That was 2012…

17 December 2012

2012 has been an exceptional year for The Festivals Company with all our projects achieving their objectives and in most cases exceeding them.

“The decision to focus on our key projects has delivered results in just under 18 months, with the Iris Prize, Ffresh and the Welsh Curry House of the Year becoming more established. This stability in turn has allowed the Company to focus more time and resources on expanding our moving image activity. We had a strong track record of producing award winning films but we were a little slow in promoting ourselves! By making the invisible visible and giving a greater focus to this side of our work we have increased our client base in 2012,” said Berwyn Rowlands.

“We start 2013 with a busy January as the public start voting for the Welsh Curry House of the Year, submissions open for the Iris Prize and the festival programme for Ffresh in Wrexham is announced. But before all that we have some time off and an opportunity to recharge our batteries,” said Berwyn Rowlands.

Iris Prize Festival
The festival, now in its 6th year, saw UK visitors up to 28% and International visitors up to 19% with the overall attendance up by 21% with a total of 4,147 attending the 2012 event. The festival was extended by a day and new initiatives included a dedicated education day targeting 14 – 17 year olds and an expanded awards show and lunch hosted by Amy Lamé. The Producers Forum, a dedicated film industry event, was also expanded in 2012 to become a mainstream event attracting industry professionals from across the UK and beyond.

The 2012 festival began memorably with 450 people packing out Newport’s Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre on a Monday morning to listen to director Mike Leigh talk about his illustrious career. To celebrate the festival being host for the first time by the Newport Film School, the company created the Newport Stories project consisting of 6 original films and an exhibition dedicated to images and stories about Newport in 50 words or less. Working with British Council Wales, the festival also hosted the first ever UK retrospective of Jonathan Caouette including a masterclass with the American filmmaker – other guests included Bafta winning directors Asif Kapadia and Matt Lipsey. Ffresh 2012 recorded 853 registrations over 3 days – an increase of 12% from the 2011 festival

Moving Image  
The company was busier than ever in 2012 making films and promos for a range of companies including new client Dŵr Cymru. This exciting contract enabled us to be even more creative adding a moving image version of their annual report to our strong portfolio of short films for the company.  We continued our relationship with clients Plaid Cymru, adding an ambitious promo for them that asked the question ‘What is Welshness?’ We also produced two short films, Little Man with Israeli director Eldar Rapaport and Burger with Magnus Mork from Norway. Both will screen on the BBC. Finally, the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity returned to the Festivals Company to ask us to create a promo that was shown at an event in Cardiff City Hall hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones (pictured above).