Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins will deliver a video message to students who worked as crew on a new Andie MacDowell film shot in Aberystwyth as part of a special screening.
The screening of My Happy Ending takes place this Saturday at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and forms part of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies’ 50th anniversary celebrations.
24 students as well as lecturers from the department worked with some of cinema and television’s most famous faces on the film, which was shot in Aberystwyth in 2021.
Starring Andie MacDowell, Miriam Margoyles, Tom Cullen, David Walliams, Sally Phillips, Tamsin Greig and Rakhee Thakrar, the film is a poignant female ensemble comedy based on a play written by one of Israel’s most acclaimed and popular playwrights, Anat Gov.
It follows the story of Hollywood star Julia Roth (Andie MacDowell) who finds herself in a British hospital room with three other women who help her on the road of self-discovery.
Sir Anthony, the Port Talbot-born star of The Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day and Nixon will open the screening with a special video message, wishing the department a happy birthday and remarking that his cousin studied there.
Huw Penallt Jones, Senior Lecturer in Film Production at the University and Co-Producer of My Happy Ending, said: “I had the pleasure of working with Sir Anthony Hopkins on another film that was being shot in Ireland.
"In conversation I mentioned that the department at Aberystwyth University was celebrating its 50th anniversary, and he was really keen to send a message to our students.”
“It will be fantastic for our recent graduates, who worked on My Happy Ending in their second and third years, to be able to attend this special screening, having had the unparalleled opportunity to work as trainees across the full range of departments during the production.
"They gained the sort of practical hands-on experience that simply cannot be taught, and which is a potential springboard into a career in the film industry. No other university can boast that its students helped make a feature film.”
Cambrian Coast director Michelle South with Andie MacDowell. Inset photo: Cambrian Coast Bar and Grill
Juliette Daum, who graduated in Cinematography and Film/Video Production from Aberystwyth University this year, spent seven weeks as a director’s personal assistant working on My Happy Ending.
She said: “Working alongside a professional film crew and high-profile cast was a hugely valuable experience.
"From pre-production through to principal photography I was involved in location scouting, seeing the set built, meetings with the directors, cinematographer, cast and production designer. It was amazing to see how everybody has their part to play, and how the whole production comes together. It gave me the opportunity to see which roles I would be most interested in after graduating.”
The special screening takes place on Saturday 7 October at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and will be introduced by Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion. Other attendees include Acting Chair of the BBC and former Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Dame Elan Closs Stephens.
Members of the public will also have the opportunity to watch My Happy Ending when it is shown at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Cinema from 10-12 October.