Childhood imagination and local legends

Community arts organisation Arts Connection – Cyswllt Celf have recently brought to us two beautiful films created together with arts professionals and local children. Before going into details, the sheer quality of these films needs a praise on its own – truly outstanding!

Let’s start with Gwion, a free-flying animated story created and drawn by years four, five and six of Ysgol Pennant. The imagination and creativity of young people never stops to amaze me – the easiness with which the narrative develops is in many ways liberating. Children may be our best teachers with regards to imagination. Six frogs, two bees, one fish, two shark’s teeth, starfish and a drizzle of sheep eyes… stir continuously for a year. Maybe that is he secret potion for starting to believe in everyday magic again?
Old legends are turned contemporary by replacing an eagle chasing a bird with an airplane chasing a hot-air balloon while happy endings can be found in X-factor success. Refreshing or what? Enjoy Gwion here:
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A more sinister plot characterizes the short film Spirit of the Hollow Tree from 2008. Deaths, ghosts, top hats – the stuff of BBC adaptations only this one here is for real… if you are willing to believe.

Based on myths and legends the script of Spirit of the Hollow Tree was written and made by the young people of Llanfyllin who also sourced the props and costumes and starred in the film. The project came to life partly thanks to First Light Movies Pilot Funding Scheme, you can have a look at their current opportunities here http://www.firstlightonline.co.uk/fundingstream/young-film-fund-pilot-grant

The haunting music composed and recorded by Meriadoc Lawes and Dave Bibby deserves extra mention as it provides the film a certain kind of darkness which, at the same time, is enchanting rather than scary – much like the woods themselves. Now it is your turn to meet the spirit…

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Text by Kati Jagel

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