Welsh actress scoops top international award
Best performance award goes to Catrin Stewart
Welsh actor Catrin Stewart has been given the top performance award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival for a film based at the National Library of Wales. The Library Suicides is based on Fflur Dafydd’s bestselling novel Y Llyfrgell and marks award winning director Euros Lyn’s feature length debut.
The award is given for the best performance in a British Feature Film and the jury this year consisted of renowned international stars Kim Cattrall, Clancy Brown and Iciar Bollain. They all felt that Catrin’s performance merited high praise:
“We wanted to recognise the striking performance by Catrin Stewart in The Library Suicides. The complexities and subtleties of playing twin characters is challenging and she managed to achieve the rare feat of making each of the two roles she played truly distinctive.”
Having received its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and playing to sell out audiences The Library Suicides has received rave reviews. It will premiere in Wales at a special event during this year’s National Eisteddfod at Abergavenny in August.
In the offbeat thriller Catrin, known to many following her roles in Dr Who and Stella, plays twin daughters Nan and Ana, who embark on a murderous quest at the National Library in Aberystwyth.
Catrin is currently appearing in the West End production of George Orwell’s 1984 but was naturally delighted with the news of the award,
“Thank you EIFF! I feel hugely honoured to be given this award. It was my first feature film role and a fantastic challenge to play two characters side by side. I loved working with the wonderful Euros Lyn and Fflur Dafydd's exciting script. It was also very special for me to make a film in Welsh, and I'm very proud of what we have achieved. Diolch yn fawr!”
This is the first time a Welsh language performance has been awarded this prize and author Fflur Dafydd believes this highlights the growing confidence in the Welsh creative sector,
“Having originally written the book for the National Eisteddfod Daniel Owen Memorial prize it felt only natural that when adapting the screenplay that would be in Welsh also. Catrin’s success proves that any creative work, if it is of a high standard, can transcend any language frontiers. On behalf of all involved I would like to congratulate Catrin on her award – she is a true talent and it is richly deserved.”
After debuting at Edinburgh this week the film will be shown at the Abergavenny cinema on the evening of Monday, 1st August and tickets are on sale through the National Eisteddfod box office. It will then be shown at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, and Pontio Arts Centre, Bangor from 5-11 August with other locations across Wales to be announced.
The Library Suicides is the third film from Ffilm Cymru Wales’ emerging talent scheme Cinematic. Cinematic was devised and developed in partnership with the BFI Film Fund, BBC Films, Creative Skillset, Edicis, Soda Pictures and S4C. The scheme supports emerging filmmaking talent from Wales, in creating contemporary, dynamic and distinctive features. The Library Suicides is the first of these to be filmed in the Welsh language. Soda Pictures have distribution in the UK and Ireland, and S4C will broadcast the film at a future date.
“Twin sisters do it for themselves in Euros Lyn's outstanding feature debut The Library Suicides. The Welsh filmmaker's wealth of TV directorial experience from the likes of Broadchurch and Happy Valley are evident in a dark, sordid tale of memory, legacy and grief…”
Cine Vue review
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To book tickets for the showing at the National Eisteddfod visit www.eisteddfod.org or call 0845 4090 800
View a trailer for The Library suicides film
About Ffilm Cymru Wales
Ffilm Cymru Wales supports the development of a creative, innovative and inclusive film culture. Through funding and professional advice, we support emerging and established filmmaking talent to reach new audiences, explore new ideas to maximise the value of film, and engage with the educational and economic benefits that film brings to the rich culture of Wales.
About Soda Pictures
Soda Pictures is an Anglo-Canadian film distributor of art house, independent and world cinema. Established in London in 2002 by Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher, the company releases 25+ films a year and has a library of over 300 films from all corners of the world. In September 2014, it was announced that Soda Pictures was acquired by the Canadian production company Thunderbird Films in order to join a greater media group, build a theatrical film division in Canada and expand their existing business in the UK and Ireland. They launched the new venture at Toronto International Film Festival with the World Premiere of Lone Scherfig's The Riot Club.
About The BFI
With over £30 million of Lottery funding to invest each year, the BFI is the UK's largest public investor in UK film, and the BFI Film Fund supports first-class British filmmaking from emerging and established filmmaking talent through production, developing new opportunities for audiences to see films, and exporting films to audiences worldwide.
Highly anticipated films backed by the BFI include Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, recently announced as the opening night film for this year’s BFI London Film Festival and featuring a stellar cast including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep; Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise; Terence Davies’ Sunset Song which has been selected World and European premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival and San Sebastian respectively; John Michael McDonagh's War On Everyone; Andrea Arnold’s American Honey; Philippa Lowthorpe’s Swallows and Amazons; Colm McCarthy’s She Who Brings Gifts; and Pete Travis’ City of Tiny Lights.
Films supported by the BFI Film Fund which have recently screened at international film festivals include Sean McAllister's A Syrian Love Story, winner of the Grand Jury prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest; Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster which premiered In Competition at Cannes; Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years won two Silver Bear awards at the Berlin Film Festival and is currently playing to full cinemas on UK release; Scott Graham’s BI which screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival; John Maclean’s Slow West, John Crowley’s Brooklyn, Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse and Jerry Rothwell’s How to Change the World which all premiered at Sundance .
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
- Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
- Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for
- today and future generations
- Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
- Promoting British film and talent to the world
- Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
About BBC Films
BBC Films is at the forefront of independent filmmaking in the UK, developing and co-producing around twelve films a year. Headed up by Christine Langan, BBC Films was awarded the Michael Balcon BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2015.
Recent releases include Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes; Rufus Norris’ London Road; Ben Palmer’s Man Up; Thomas Vinterberg’s Far from the Madding Crowd, Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, Carol Morley’s The Falling, Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold, Saul Dibb’s Suite Française, and Morgan Matthews’ X + Y.
Upcoming releases include Richard Bracewell’s family comedy Bill; John Crowley’s romantic drama Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan; Nicholas Hytner’s comedy drama The Lady in the Van starring Maggie Smith; and Anthony Wonke’s documentary Being AP.
BBC Films’ eclectic back catalogue includes Pride, Saving Mr. Banks, Philomena, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, My Week with Marilyn, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Jane Eyre, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Made in Dagenham, An Education, In the Loop, Fish Tank, My Summer of Love, Truly Madly Deeply, and Billy Elliot.
About Creative Skillset
Creative Skillset empowers the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent; it does this by influencing and shaping policy, ensuring quality and by securing the vital investment for individuals to become the best in their field and for businesses to grow. As the industry skills body for the Creative Industries, it works across film, television, radio, fashion and textiles, animation, games, visual effects, publishing, advertising, marketing communications and performing arts. www.creativeskillset.org
Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, as part of its film skills strategy, is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds and through the Skills Investment Fund, which comprise industry and government co-investment. The film skills strategy focuses on addressing the vital skills and training needs of the industry to deliver maximum economic and cultural return: creating jobs, strengthening skills, building skills for the future and ensuring world-class film education.
EDICIS is a brand new communications, marketing and content group based in Wales and London. It brings together the established creative and marketing credentials of OTM, WLP and 3Sixty Publishing in London and joins them with the world class content creation and digital delivery resources of Dragon Digital in Wales. The Agency is ideas led and marries communication strategy and planning with creative realization and digital delivery. It supports film making in Wales and has backed a number of shorts and full length features there working along side Ffilm Cymru Wales on The Cinematic Scheme, Beacons Scheme and Female Directors Lab.
S4C is the only Welsh language television channel in the world. As a public service broadcaster, it commissions independent production companies in Wales to make the majority of its programmes, and BBC Wales produce around ten hours a week of programming for the channel too. S4C broadcasts over 115 hours of programming for people of all ages every week – from sports, drama and music to factual, entertainment and events. S4C is available through all of the main television platforms, and is also widely available on digital platforms. While it is a Welsh language channel, S4C offers provision for those who don’t speak Welsh through subtitling and, for some broadcasts, an English language audio feed which is available via the red button.
S4C is an advocate for new Welsh drama and actively supports talents in the industry to produce new, innovative and engaging material for broadcast on the channel and beyond. In partnership with many other establishments within the creative industries, it supports innitiatives to allow writers and film producers to hone their skills and create new creative content. This includes the Y Labordy scheme, in conjunction with Ffilm Cymru Wales, which supports scriptwriters, and a recent new partnership with The Iris Prize to produce their first ever LGBT short films in the Welsh language and a growing partnership with BAFTA Cymru to celebrate and develop skills.