A CROWD-FUNDED UK mountain biking film had its premiere Welsh screening in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Jul 30) and was a very big hit with mountain bikers and fitness fanatics alike.
‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’, was shown at the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth at 7.30pm.
Shot and co-produced by Blue Hippo Media (the makers of Bafta Winning ‘Bicycle’) and in partnership with ‘Singletrack’ magazine, the documentary film tells the story of the early development of mountain biking from its early days of ‘fat tyre clunkers’ four decades ago, all the way to what people know of it today- a modern day success , especially for UK Mountain Bike athletes worldwide.
Mountain biking made its mark by beginning in the hills of the West Coast of the USA, and the documentary sets out to tell the story through archive footage of early XC racing all the way to the modern British scene of mountain biking.
The documentary is made even more spectacular by featuring clips and interviews with famous names in the biking industry such as Steve Peat, Dan Gee, Tracy Moseley, Rachel Atherton, Rob Warner, Gary Fisher, Jason Miles, Geoff Apps and many more. In addition, the contributions of the famous names portray how they have helped shaped mountain biking into a global phenomenon. Piers Linney, former Dragon on BBC Dragons Den and MTB enthusiast, also participates in the film as an Associate Producer.
Pi Piper, the Co-Director and Producer of the film, spoke to The Herald on the film’s success and how it has aimed to inspire future Mountain Bikers: “Blue hippo media is a film company that has been going for over ten years and has made several feature length films including multi award -winning ‘The Insatiable Moon ‘, a NZ story we produced with the producer of The Lord of the Rings in 2009. We also made the much acclaimed documentary ‘Last Shop Standing ‘.
“The film has been made over the past nine months and took us all over the UK. It is an untold story and features what we believe are key elements of the story told through people who were and are there. It has been received really well which is a relief!
“I think it inspires that getting out on a mountain bike whatever the terrain or for how long, racing or just taking it easy , is about freedom to have adventures in nature.
“The film is screening in several places across the UK but can be bought as a download from August 6 at vimeo. com/ondemand/mtbuntold . ”
Alice Briggs, Assistant Curator at The Ceredigion Museum, spoke to The Herald about the screening and how Ceredigion Museum was honoured to be hosting the event: “We had fifty people attend, and there was a short introduction from Joe Hayward of ‘Summit Cycles’ in Aberystwyth , as it was a partnership event and they are one of the Crowd Funding supporters , because it was an ‘Indiegogo’ Crowd Funded film. They wanted to screen it in Aberystwyth as one of the premieres across Wales because it’s not actually on general release until this week (Aug 6), so it was a good opportunity for us.
“People hung around to chat with one another after the screening but we did not have a Q&A on the night. Fifty people, for us at The Ceredigion Museum, is a nice size audience, because we don’t have a huge number of seats at the moment.
“We ran an ‘adventure film night’ with Travel Writer s Hannah Engelkamp and Rhys Thwaites Jones, who make adventure films locally , and they partner with us on a type of quarterly programme.
“Joe Hayward came to the last one, which was an American equivalent of ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’ focussing on one individual in the Californian history of mountain biking who disappeared. When he was here, he mentioned about the British History of mountain biking film and asked if we would be interested in screening it.
“They don’t have a partner in Aberystwyth at the moment, only in Coed y Brenin, but they were looking for somewhere to screen locally here. It works really well for us to have a nice partnership like that and it brings a different audience into the Museum.
“Since the Ceredigion Museum had a cinema screen re-installed a few months ago, the success will slowly come and the ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’ was one of the first screenings, so we are looking to get more offers and there is more potential for us to work in partnerships with people. We definitely would like to get the word out there.
“We’re really keen to diversify the audience that we get into film screenings and other events as well; that’s one of the exciting things about having the cinema screens back , definitely.”
“What we want to make sure of is that we’re not trading on the toes of other local film providers in the area – that we’re doing something different and unique. We do feel that we can offer something different and that coming to the old Coliseum isn’t just about coming to the cinema , but also for the atmosphere and experience.”
It’s About Time
THIS January, Ceredigion Museum are proud to exhibit artwork by the portrait painter Seren Morgan Jones, originally from Aberystwyth and the third generation of women artists in her family.
Jones follows in the footsteps of her grandmother Margaret Jones, whose work forms part of the Ceredigion Museum collection. The exhibition will be followed in January 2019 by a retrospective show of work by her grandmother Margaret Jones who celebrates her 100th birthday this December.
It’s About Time is an amalgamation of two distinct bodies of work created by Seren Morgan Jones; ‘History’s Eyes’ documenting Welsh women from the 19th century and ‘Portraits of Protesters’ a collection of paintings documenting Welsh suffragists at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Drawing inspiration from historical aesthetics and references, but expanding the scope of traditional portraiture, Jones redefines and re-imagines the historical narrative, and through this creating a place for women within the Welsh visual story. The paintings take on an additional layer of importance and meaning when shown in the context of Ceredigion Museum; which houses a large collection of items representing the culture and history of the county. The collection is home to many items that have been donated by women, but we too often don’t have the narrative of those women’s lives. Jones used the Ceredigion Museum collection of welsh costume as research for her paintings depicting women in welsh traditional garb; the women largely remain nameless and faceless in our displays and yet here, in Jones’ work those women’s histories are now brought to life.
The portraits are powerful and direct; the eyes gaze unswerving to create an utterly distraction-free moment between viewer and painting which seeks to challenge and question. The portraits are imagined and shaped from stories and photographs of women rather than actual bygone figures. In the creation of these false portraits, in a style that references that of the tradition of Welsh Masters; Jones places her and the women whom she is portraying within this cultural narrative.
Of her work, Jones says: “I create an alternative image of Welsh women to counter the representation often seen in tourist shops. Some would argue that this is the only ubiquitous presence of women from Wales’ past. It is important that the viewer can relate to these women and for this they must seem to have once lived.”
Join Ceredigion Museum for the official opening of the exhibition on 27 January at 2pm. The exhibition will be opened by the renowned artist William Wilkins.
The exhibition is a partnership project with TEN gallery Cardiff and will run from 20 January until 16 April 2018 at Ceredigion Museum. For more information please contact Assistant Curator Alice Briggs, email@example.com or 01970633086.
Four arrested as man remains in ‘critical condition’
FOUR men have been arrested after a man was hospitalised in the early hours of Sunday morning (Jan 14).
19-year-old Ifan Richards Owen is in hospital in critical condition after the attack.
The incident took place in High Street, Aberystwyth, at approximately 2:20am.
Four men, aged 19, 20, 23 and 25 have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.
They are in police custody.
Police are now appealing for witnesses to contact them as a matter of urgency.
DCI Anthony Evans, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “We are issuing a fresh appeal for witnesses to the assault on Ifan Richards Owens, aged 19, which occurred on High Street, Aberystwyth at around 2.20am on Sunday, January 14.
“In particular we would like to speak to anyone who gave first aid to Mr Owens before emergency services arrived.
“Mr Owens remains in hospital in a critical condition.
“We would urge anyone with any information that could assist in our investigation any witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have any CCTV or video footage of the incident to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 402 of January 14. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“Four men, aged 25, 23, 20 and 19, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and remain in police custody at this time.”
Ifan’s family said in a statement: “Ifan is a kind and gentle person, and we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from family, friends, as well as Ifan’s school friends, teachers, university friends, and sports teams, who are all sending their best wishes for Ifan, who is desperately ill following this incident in Aberystwyth.
“Ifan’s only choice for university was Aberystwyth, he had no interest in any other university and absolutely loves the town. He plays football and rugby for the Geltaidd Football and Rugby Clubs and is enjoying his second year studying Criminology at Aberystwyth University.”
Ceredigion MP welcomes 7-year Lottery investment in Llandysul
RURAL FUTURES, a new 7 year programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund, will be rolled out in 10 communities across Wales, including Llandysul in Ceredigion.
Professional advice will be available to help the town create effective long-term solutions to the challenging issues they face.
Rural Futures is delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency and the BRO Partnership. Llandysul was chosen following a period of research into local economic and social statistics, and liaising with local councillors and staff in numerous community support organisations and community groups.
The decision was finalised following the public meeting held by Ben Lake MP and Elin Jones AM in Llandysul on November 3 whereby over 150 local people came to discuss the town’s future. This meeting helped the Rural Futures team identify that Llandysul would greatly benefit from support to address a number of local and rural issues.
Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion said: “I am delighted that the successful public meeting held in November played a part in securing this substantial investment. Rural communities such as Llandysul are currently facing enormous challenges and I’m confident that this innovative programme will provide valuable guidance and support to the community as it seeks to come up with ambitious, creative and practical solutions that will regenerate the town.”
Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion said: “This is excellent news for Llandysul. This programme will give the community the opportunity to take ownership of future plans and projects and implement vital improvements to the town on their own terms.”
The Rural Futures team will work with the community of Llandysul and will also work in partnership with public bodies and local organisations, who are already operating in the area, to add value where possible to their efforts.
Keith Evans, County Councillor for Llandysul said: “Having worked closely with the Rural Futures team over the past few months, I’m extremely pleased that Llandysul has been chosen as one of the 10 communities across Wales to benefit from this programme. I look forward to further collaboration over the next 7 years as we seek to regenerate and invigorate the town.”
Ruth Bates, the Big Lottery Fund’s Communications Officer commented: “This is a new approach for the BLF and in keeping with our aim of putting people in the lead, we see the Rural Futures programme as a fantastic opportunity to deliver real benefits to communities, as well as informing future policy and funding in Wales.”
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