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John Malkovich hotel holds Trefeurig school fund-raiser

image captionTrefeurig primary school closed in 2006

A hotel part-owned by actor John Malkovich is staging a fundraising campaign to buy a village school featured in an award-winning film.

Sleep Furiously charts the struggle of Trefeurig, near Aberystwyth, to retain the school at its heart.

The movie, said to be a favourite of Malkovich's, will be shown at the campaign launch at Cardiff's Big Sleep.

Villagers are launching it in Cardiff because they want to attract support from other communities.

Sleep Furiously was made by Gideon Koppel, who was brought up in Trefeurig, and it won the Guardian First Film Award last year.

The film documents the community's struggle to retain the primary school, which closed in 2006 due to falling pupil numbers.

The movie will be shown to up to 50 guests in the John Malkovich suite at The Big Sleep hotel.

The actor - star of such movies as In The Line of Fire, Empire of the Sun, The Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons and Con Air - is a partner in the business.

Since its closure, the school has been leased back to people in Trefeurig by Ceredigion council and it has been used to stage community events.

But a group of villagers, calling themselves Trefeurig Development Group, is keen to secure the building's future.

It has applied for a £350,000 grant from the National Lottery to buy and convert the old school for community use.

"Losing the school would be a direct threat to our community," said Jane Guest, chair of the Trefeurig Development Group.

image captionJohn Malkovich is known as one of Hollywood's most distinctive actors

"We have used the school for tai chi, IT classes, agricultural show, 60+ group, birthday parties, community meals, band practice, New Year's Eve celebrations, community activities, community council meetings, drumming classes, samba band, family games nights, treasure hunts and carol concerts.

"We have had a good attendance from community members of all ages, Welsh and English speaking alike. We are really keen to protect what we have, maintain our existing calendar of activities and expand it further, so we are determined to raise the money to buy it ourselves.

"Even though it has closed as a school, the building is still the centre of community activity, its calendar of events is the glue that sticks our community together."

Marian Gray, who is also a member of the group, said the fundraising campaign was being staged in Cardiff to attract support from other communities.

"We also decided to stage the event at The Big Sleep because of the link with John Malkovich, who is said to be a fan of Sleep Furiously," she said.

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