Wales Documentary Support Network
A Screen Alliance Wales & Wheesht Films partnership, made with the support of the BFI Doc Society Fund.
Wales Documentary Support Network is a multi-stage project comprising on-line and face-to-face activities designed to identify, support, engage, elevate and educate the existing cohort of documentary filmmakers in Wales, as well as encourage new documentary enthusiasts into the industry too. The project is a joint partnership between Wheesht Films, and Screen Alliance Wales.
Offering a comprehensive range of free services to documentary filmmakers, from novices though to established filmmakers, the Wales Documentary Support Network hopes to connect Welsh documentary talent with their peers and provide stronger support to the community by offering filmmakers the opportunity to register their details onto a centralised database, as well as gain access to private online peer support groups and free digital master classes.
In addition, the Wales Documentary Support Network will also seek to offer support, encouragement and opportunities via bespoke inclusive workshops to targeted cohorts of the underserved communities within Wales looking to engage in the world of documentary filmmaking.
Monthly Online Café
If you want to hear more about our project, then pop along to our monthly café, or sign up on our online database for monthly invites, and we can keep you up to date with what’s happening within the Welsh documentary community. And if you want, you can join our private online peer group support chat too!
1. Jay Bedwani
Episode 1 features documentary filmmaker Jay Bedwani.
Jay’s first film, My Mother, was awarded Best UK Short at the Iris Prize Film Festival, whilst his second film, Stretch went on to win the Best Short Documentary Award at the Wales International Documentary Festival.
In July 2022 Jay’s first feature documentary Donna premiered at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco as part of the Frameline Film Festival and showcased legendary trans activist and lip-sync performer Donna Personna as she embraces all that life has to offer in her twilight years. Driven by a desire to capture the nuance of human relationships, Jay often focuses on exploring stories concerning the LGBTQ+ community.
Jay discusses the inspiration behind his films, as well as the challenges that arise when you endeavour to capture complex, unfolding narratives on camera.
If you want to find out more about Jay's award winning films, click here.
2. Catryn Ramasut
This episode, our featured guest is the award winning producer Catryn Ramasut. Co-founder of Cardiff based company ie ie Productions, Catryn’s first film, Separado, picked up CPH:Dox’s Sound and Vision Award in 2010, whilst her second film, American Interior went on to win the Best Music Documentary Award in 2015 at Barcelona’s In-Edit Festival.
In 2017, her third feature Queerama premiered at the Sheffield Docfest and told the story of an extraordinary century of gay experiences, whilst her forth feature, Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm picked up a Grierson Nomination for Best Music Documentary.
Catryn and I discuss her approach to producing films, the challenges she’s navigated during her feature doc career, and the necessary qualities you need to cultivate to become a successful documentary film producer.
If you want to find out more about Catryn's award winning films, click here.
3. Alice Powell
This episode, our featured guest is editor Alice Powell. Since graduating from the National Film & Television School in 2007, Alice has cut a long list of high-profile feature documentaries, and her films have screened at Sheffield Docfest, South by SouthWest, Hot Docs, the Berlin International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.
Alice likes to collaborate with producers and directors to tell stories with integrity and a delicate human touch.
Alice and I discuss her unusual pathway into the industry, how she handles hundreds of hours’ worth of footage, and last but not least the ethics of editing.
If you want to find out more about Alice's award winning films, click here.
4. Claire Vaughan
This episode, our featured guest is Claire Vaughan, Cinema Programme Manager at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff.
Since her appointment to the role in 2018, Claire has been responsible for curating Chapter’s eclectic array of both art house and mainstream films.
An avid film fan with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things cinema related, Claire has been a long time champion of documentary talent, not just on her home turf but across the UK.
We discuss the ever growing presence of feature docs in cinema and online, the in’s and outs of self-distribution, and the importance of great marketing.
If you want to find out more about Claire or Chapter Cinema, click here.
5. Laura Taylor-Williams
This episode our featured guest is Distribution Executive
Laura Taylor-Williams. Having worked in international sales and distribution for over 15 years, Laura’s worked for a number of high profile companies such as Warner Brothers, NBC Universal and Aardman.
We discuss how best to prepare your film for sales and distribution agents, the myriad of ways to sell your documentaries online, and the benefits of planning your sales strategy from the outset.