I had the fantastic opportunity to attend a premiere of short films and the award ceremony for the Welsh based acting company, It’s My Shout.
I remember people from this company coming to an editorial meeting when we had them a few years back before the rebranding of Wicid, and I was VERY interested in wanting to be a part of them, whether it be as an on-screen actor, a writer, showrunner or anything that involved with the general production of their short films. Once my Uni course finishes next year, maybe I can consider joining up with them again. But until then I want to support them as much as I can.
The event was held at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, so it was quite the grand setting. There were many different hosts and presenters from more well-known on-screen appearances and other shorts films, though I can’t really name them all to you since I’m terrible with knowing on-screen actor names. If this was voice over acting, I would tell you instantly who’s who. But live acting… not a clue sadly.
Before the award ceremony, we were shown each of the nine short films that were produced for this premiere, seven of which were in English while the other two were in Welsh with English subtitles. I won’t spoil the plots of the films so I’ll just give you a brief summary of the plot of each. Also, if there are any mistakes in the pronunciation of characters’ names, I humbly apologize.
This is about a young boy who wants to become a DJ, but has a very different style compared to modern DJs. He looks at changing his style to something for this generation while being mocked by others around him. He then decides to go by the DJ alias of ‘Francois’.
This was one of the two Welsh language pieces with English subtitles that went explored the tale of a man named Gwilyn who struggles to say words in Welsh that have the letter ‘r’ in them due to a lisp/stutter. During the film, he ends up dating a woman named Rebecca and he struggles to confess feeling for her without showing this different side to him.
12 Labours of Gryff
This English spoken short film focuses on a story-book type narration depicting the 12 labours of Hercules, while modernising them to the story of a boy named Gryff and his terminally ill mother. It was a very touching piece that had a few people in the audience shedding a tear or two.
Tin Dancing Shoes
A story set during the WW2 era that focuses on Stanley, a man who is trying to woo his lady friend Kathryn. However, he is not good at dancing, which he wants to do with her at a gathering of sorts in the future. He ends up finding a dance instructor; however he later discovers she’s German, which poses a few issues considering the militaristic landscape during this era. Despite this he forms a close friendship with her and he is soon faced with a tough choice by others he is close to.
This story follows three young girls organizing a theft of an actresses’ luggage in hopes of getting a great find inside. However, when they open the case, they are faced with a choice that questions their morality and whether they should return the case and its contents or to keep them for themselves. The humour by one of the main actresses was great, a little bit dry, just the way I like it.
This is a sad tale about an elderly man who struggles through day to day life due to the sounds of his neighbours playing a piano. As the film progresses, we’re given an insight into the man’s troubled past through flashbacks that have him reflecting on his behaviour in the present to his helper, which turns into an even sadder turn of events.
Mirain A’r Mor
This is the second Welsh language short and my personal favourite of them all. It focuses on a young girl who has a vision of her village being destroyed by a tsunami disaster. She tries to warn her town through different ways but gets mocked and laughed at for all her attempts. It appeals to me most of all as the character has Autism and showcases how autistic minds can work and how others find it difficult to understand people with this condition.
Tuesday at Jackie’s
This comedy themed short focuses on a young man dating a gorgeous woman, but things keep going wrong in the date as he keeps getting mental images of the past women he dated popping into his coincidence to mock everything he is doing.
The final film of the night was a story of a teenage boy named Ludo who starts off as a delinquent for poor behaviour in school. On one particularly naughty day, he sneaks into the school auditorium to play on the piano and produces a beautiful piece that a teacher who scolded him for past behaviour hears. She convinces him to continue playing for her during spare time and as the story goes on we see struggles the boy is going through with his family, as well as the teacher’s struggles in her life. This was a very nice piece to end the screenings with, and as the same piece of music played during the closing moments, the actor himself appeared on stage to finish the actual piece live for everyone. It was a very beautiful moment.
Then came the awards! Each award saw a guest speaker announce and present the award to the winners. All of the guest speakers were keen to praise the success that everyone in all the categories had, as well as It’s My Shout as a whole. Hopefully I haven’t missed any out, but the awards and winners are as follows:
Best Costume Designer: Rachel Lewis
Best Art Department Trainee: Luhed Evans
Best Camera Trainee: Catrin Davies
Best Sound Trainee: Nathan Launchbury
Best Set Runner: Cian Wyn Williams – ‘Penelope’
Best Hair & Makeup Trainee: Georgin Morris – ‘Tin Dancing Shoes’
Best Lighting Trainee: Omid Sohrabi – ‘Tin Dancing Shoes’
Best Supporting Actress: Rowan Alexandria as “Marilyn” in ‘Tuesday’s at Jackies’
Best Supporting Actor: Iwan Bond in ‘Francois’
Best Actress: Naomi Crane as “Debbie” in ‘Penelope’
Best Actor: Jack White as “Ludo” in ‘Ludo’
Best Film: ‘Leonard’s Neighbours’
Inspiration Award: Michael Sheen
There was also an Inspiration award given to Michael Sheen. Yes, that one more well-known actor by most people accepted an award for his dedication to the It’s My Shout company via a recorded video, which was very nice to see him promoting a company like It’s My Shout for being around for as long as It has been.
It was also announced there was a People’s Choice Award that would be voted for online by the public, which by the end of the night, was announced on their Facebook page.
People’s Choice Award: ‘Ludo’
I thoroughly enjoyed watching these short films and everyone involved, in all aspects of the creative process, should be proud of their incredible work. I’m sure they will continue to do great things in the future, and hopefully I can someday work closely with them once I finish my studies. If you would like more information about It’s My Shout, here are their social media links: