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Students’ films to be televised on BBC and S4C

students acting

Two films created by Coleg Menai students are to be televised – with Ceri Bostock returning to her former college to direct one of them.

A supernatural story of revenge and a dilemma over an unexpected delivery are the subjects of the films, which are set to be shown on BBC and S4C.

Carreg Gron and The Hunger Pang Gang were filmed as part of It’s My Shout – a training scheme for people in Wales interested in gaining experience in the film industry.

Both films have a cast 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.

Ceri Bostock, a former Coleg Menai student who is set to appear in forthcoming film ‘Bolan’s Shoes’, was in the director’s chair for The Hunger Pang Gang, while Sara Lloyd called the shots on Carreg Gron.

Ceri has appeared in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, presented BAFTA-winning S4C children’s show Dwylo’r Enfys, and more recently has been first assistant director on S4C soap Pobol y Cwm.

Ceri Bostock directing The Hunger Pang Gang

Sara is a theatre director and actor from Menai Bridge, and has appeared in Hinterland, Hearts of Gold and Bad Girls. She is currently in rehearsals directing a Welsh-language adaptation of hit comedy Fleabag at Theatr Clwyd.

Both directors were impressed with the students from the Levels 2, 3 and 4 Performing Arts courses who auditioned for roles in the Coleg Menai films last month, as well as the Levels 2 and 3 Creative Media students who were involved in production.

Ceri said: “I really enjoyed the performing arts course at Coleg Menai, and it was lovely to go back there with It’s My Shout.

“I’ve loved working with the students, and it’s great that Coleg Menai is giving them this opportunity. They’re going to have footage for their show-reel and it’s a kick-start for their career.

“It’s great to have the experience of being on set and seeing how it’s all put together. Everyone I know who has done a performing arts course says it’s not until you’ve done it and been on set that you learn so much more about the process of production.

“It’s definitely something that’s very much needed and the students really made the most of the opportunity.”

Tense scenes from The Hunger Pang Gang

Describing The Hunger Pang Gang, Ceri said: “It’s about a crew of students who don’t have much money, they’re all poor and there’s not much food in the house.

“A delivery is made but they’re not sure where the delivery has come from, and there’s a dilemma between the different characters whether they eat the food or not.

“For me it was all about the students and the acting, that was my priority. I tried to make sure they’ve got something they’re happy with and can be proud of. There was a great vibe between them and for me it was important they bounced well off each other.”

Carreg Gron is described by Sara as “a supernatural story of revenge, which explores female teenage relationships”. For the protagonist Siân, “facing her bullies calls for a deeper power than she could ever have imagined possessing”.

Sara said: “The film is about being that age, 17 or 18, and it was really nice for me to be filming back home where I was when I was that age. It reminded me what it was like to be that age and it was great to see how well they coped with being thrown in at the deep end.

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

Carreg Gron was filmed on location around Bangor as well as in Caernarfon and Beaumaris
Students also helped with make-up and other production tasks

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

“The actors were fantastic – I only had five actors to choose from and five parts and they were all really good.”

Carreg Gron was filmed at Coleg Menai in Bangor and around the city, and also at the ITV studios in Caernarfon and Beaumaris. It will be shown on S4C and Hansh.

‘The Hunger Pang Gang’ was filmed at the Rondo TV studios in Llangefni, and will be shown on BBC. Both films will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for a year afterwards.

Everyone involved will be invited to a celebratory ceremony in Cardiff next year – offering the students the chance to network with celebrity guests, industry specialists from TV studios and big universities like the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

In previous years the cast of Gavin and Stacey have been among the guests, while at one ceremony, a student was offered the chance to work with Doctor Who producer Russell T Davies.

Coleg Menai has been working with It’s My Shout for more than a decade, each year creating a Welsh-language film and an English-language film.

Pictures from the filming of Carreg Gron

Lisa Jones, Programme Leader for Level 3 Performing Arts said:

“We are really grateful for the partnership with It’s My Shout and the valuable experiences it presents to our students year after year.”

Roger Burnell, founder and creative director of It’s My Shout Productions, said: “It’s My Shout is proud of its long and hugely successful partnership with Coleg Menai.

“The films we make with the college for BBC Wales and S4C reflect the quality of the talent at the college and the creativity available in North Wales. Both It’s My Shout and the broadcasters look to develop the relationship in future years.”

The Performing Arts course at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Bangor and Rhos-on-Sea campuses encourages a variety of skills, including acting, directing, scripting, performing physical theatre, and preparing for auditions.

Learners study a range of units to help prepare them for both the television and theatre industries while at the same time gaining an academic qualification.

Many students have gone on to have gained jobs acting on popular TV programmes, teaching dancing and choreography, and directing.

For more information about the Performing Arts courses at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, click here.

The cast and crew of Coleg Menai’s It’s My Shout films

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