Capturing Cardiff

This week Chapter Arts Centre plays host to the annual Cardiff Film Festival. The festival features 80 films and the variety this year is a huge dynamic of global offerings with different genres: documentaries, animation, true stories, new features from Welsh directors and some horrors to chill the bones.

There is an educational screening and interactive workshops for budding filmmakers, for both adults and children – even one with a special theme of Cardiff born Roald Dahl. Chapter offers the perfect environment to explore and experiment.

Today, Cardiff boasts a wealth of cultural venues, including the world class Wales Millennium Centre. But for the film festival, Chapter is very much a spiritual home: it embodies the same diversity and eclecticism that the festival hopes to represent. 

“A meeting place of ideas” Chapter’s director, Janek Alexander, says is the best way to describe the place – “Social aspects of life are not separate from art”. He comments that Chapter is about creating the space and making links to encourage and support social and artistic trends – locally in Wales, and reaching out to embrace a growing international cultural exchange.

Mik Flood, the first director and one of Chapter’s founding members, initiated and nurtured the practice of international programming in the early 1970’s. As well as artist exchanges and exhibitions, he developed a cinema that has continuously provided a comprehensive range of culturally diverse movies.

The original Chapter One cinema had red velvet creaking seats and the old styled projector. Still today it provides a platform for new directors on the international scene, usually only found in back street or fringe London venues. 

Chapter has grown tremendously over the past 35 years, thanks to the original personalities that started the idea: to create a space for arts, artists and public to merge, mingle and enjoy. It’s one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic arts centres and is used as a model, both in the success of creating public spaces and as a vibrant centre for the arts. 

 It has a unique kind of public space with cinema, theatre, café, gallery and bar, and a continuous stream of cultural workspaces and interactive workshops. The atmosphere is open house and the concourse, soon to be extended, is a multi-functioning social zone, where cinema goer can sometimes take cafe with the film’s director, sample the finest collection of world beers and share comment and quirks about the myriad of events that take place almost all year round.

Chapter has been described by founder member Chris Kinsey, “to be the windows on
Wales and a doorway to the world of contemporary art”. Both the International Film Festival and Chapter raise the Welsh profile, at home and abroad.

Andrew Davies, Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, recognizes the important role of the festival which “sharpens the ambitions of our filmmakers, and provides first-class opportunity for Welsh films to stand alongside the best in the world”.


The Chapter story

The story is about Chapter Arts Centre and its presence in ‘Capturing Cardiff”.

This week the cinema has Al Gore’s film, “The Inconceivable Truth”, another example of how Chapter provides a place for today’s ideas, arts, debates, political & social expressions.

An interview with the director, staff and some members of the public; the Chapter events brochure and website; phoning characters from the past who initially made the place happen and my own reflections of working, learning, teaching and socializing there for 33 years.

Cardiff International

Front of Book:

Headline- A new vision for life.

A short review on the Cardiff Natural health show in the student’s union, profile:  make links about the natural therapies.

Headline- Saftey tips for your Holiday

Short piece about incident in Corfu, expand to other factors and safety tips for holiday-makers.


Headline: At what expense to the planet?- What is the balance between economics and scientific practicals

article debating economic versus scientific and practical perspectives.

Headline: Nu-cruel Intentions

About new developments on the nuclear programmes.

Back of book:

Review of Cowbridge Food and Drink festival, when its coming up next?

3 ideas to bounce

1. Patricia Hewitt has launched “Know Your Limits” and also appealed to the Chancellor to raise taxes on Alchopopos, and other such drinks that teenagers buy. There is a growing and alarming increase of alcohol consumption in young people. Cardiff has one of the worst statistics for late night admissions into A&E that are alcohol related.

Research of the A&E unit for stats

Scan papers for recent articles related to Cardiff underage alcohol abuse issues

Interview Care workers who manage homes that support young criminals – one extreme end of the problem.

AA and the work of recovery

Interview Mental health professionals for their views to why young people have this attitude in the first place. 

2. Dragons and Bristol play in European Challenge Cup, in a disappointing game for Wales. This sets a scene as we move nearer to the six nations championship, as Wales really ought to reclaim their natural status as Number One!

Interviews with Rugby Managers / players / supporters

Research events and the consensus of the state of Welsh performance and porspects 

3. “A HEALTH boss has compared working in Wales’ largest hospital to dealing with the 7/7 London bombings every day.” ( – Hugh Dowd who is a consultant at Wales’ Heath hospital says that he has to run around like a “headless chicken”. The whole of the NHS is mainstream news each day. NHS Wales employs the majority of workers in Wales, so is of major importance to all. Welsh Assembly legislation is limited due to a coalition that diffuses any clear moves to change.

Interview the health minister for specific plans to improve nhs

Find local GP for his overview

Go to hospital and speak to nurses / patients /

Research Welsh Assembly’s attitude and expectations for long term goals

Happy World

Environment etc

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