2017 Finale

As 2017 draws to a close, it is time to look ahead and plan for next year’s film production work. Downwood Film Productions is probably the oldest film company in South Wales, and for most of its time it has been concerned with making local history films on the various towns in this locality. The first of these, A History of Porthcawl, Newton and Nottage, was made in 1995 and much of its contemporary content is now history itself, so 2018 is the year when A Story of Porthcawl will go into production with the aim of bringing the town’s history up to date. There are still plenty of interesting things in the district for the camera to explore, and there is unseen footage from the 1980s and 1990s as well as the chance to dip into more of David Whitmarsh’s classic footage from the 1950s and 1960s. When I was working on the film The Garden by the Sea – A Story of Penarth two years ago, I was presented with a large amount of archive footage by James Barnett, whose mother shot much of it in Penarth in the 1930s and 1940s on her 16mm cine camera, and whilst sorting through it I came across scenes shot on Newton beach and in the front garden of one of only four houses in Danygraig Avenue in August 1940, giving a rare movie glimpse into Newton’s past. If you know of any more old home movie material, please get in touch to let me know.

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