Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Red Carpet treatment for Young Film-Makers

Gypsy youngsters from Pembrokeshire will be the centre of attention on tonight (14th October) when they attend the world premiere of a film they helped make.

The Torch Theatre in Milford Haven is hosting the first public showing of The Travelling Harpists, an animated film about Welsh Gypsy characters and their way of life.

Young people from a Romany heritage have worked on the feature alongside children from Bynea Primary school in Llanelli and Gypsy pupils who attend Monkton Priory Community Primary school in Pembroke.

The Monkton school is home to the celebrated Priory Project which provides learning opportunities for secondary age Gypsy youngsters who often leave formal education prematurely.

Around 25 pupils at the school helped make the film and - befitting their new status as movie-makers - the young people will travel to the premiere in two stretch limos.

When they arrive at the theatre, they will step onto a red carpet. Each will also receive a copy of the film.

Beverley Stephens, the head of service at the school's Priory Learning Centre, said the project had given the youngsters the opportunity to work with professional film makers while discovering the stories, the music and the language of the Gypsy heritage of Wales.

"As well as bringing the stories to life through animating their own drawings, they heard stories told by renowned storyteller, Daniel Morden and also got to meet a direct descendent of Abram Wood, one of Wales's most famous Gypsies" she explained.

Cinetig, an award-winning film company based in Cardiff, have overseen the project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Film Agency for Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council. It has also been awarded an Inspire Mark by the organising committee of the 2012 Olympic Games.


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