Plastic pollution: Film by Welsh youngsters makes waves

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Media captionPlastic pollution: Where does a cup go after you use it?

A short film made by schoolchildren to raise awareness of plastic pollution will be shown at festivals around the world.

Life of a Plastic Cup illustrates how its functional lifespan at a party is far too short before it gets into the ocean and harms marine life.

It was put together by youngsters at the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy.

The experimental film's script was written by youngsters who used puppets and computer-generated environments.

"When the students started this project, we could never have imagined that our little film would be making waves on the international film festival circuit," said tutor Alan Terrell.

"Seen through the eyes of the plastic cup, and narrated by one of our younger members, the film carries a hauntingly tragic message about plastic pollution."

Image copyright BGFA
Image caption The schoolchildren who worked on the short film were aged eight to 15
Image copyright BGFA
Image caption Youngsters designed the props themselves as well as putting sets together

It was shown in the New Earth International Film Festival in Krakow and the Sea and Beach Film Festival in Alicante last year.

But this year it will go transatlantic - as well as featuring at the North European Fusion International Film Festival in London, it will appear at a number of events in the USA.

These include Providence Film Festival in Rhode Island, Children's Film Festival Seattle, New York WILD Film Festival, and Cinema Verde, an environmental film and arts festival in Gainesville, Florida.

In all there are 170 youngsters at the academy and 20 of those, aged eight to 15, worked on the film.

Image copyright BGFA
Image caption From Tredegar to the world: The environmental film is being shown at festivals around the globe

Students have won acclaim for a number of projects, including an adaptation of a Stephen King short story.

The academy has been running for two years and is not-for-profit, with sponsors and donations enabling children to learn about all aspects of filmmaking in free classes.

Head tutor Kevin Phillips said: "Our aim is to make these opportunities available for all young people of all abilities.

"We pride ourselves on narrowing the class divide, making the academy open to all young people in the Blaenau Gwent area and beyond."

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