Film Festival Pushing to Join the Big Players; CINEMA: City Centre Location and Extra Sponsorship Help to Raise Event's Profile
Byline: KAREN PRICE Arts and Media Correspondent
THE 13th International Film Festival of Wales opens its doors tonight, with organisers confident that an increase in funding and a new city centre location will help boost its profile.
The annual festival always enjoys a successful run, but a tight budget means it has been unable to compete with film festivals in Edinburgh, London, Dublin and Cannes.
Around pounds 130,000 is invested in IFFW compared with pounds 1m in the Edinburgh Film Festival, but this year it has been able to attract more sponsorship.
Director David Clarke said this and a city centre location - the new UGC cinema in Cardiff - would no doubt encourage bigger audiences, helping to raise its profile.
"We hope that this year's festival shows the way in which we can compete with major international festivals across the world, but we still have a big job to do, " he said.
The festival, which started life in Aberystwyth before moving to Cardiff, has previously hosted premieres at the UCI in Cardiff Bay, with most of its films being screened at Chapter Arts Centre.
This year the bulk of films will be at the UGC, with educational events and special screenings remaining at Chapter.
"It's always been our vision to bring the festival to the centre of the city. Therefore the opportunity to work at the new UGC has been a fantastic one for us, " said Mr Clarke.
"We think it will make an enormous difference to the profile of the festival by attracting more audiences.
"We continue to be keen for the festival to be one of Wales's hallmark events, particularly in the run-up to Cardiff's bid to be the European Capital of Culture 2008. …