Preview | Cardiff International Film Festival

Preview | Cardiff International Film Festival

Co-Director Rahil Abbas gives a personal introduction us to this year’s Cardiff International Film Festival.

With a background in producing and acting and a passion for the big screen, I decided to launch the Cardiff International Film Festival (CIFF) to help put Cardiff on the movie map. I wanted to provide an opportunity for Welsh filmmakers to show their films to a global audience and for Wales to be a true international venue for filmmakers from all over the world. I am passionate about providing a space for the creative industry to grow and prosper in Wales. Launching the CIFF demonstrates my ambition to establish a successful, vibrant international film festival for our capital.

Venues across Cardiff will be welcoming the world to watch an exciting line-up of films at the inaugural Cardiff International Film Festival next weekend. From the iconic Pierhead Building and Millennium Centre to cinemas around the city centre, the capital will host a range of movies from across the globe.

Filmmakers and film fans will be spoilt for choice with close to 100 films to choose from over the three days. With a series of screenings and acting master classes and a star-studded awards evening at the Millennium Centre to close the festival on Sunday 29th, this will be a great opportunity for film-lovers to immerse themselves in the creative world of film.

As Wales has such strong creative industries and heaps of talent to celebrate, CIFF presents an opportunity to welcome films from all around the World and to promote our own homegrown films in both the English and Welsh languages. CIFF has received an overwhelming amount of support from various bodies and high-profile individuals, including Welsh actors Michael Sheen and Matthew Rhys and Bollywood stars Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline Fernandez. Jury members rating the films shown over the weekend will be made up of John Altman, Joe Ferrera, and others.

During the weekend budding actors can learn from the best as actor, producer and director Joe Ferrera will be holding an acting class. Having starred and worked on a number of films including Rush, Elizabeth- the Golden Age and Senseless this is a great opportunity for people to learn from Joe’s knowledge and experience. Joe Ferrera said: “I’m thrilled to be involved with the Cardiff International Film Festival and feel honoured to share with them this great journey.”

With over 36 hours worth of screenings to choose from, my must-see films include Built on Steel, a documentary based on the threat of the closure of Port Talbot steelworks last year. Some 700 people were made immediately redundant and reports suggested another 15,000 jobs could be affected in a town of just 45,000. The documentary follows father Nigel Hunt, who in the midst of uncertainty and fear after losing his steelworker job, begins a new future with a start-up business. With no investment, or disposable income, the stakes are high but some unexpected turns lead Nigel to a new path, away from the fire and furnace, which he never could have dreamed of.

There will be a number of UK and world premieres of films including A Landscape of Lies; a murder-thriller feature film following an individual’s discovery of a murdered body. The character is drawn into the lives of several suspects, all with secrets of their own and all connected in some way.

The UK premiere of Irish film Wild Goose Lodge is set to be a highlight of the weekend. Based on a historical true story of the Lynch family, the Irish Ribbonmen and British who occupied the Irish territory in 1816. Filmed in and around Reaghstown, County Louth, the film was made by the entire village of 300 people, including four generations.

The decision to make the festival free for people to attend for the first year was made to widen the experience of films to as many people as possible and to inspire the next generation. I believe film has the ability to bring people together to follow a story and engross themselves in a different world.


Cardiff International Film Festival is taking place in venues around Cardiff Bay from 27 to 29 October 2017.

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