country is a heartfelt, deeply passionate story about the life and times of legendary Australian actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout, Ten Canoes).
Full of diverting humour and filled with anger at the way indigenous Australians have been treated for generations, this is a powerful, poignant window on Aboriginal culture.
Living on the edge of a rundown Aboriginal community and increasingly stifled by white laws, Charlie decides to return to life according to the old ways.
As an ageing Aborigine trying to fight back against a system of prejudice and neglect, Gulpilil gives a haunting performance that won him the top acting prize at Cannes Film Festival.
Deeply rooted in Zoroastrian traditions, Nowruz (meaning ‘New Day’) has been celebrated by Persians for at least 3,000 years to mark the start of spring.
To celebrate Persian New Year, which starts on March 21, WOW is bringing a season of amazing Iranian films to Wales.
One of these films is Fish and Cat, a gripping film which succeeds in ‘unhinging’ time to create a strange, haunting feeling to seemingly everyday events.
The washed out colour scheme, the eerie sounds, and a disconcerting sense of déjà vu, all work to produce a sustained mood of disquiet. This extraordinary film plays with our perception of time, space, and truth.
Hamoun is a fascinating portrait of the cultural crisis faced by a middle-class couple trying to lead more Westernised lives while still adhering to traditional Iranian customs and values. With its nervous energy and surreal, absurdist dream sequences it mixes Manhattan and La Dolce Vita through a wholly Iranian lens.
WOW marks the 150th anniversary of the establishing of a Welsh-speaking colony in Patagonia with an intriguing Patagonian film.
Set against the background of colonialism, award-winning metaphysical western Jauja—its title a reference to a mythical land of plenty - stars Viggo Mortensen as a 19th century Danish engineer following his runaway daughter into the rugged wilderness of Patagonia.
There’s the rare chance to see two brilliant films from Africa. Oscar nominated Timbuktu is Abderrahmane Sissako’s (Bamako, Waiting for Happiness) lucid portrait of the impact of foreign jihadis on life in Mali, as they hypocritically enforce sharia law –no music, no football, no smoking, suitable dress.
Beautifully filmed against the backdrop of sandy streets, stark desert landscapes and the sparkling river, this weaves together the stories of the residents as they adjust to living with oppression as best they can.
Also from Africa, the award winning Difret, which sees a bold women’s aid lawyer fight for a young girl’s life in a riveting tale that reveals Ethiopia’s cultural complexity, where traditional customs are pitted against modern ideas of equality.
Festival director David Gillam said: “It’s a great pleasure for WOW to bring all these wonderful films to Wales. I’m particularly looking forward to the Iranian movies and Helen Iles’ Q&A.”
To book tickets for WOW Wales One World Film Festival at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, call the box office on 01352 701521 or book on-line at www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk .
To find out about all the films and cinemas taking part in WOW Wales One World Film Festival 2015, visit www.wowfilmfestival.com .