Gala night opening of Wales International Documentary Festival 2018 in partnership with arts+minds

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Tuesday, April 17 at 19.00 at Market Hall Cinema, Brynmawr

Arts+Minds (Tai Calon Community Housing, Head4Arts & Aneurin Leisure) and the Wales International Documentary Festival wish to announce the launch of a new film, The Tick and the Bomb, directed by artist and filmmaker, Matt White.

This topical, locally-made film, featuring professional actors alongside residents from the Newtown community in Ebbw Vale, will be premiered at 7.00pm in the Market Hall Cinema, Byrnmawr on Tuesday 17th April.

Commissioned by Arts+Minds for the Arts Council of Wales’s IPP (Ideas · People · Places) programme, The Tick and the Bomb is an ambitious impressionistic film, which uses sharp anecdotes gleaned from the artist’s immersive two-year residency spent working with residents from Newtown in Ebbw Vale and housing/communities staff from Tai Calon.

The film contains a number of dramatised sequences that revolve around everyday moments (the tick) that have the potential for transformation or profound change (the bomb). Shot in various locations in Newtown over the last 6 months, the film seamlessly features Newtown residents and Tai Calon staff alongside professional actors.

Tai Calon’s Director of Communities & Housing, Andrew Myatt said: “we have been delighted to support Matt in making this imaginative film; he has wholeheartedly immersed himself in the community where we have a significant housing stock, and his thoroughly engaging creative work has generated huge levels of trust which has led to this local and genuinely collaborative film experience.

Following the screening of The Tick and the Bomb will be a unique presentation of The Dragon Has Two Tongues, the controversial Welsh documentary from 1985 presented by Gwyn Alf Williams and Wynford Vaughan Thomas. While dealing with representations about the wider Wales, this seminal documentary shares many of the paradoxes about ideas of identity and perceptions of people and place that White’s film evokes.

The screenings will be followed by a Q&A chaired by filmmaker, Michele Ryan with panellists Matt White, director Colin Thomas, blogger Nick Stradling and curator Chris Coppock.

Festival director Dave Evans said, "We're thrilled to be working with Wales' oldest cinema to present an iconic Welsh documentary in combination with a new short by Matt White which delves incisively into local culture. The recent controversy over reproduction rights for The Dragon Has Two Tongues is certain to provoke a lively debate in the Q&A after the screenings."


The Tick and the Bomb is Matt White’s latest media work in a series of creative conversations with the Tai Calon Community that revolve around the idea of ‘transformation’. The short film aims to highlight the ways that imaginative processes can be used to address some of the problems associated with the underlying principles of mainstream urban regeneration models, as well as exploring the on-going relationship between Newtown residents and the social landlord, charged with their care.

Community engagement and the collaborative process involved in making The Tick and the Bomb is a fundamentally important part of this project. Alongside previous creative interventions Matt White has instigated, the film attempts to challenge and change perceptions about Newtown, both from within and without.

Following the premiere at the Market Hall Cinema the film will go on a wider tour in Wales, be shown within major art galleries in the UK, and submitted to international film festivals. 

Matt White is a leading Bristol-based artist/filmmaker and a senior lecturer in Photography at the University of South Wales in Cardiff. Collaborative working with local communities underpins much of his artistic practice and he has worked successfully with a broad range of groups and individuals to create works that explore how personal and moral conflicts are sited within a wider socio-political landscape.

Arts+Minds is an arts and regeneration programme and strategic partnership between Tai Calon Community Housing, Head4Arts & Aneurin Leisure, funded by the Arts Council of Wales through its Ideas, People & Places programme, 2015/18.

For further details contact Chris Coppock, Creative Principal, Arts+Minds on (07929) 659 410 or [email protected]