Actor Rhys Ifans with Students

WELSH actor Rhys Ifans met with 200 pupils in Cardiff today (26 September) to discuss the role of film in education, where he spoke of his passion to become a champion for film as an educational tool in schools across Wales.

The event was organised by Into Film Cymru, a UK-wide film education charity supported by the BFI through National Lottery Funding, as part of an on-going programme to put film at the heart of young people’s learning and personal development, including learning about careers in the film industry through interaction with professional filmmakers. The occasion also promoted the Into Film Festival between 8th and 24th November, which is the biggest youth film festival in the world, offering 5- to 19-year-olds a fun, free and educational trip to their local cinema, this includes almost 200 film screenings and events across Wales.

One in four families in Wales live in consistent poverty, which means they struggle with the basics, like putting food on the table, and have little to no money to pay for trips to the theatre or cinema. Into Film Clubs and the Into Film Festival offer all children and young people access to this powerful medium, which has a proven track record in improving standards in literacy, numeracy and digital literacy. All three competencies can be found in the new ‘Successful Futures’ curriculum, following the Donaldson Review in 2015.

“Film is a great leveller, and can lead to an exciting avenue of exploration for all students, regardless of background and ability. What’s great about Into Film Cymru – and the film festival which is completely free – is that you are opening up a world of possibilities for all, regardless of how much money they have in their pocket. I’ve been impressed by the Welsh pupils I’ve met today. They have real confidence in talking about film and can articulate their views passionately. Film should be accessible to all and I, for one, want to champion its power.” 

Rhys Ifans (September 2017)

Event organiser Non Stevens, who is head of Into Film Cymru, said: “Rhys has always been supportive of Into Film Cymru, and I would like to thank him wholeheartedly for giving his time so freely to be with our young members today. Events like these really do help us to reach new audiences, to expand pupils’ horizons and ensure every young person is given an opportunity to have a platform from which to learn about film as well as the many opportunities available within the film industry.”

The question and answer session, led by Welsh presenter Daniel Glyn, saw 200 students from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Cardiff; Coleg Sir Gâr in Llanelli; St Albans in Newport; Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd in Maesteg; and Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni and Lewis School Pengam in the Rhymney Valley quiz the actor on his career in film, including tips on how to have a successful career in the industry. Rhys also relaunched Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr’s Into Film Club.

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr’s Headteacher, Mr John Hayes, said: “I have been teaching for many years now, and I am struggling to recall a time when pupils have responded so well to an event. Many thanks to Into Film Cymru for organising this, and to Rhys for engaging so passionately with our young people. This has been an event that has truly inspired, informed and motivated them.”

The Into Film Festival 2017 runs 8-24 November. All events and screenings are free. For programme information, to book tickets and download resources, including Welsh curriculum linked resources, visit: www.intofilm.org/festival

For information about Into Film and to set up an Into Film Club for free access to thousands of films and resources visit www.intofilm.org 

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