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BA (Hons) Film Practice graduates’ Welsh BAFTA shortlist

Written by
Jake May
Published date
07 November 2017

The Welsh BAFTA awards ceremony, BAFTA Cymru, shortlisted ‘Meat on Bones’, a short film made by BA (Hons) Film Practice graduates, Joseph Ollman and Alex Durham.

‘Meat on Bones’ has also successfully screened at film festivals across the UK and abroad, including Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Cannes and Bucharest Film Festival. Alongside the BAFTA Cymru nomination, the film has gone on to win The Jury Prize at Berlin Around International Film Festival, Director of the Month in the November Monthly Film Festival and the Award of Excellence at the Canada Shorts Film Festival.

Joseph, who directed the film, told us: “I’ve always been fascinated with films and have always made them as a hobby. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when applying for university, so I applied for many different subjects at LCC. I got a really good feeling about the course from the Course Leaders, Polly Nash and Klaus Fried, when being interviewed and I knew I wanted to do something practical and creative. As soon as I started on it I knew I was in the right place.”

We got chatting with Joseph and the film’s producer Alex to find out more about the 2016 graduates’ film…

Sketch from the pre-production stage of Meat on Bones

Hi guys, congratulations on your nomination. How does it feel to be considered?

Alex: It’s a great feeling. The film has just finished the festival circuit, so it feels like a nice way to wrap it up, in a way. Joe and I started talking about making the film about 2 years ago, so for it to have gone from a script, into production, to international festivals and now BAFTA Cymru feels great. It got accepted into some BAFTA qualifying festivals, and it got picked up from there.

Joseph: It’s always a pleasure to have positive acknowledgement for your work, whether it’s personal feedback or on a huge scale such as BAFTA. It’s recognition that you’re probably doing the right thing and to keep going.

Can you give us a brief overview of Meat on Bones?

Joseph: Meat on Bones is a short realist film set on the wild and stormy coast of South Wales. It’s based on characters Dai Pritchard, a middle-aged alcoholic who has isolated himself from the world in a caravan on the edge of a cliff, and a young Council Official, Gwyn, who comes to evict Dai from the land. It all gets a bit chaotic when Dai, in drunken desperation kidnaps the poor lad. Throughout the story their characters unravel as you find out more about their individual worlds.

What most inspires your work?

Alex: Relationships between people, trying to figure out what motivates people and why, seeing how people deal with conflict, how resolute someone can or will be. It’s all about characters, people and their stories for me.

What was the inspiration behind the film?

Joseph: The film first came to me as a single image of this big man living on the edge of a cliff in a caravan. I developed the character and decided I wanted to make a story about this guy. I went through various drafts developing the script and it evolved to become a ‘two-hander’ film focusing on him and the other character, Gwyn. It transitioned to become something about them both and about the human condition as a whole.

What has been the greatest challenge in putting the film together?

Alex: Probably choosing the locations themselves. We spent a lot of time exploring the Welsh coast during pre-production. You’d be hard pushed to find a part of the coast that isn’t beautiful and cinematic. It wasn’t difficult to find places we liked, but difficult to choose places we wanted to film in, as there were many.

Still taken from Meat on Bones

What did you hope to achieve through this work?

Joseph: To make a truthful honest film that represented my original vision. I also wanted to create something everyone could be proud of as a good way to finish the course – it’s always useful to have good examples of work in order to find funding for future projects.

What has been the highlight of your time on the course?

Alex: Getting to work with the insanely talented and knowledgeable colleagues on my course. I learned a lot from everyone I was surrounded by from each department and I still apply those lessons today.

Other award nominations include:

  • Brian Hibbard Award at Cardiff Independent Film Awards 2017, celebrating upcoming Welsh filmmakers
  • Best Film and Best Actor at Short Stop International Film Festival 2017
  • BAFTA Cymru 2017 (Welsh BAFTA)

Words by Jyoti Mann