Newtown director's second film aired on BBC

Reporter:

Owain Farrington

A DIRECTOR from Newtown has had his second short film, ‘Dear Mr Ali’ aired on the BBC.

Jamie McKee, who now lives in Cardiff directed the coming of age drama, written by Scott Chambers and made by It’s My Shout Productions for BBC Wales.

The film is about Gareth, a troubled teenager who finds himself in detention.

He has not got any friends at school and finds himself isolated but things change when he befriends his teacher Mr Ali, discovering a natural talent for cooking.

In time, Gareth also makes a new group of friends headed up by ‘Iwan’ the school bully.

He then realises he can’t have both friends in his life so has to make a decision between the two.

The film was cast in June in partnership with Coleg Menai in Bangor.

Mr McKee said: “I spent two days up there casting and then rehearsals with the successful actors.

“They weren’t your typical drama students, more real people who got on board with my directing methods instantly.

“My influences being Shane Meadows and Ken Loach.

“A lot of the scenes were improvised with the actors developing the script themselves.”

Filming took place over a week towards the end of June on location in Bangor with a team of over 60 filmmakers and trainees.

The film premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre on Sunday, September 10 to over 1,000 people, including industry professionals, the cast and crew and their family and friends.

It was originally broadcast at 11.15pm on Monday, September 11 on BBC 2 Wales and is available to watch at: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b095b7x3 .

Mr McKee added: “It’s My Shout are a production company based in South Wales who offer young people the chance to work on a film set in a variety of roles and I think it would be great to get more people from Mid-Wales involved for next year. So check out their website for more details.

“I was lucky enough to write and produce a film ‘Ludo’ for It’s My Shout and the BBC last year which won the People’s Choice Award for best film. So, it was great to be afforded the opportunity to direct a film this year.

“I have just finished directing and producing a documentary on Music mogul Alan McGee, Creation Records and most famous for discovering Oasis.”

Mr McKee is also in pre-production on his first feature film about young people and homelessness.

Along with this Mr McKee will soon be filming in Newtown.

Working on the comedy sketch show ‘Bumfuzzle’, Mr McKee will be shooting a sketch in and around Newtown next month.

Email:

owain.farrington@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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