Copper Coast International Film Festival 2021: Be the Light in the Darkness

Staff and students at UWTSD’s fifth Copper Coast International Film Festival (CCIFF) will join communities across Swansea to mark the 2021 Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

BA Film & TV students have created a series of short videos to reflect upon the events that took place in Europe during the 1940s. Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Their attempt to murder all the Jews in Europe, shook the foundations of civilisation.

The videos were inspired by the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, ‘Be the light in the darkness,’ and will be shared by Swansea Council on its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages on January 27.

The CCIF festival, organised by the University’s Swansea College of Art returns for its fifth run later that day with digital screenings, online speakers, and a variety of discussions and debates.

Timi O’Neill, BA Film & TV Programme Manager said: “For the past 3 years, CCIFF has supported local events to mark the Holocaust Memorial Day. We are proud to work alongside Swansea Council this year and hope that by sharing these videos, which reflect on the dark chapters of our history and remembering the millions who lost their lives in such horrific circumstances, we can prevent such atrocities from happening again.”

Judges of the annual UWTSD Swansea College of Art event have received submissions from across the globe and have had the challenging job of selecting and identifying the winners and runners up.

Timi added: “We have received so many excellent films starring Hollywood performers like Woody Harrelson and Kristen Johnston, and films shot on location in Kurdistan with soldiers fighting Daesh, and so it becomes a difficult journey to navigate.”

Caroline Thraves, Academic Director of Art & Media said: “A university course must be more than just a place where you learn new skills and knowledge. It is a place to consider our role as future storytellers and leaders and to ask serious questions about the future we are creating.”

Jennifer Harding-Richards Head of Religious Studies at Bishop Gore Comprehensive and RE Adviser at Swansea SACRE said: “We cannot change the past, but we can and must look to the future, and pledge to make a difference for future generations. We must ensure that life goes on. The survivors have shown that out of the wreckage of destruction, something good can be redeemed from the past; if we fight hate with love, brutality with compassion and death with an unconquerable dedication to life. Their journey continues long after the genocide and so must ours.”

Riaz Hassan, Community Cohesion Coordinator said: “We are grateful to Swansea Council, our schools, the two Swansea universities, faith leaders, and the wider Swansea communities for their positive contributions to make this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day an inclusive event which will strengthen our community fabric and provide the opportunity to people from different backgrounds, faiths and non-faith to work together towards a strong Swansea. This year we are marking Holocaust Memorial Day differently. Most of our activities will be online. We hope that using the various social media platforms will help us to engage and reach out to many more people.”

(All images: UWTSD)

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