Flintshire film-maker’s plea for funding to continue studies in New York

Reporter:

Matt Jones

TALENTED film-maker Claire Fowler has made films in Palestine and had her work screened at international festivals.

But Claire, a former pupil at Mold Alun, is facing the prospect of having to give up her film-making dream.

Claire, 31, is studying film at Columbia University in New York but as she enters her third year is struggling to find funding.

After graduating from Oxford with a first in fine art, Claire started making documentary films before winning a scholarship at Columbia.

Despite a host of grants, bank loans and working four jobs, she is still short of funds and needs $10,000 to complete the course.

Claire, from Cilcain, said: “It is pretty amazing. It offers something that no other course in the UK or America offers and that is the combined teaching of screenwriting and directing.

“I have worked really hard for the last two years and I really do not want to have to give up without the qualification.”

Once she returns to Wales Claire is looking to produce a film set in the region, depicting a love story between a Welsh-speaker and a traveller.

She said: “I would like to go into independent film making. I am working on a script set in North Wales, in a rural area outside Wrexham. That is the big thing I want to do in my final year.

“I want to take the script through the revision process with one-to-one tuition because there are so few opportunities like that.”

Claire has made two films in Palestine – Open Heart and Home – which premiered at the Sheffield international Docfest and she has also had her work screened at the International Human Rights Watch festival in New York and London.

She said: “From a young age I wanted to do something visual. After my degree I started making fine art films then I split between fine art and documentaries.

“I think my biggest break was going to film in Palestine. I followed an 18-month-old baby with a heart murmur on a journey from the West Bank to Jerusalem.

“It was something you could not repeat. It’s what fascinates me about film: it is ordinary people doing ordinary things.”

Claire added: “I’m looking for businesses or anyone who will be able to help. I realise it is a luxury, but there are not many people who go to Columbia who do not have a lot of money.”

To find out more about Claire’s work go to www.clairefowler.com.

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