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Ruthin International Arts Festival for Ruthin Castle


Ruthin International Arts Festival for Ruthin Castle

The film programme has been announced for the inaugural Ruthin International Arts Festival…

Taking place in the historic North Wales town from 28 June – 28 July 2024, set to be screened at an incredible outdoor cinema constructed at the historic 13th century Ruthin Castle. Resonating with the overarching festival theme of Elsewhere, the programme includes Welsh Premieres of internationally acclaimed films, Q+As with prestigious Chinese directors, and an array of films involving Welsh, Chinese, English, Spanish, Dzongkha, Tibetan, and French.

All taking place at the picturesque venue of Ruthin Castle, each film will delve into the emotional and physical landscapes of youth; exploring the concepts of distance, memory, and cultural dislocation.

Leading the programme are four critically acclaimed films by four pioneering members of China’s Sixth Generation of Filmmakers: Jia Zhangke, Ning Hao, Zhang Yuan, and Wang Xiaoshuai. This movement, which emerged in the 1990s, is characterised by its gritty realism, stylistic experimentation, and unrelenting focus on class struggle and disenfranchised youth. The Sixth Generation is known for breaking away from the state-controlled studio system, instead producing films independently and with limited budgets.

Ruthin International Arts Festival is to present the official Welsh Premieres of award-winning films by each of these trailblazing directors –  which will each be followed with Q & A panels with the directors, all of whom  will all be present in Ruthin for the festival’s opening weekend.

Jia Zhangke – Pickpocket (小武) will play on 28 June (20:00 – Ruthin Castle); Ning Hao – Crazy Stone (疯狂的石头) will play on 29 June (20:00 – Ruthin Castle);  Zhang Yuan – East Palace, West Palace (东宫西宫) will play on 01 July (20:00 – Ruthin Castle); and Wang Xiaoshuai – Shanghai Dreams (青红) will play 02 July (20:00 – Ruthin Castle) to welcome in the inaugural year of Ruthin International Arts Festival.

In Welsh and International-Language film highlights that artistically explore Elsewhere, the Ruthin International Arts Festival will also be screening Gideon Koppel’s Sleep Furiously (2008) – a multi-award nominated Welsh-English poetic short film, shot in North Wales, featuring music by Aphex Twins and winner of The Guardian Best First Feature Award; Oscar-nominated and shot in Bhutan, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2019) by Pawo Choyning Dorji will screen in English/Dzongkha; François Bibonne’s French Once upon a bridge in Vietnam (2024) will explore the task of finding meaning; in addition to Freud’s Last Session, starring Anthony Hopkins, (Matthew Brown, 2023 – English), Mr. Junjun (Niu Niu, 2023 – Mandarin), Sunflowers on the Nata River (Chenjin Ruan, 2022 – Tibetan/Mandarin), and Kindling (Connor O’Hara, 2023 – English).

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