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Students’ films screened in cinema premiere

Coleg Menai learners created Carreg Gron and The Hunger Pang Gang as part of the It’s My Shout training scheme, with the films now available to watch on the BBC and S4C

Coleg Menai students saw their films on the silver screen at the It’s My Shout premiere in Bangor.

The films, titled Carreg Gron and The Hunger Pang Gang, were also televised and are available to watch on BBC iPlayer and S4C Clic.

Both pieces were created this summer as part of It’s My Shout - a training scheme for people in Wales who want to gain experience in the film industry.

The films’ casts are made up entirely of students on the college’s Performing Arts courses - while other learners were involved in sound, hair and makeup, camerawork and set design.

The students last week joined industry professionals in the cinema at Pontio for a special screening of all eight It’s My Shout films created across Wales this year.

Rhys Lloyd-Williams, who is studying Level 4 Musical Theatre Professional Diploma in Performance, plays Alex, one of the main characters in The Hunger Pang Gang.

He said after the premiere: “It was an amazing experience and it brought back great memories. I love going to the cinema and it was surreal seeing myself on the big screen!

“This film has given me a huge confidence boost that I never expected. As soon as we started filming I just felt at home.

It’s My Shout is an amazing opportunity for young actors to get out there and make a name for themselves. It’s been the best experience of my life.”

Rhys added: “Coming to Coleg Menai is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve learned so many new things, had so many experiences and opportunities, learned to better myself and also I’ve made so many good friends.”

Deborah Parry, who is also studying Level 4 Musical Theatre Professional Diploma in Performance, plays lead character Sian in Carreg Gron, having previously appeared in another It’s My Shout film in 2021.

She said: “It’s My Shout gave me the opportunity to achieve my childhood dream, which was to become an actress.

“My first film was Dalen, directed by Richard Harrington, and this year’s film Carreg Gron directed by Sara Lloyd.

“Seeing this on screen was an emotional moment. Sara directed this film perfectly and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

“Thank you to It's My Shout and the teachers at Coleg Menai's Performing Arts department for teaching me how to be a good actress. Thank you all for your help.”

The Hunger Pang Gang was directed by actor, TV presenter and former Coleg Menai student Ceri Bostock, who was at the premiere in Bangor.

Interested in learning more about the creative industries with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai? Click here for more information about our courses in Performing Arts, Art & Design, Media, TV & Film, and more.

Ceri said: “It was so lovely to see the cast again and nice to see them feeling so proud that they were in the film. It feels surreal that our film has been on the big screen and on the BBC.

“I was blown away by the standard of the films. They were brilliant and they were all different.

“I’m happy with the cast I picked - they worked well together and the energy was great between them, and you can see that on the screen. I’m really happy for them that they’ll have footage from this to put on their showreel.”

Carreg Gron director Sara Lloyd is a theatre director and actor from Menai Bridge, who has appeared in Hinterland, Hearts of Gold and Bad Girls.

She said: “The students were brilliant. Considering how young they are, the commitment they gave and how they threw themselves into it was great.

“I was really impressed with the design students and the crew, how they applied themselves to doing something completely new.

“The actors were fantastic - I only had five parts and all five actors were really good.”

The Pontio premiere was jointly organised by Coleg Menai’s Creative Arts department and It's My Shout.

There were speeches from the college’s principal Aled Jones-Griffith, It's My Shout managing director Roger Burnell, Alaw Roberts from Rondo Media and Iddon Jones from Aria film studios.

Aled Jones-Griffith said: "As a college, we are extremely proud of the relationship we have with It's My Shout. Over the past 15 years, we have been able to offer experiences to over 600 learners.

“These experiences have been a key part of their education, and an excellent means of providing opportunities on a professional level as they pursue career paths in their chosen field.

“We look forward to continuing to work together, as we nurture and discover new talent for the creative industries here in north Wales."

Coleg Menai has worked with It's My Shout for a decade and a half, with students from Performing Arts, TV & Film and Art & Design courses creating one film in Welsh and one in English each year.

All films are shown on BBC and S4C, and several have been nominated for awards, including at the Celtic Film Festival.

Learners gain an invaluable broadcast credit, experience in the industry and networking opportunities. They are mentored by industry professionals who have worked on shows such as Doctor Who, Casualty, Pobol y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd.

Many students have gone on to successful careers in film and television, working on films such as Dolittle, Watchmen and Dan y Mellt, shows including Doctor Who and Gogglebocs Cymru, and for production companies such as Rondo and Cwmni Da.

The Hunger Pang Gang is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Carreg Gron can be seen on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.

For more information about It’s My Shout, visit the website here.