For the first time in 20 years, WOW film festival swaps the cinema for your living room and the big screen for your TV so that you can enjoy incredible indie films from all over the world this lockdown.
From the 11th – 21st March, film lovers will be able to break free from the binds of Netflix and enjoy some true works of art and best of all – it won’t cost you a penny. In partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre, WOW (aka Wales One World) Film Festival will premier lots of amazing films online for you to watch over the course of 11 days. From comedies to documentaries to book adaptations and stories inspired by true events – there really is something for everyone, no matter how young or old.
Oscar winning director Bong Joon Ho kicks of the festival on March 11th with 3:11 A Sense of Home alongside Victore Erice and Patti smith with a series of short films about the earthquake that triggered the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The start of the festival marks exactly 10 years since the devastating event took place and these collection of shorts will be a chance for people look back, learn and explore topics of renewal, recovery and the people who called it home.
If you’re drawn to nature and the outdoors, there are plenty of films on offer that explore the intricate relationships of humans and earth. Whilst Sanctorum explores traditional life in a mountain village and how the power of nature effects things, Beloved follows the journey of an 82 year old woman who is devoted to her herd of cows. There will also be a Q&A with producer Elaheh Nobakht from Tehran for anyone who has questions about the film. Find out in The Hidden Life of Trees how these towering plants communicate with each other, how they warn about disease and how they help their young grow. Forest’s are truly alive in more ways than you can imagine…
Finding things to keep the little ones entertained and the adults sane during lockdown hasn’t been easy but WOW has lots of family friendly films available for viewing. Choose from Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom , a story set in the mountains of Bhutan in one of the world’s most remote schools or Delifin which follows the life of a young boy who’s determination to join an orchestra takes him and his father on an adventure of a life time. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Wow Women’s Film Club have teamed up with Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival to bring you a selection of animated friendly shorts from up and coming female animators.
If you need a pick me up, feel good film Arab Blues follows the story of Selma (played by exiled Iranian Golshifteh Farahani) a psychologist who returns home to Tunis in hope of opening her own psychotherapy practice. Combining dead pan humour with the delicacies of being a psychologist in Tunisia, it’s an observation and celebration of the role of women in countries where they have less freedom. Made in Bangladesh is another heartfelt celebration of the courage and resilience of women working in a sweatshop in India’s capital. Inspired by real stories, Shimu and her co workers are tired of working long hours in a dangerous factory and set up a union to protect themselves against the will of her husband and bosses. With the world of fast fashion such an important, topical event, this is a must watch for anyone who is wishing for change in the fashion industry. It will bring a tears to your eyes and a smile to your face.
There are so many amazing films to choose from, the hardest part will be narrowing down the ones that are a must watch for you. Other noteworthy films include Land of Ashes, the coming of age tale about the bond between a girl and her grandad who no longer wants to live, and The Whaler Boy – a clash of visual poetry, comedy drama and unusual backdrops that unravel the story of a whale hunter called Leksha and a cam girl from Detroit. These films celebrate different cultures, foreign languages, the triumphs of people and nature and how the two work together. You’ll find yourself humbled, haunted and in hysterics as you immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world cinema WOW has curated. Allow yourself a moment of escapism, transport your mind to another country whilst you can’t transport your body and let the creatives behind these pieces of art open your mind to new possibilities.
Tickets are available to book from Monday 22nd February – but make you book soon to avoid disappointment.