The Wales International Film Festival is an annual event held in the U.K. It’s set to take place from September 21 to 22 this year. If you live outside of Wales but are eager to attend the festival, you just got lucky. The festival’s partner platform, SparQFest, will be screening all the movies virtually for you to enjoy. From feature films to documentaries, there are a lot of exciting projects in line, and you can now be a part of it all from the comfort of your home. So book your tickets already!
History of Wales International Film Festival
The Wales International Film Festival journey began in Newport in 2006. A small group of movie buffs decided to host a film festival to allow indie filmmakers screen their work. The reception to these movies was unexpectedly good and it spread through the country by word of mouth. It was initially called the Newport International Film Festival, named after the city it started in. With its growing popularity, however, it eventually led to the birth of the Wales International Film Festival.
In 2012, the guild moved its headquarters to Clink Street Studios in London, with a full staff of enthusiastic movie lovers and professional filmmakers. The original intent of the guild was to promote and support indie moviemakers whose movies often went unnoticed and usually failed to be featured at iconic film festivals like Cannes. It holds to its purpose to date and continues to put the major focus on indie movies. By 2010, the guild spread its branches to host two other film festivals — The British Horror Film Festival and The British Independent Film Festival. Two years later, it took a step further to give rise to the British Animation Film Festival, which was widely appreciated right from its first year.
The festival features a range of genres, from music videos to experimental movies that could be abstract works or video art based on an intriguing concept. It opens its arms to all kinds of work without strict limitations. If you’re a film critic, movie lover, or movie maker, this is the perfect event for you to be a part of.
Wales International Film Festival timeline
The Film Festival Guild holds the first-ever international film festival in Wales.
The Film Festival Guild officially moves its headquarters to London Bridge.
Mitu Misra’s “Lies We Tell” and Coz Greenop’s “Dark Beacon” make their premieres at the festival.
“Follow the Dead” wins the award for the ‘Best Feature Film’ at the festival.
Wales International Film Festival FAQs
Does the festival only screen European movies?
As the name suggests, this international film festival explores movies created by filmmakers from every part of the world. Several of the awards have been grabbed by filmmakers from outside Europe.
Is the festival popular?
The festival is gaining momentum with each passing year. It has witnessed great, positive responses from the audience which only seems to be increasing by the year.
How many film festivals are there in the world?
About 3,000 film festivals have run in the past two years and are considered active. However, a total of 9,706 film festivals have run at least once in the last 15 years.
Wales International Film Festival Activities
Visit the film festival
What better way to acknowledge the film festival than to participate in it? Go book your tickets for this year’s screenings.
Watch indie movies
Take a break from watching regular commercial flicks to appreciate a good indie movie. Most of them are available on the usual online streaming platforms.
Support indie filmmakers
Most indie films are crowdfunded. If you’re interested, you might consider contributing some money to the making of indie films to show your support for the industry.
5 Intriguing Facts About Wales International Film Festival
It all started in Newport
The origin of the festival goes back to Newport where a small film festival was hosted to let filmmakers screen their work.
It’s getting bigger by the year
The guild invests all its revenue into making the festival louder every year, to reach more audiences.
Deals are signed on the dance floor
It is speculated that several movie deals get finalized on the dance floor at the after-party.
It has moved locations
The festival has flourished every year and moved homes from Newport to Mezze Lounge, to Cineworld, before settling for the Riverfront Cinema Complex.
It has other siblings
The Film Festival Guild hosts three other festivals: The British Horror Film Festival, The British Animation Film Festival, and The British Independent Film Festival.
Why We Love Wales International Film Festival
It promotes no-budget gems
The festival gives a space for indie moviemakers to showcase their work. This gives them the platform to get noticed globally.
It’s a place to network
The film festival is a great opportunity for moviemakers and movie lovers to connect and build a common network. It’s the perfect industry networking hub.
It provides endless movie screenings
For all movie fanatics, this is a golden opportunity to savor a memorable movie-watching experience. It is also a good venue to share and exchange favorite movies with your family and friends.
Wales International Film Festival dates