North East Wales

Ysgol y Llys school wins at international film festival

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Media captionWoolly win for Prestatyn school's film

A Denbighshire primary school has won an international film festival award for their documentary about Wales' traditional wool industry.

Ysgol y Llys' film Gwlan (Wool) clinched best documentary category in Spanish international youth film festival Plasencia Encorto.

The Welsh-language project was scripted, edited and shot by four Year five pupils at the Prestatyn school.

Deputy head Rhys Griffith said they were "overjoyed" to have won.

Funded by a £5,000 grant, the film was made with the help of local filmmaker Michael Kitchin, who travelled to Spain to accept the award on their behalf.

Image copyright Ysgol Y Llys

"It was pretty exciting when we found out we were in the final - but when we found out we won we were overjoyed," Mr Griffith said.

He said the film's success lay in its subject matter.

"It was the treatment of it," he said. "It depicts local sheep shearers, wearing their traditional shoes, carrying out their jobs.

"And we also have the school choir singing in Welsh throughout in the background."

Mr Griffith said the project was initially launched to improve pupils' digital skills.

Image copyright Ysgol Y Llys

"We also have a lot of kids who are interested in acting and the creative arts so we thought we'd give it a go," he added.

"They worked really hard. It's given them skills - but it's also given them real confidence in themselves.

"There's been a real buzz about it. They were all really disappointed when the project finished."

The film has also been entered in competitions in London, Dublin, Australia and Slovakia - with judges in Australia praising its use of Welsh.

'Fire in their bellies'

Since its success, the budding directors have gone on to make an anti-bullying film, now being used by Talacre-based education activity centre DangerPoint.

The group were even invited to judge a category at Prestatyn's Wales International Youth Film Festival Wicked:16 last year - and saw their film screened at the local independent Scala Cinema.

"It looked fantastic," said Mr Griffith.

And, he added, the project has now encouraged pupils to produce more films, with some eager to pursue creative careers.

"One of the group is really keen on acting, and has joined his local amateur dramatic group. And the others want to do more projects.

"It has lit a fire in their bellies."

Image copyright Ysgol Y Llys
Image caption The school won best documentary category in Spanish international youth film festival Plasencia Encorto

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