A GROUP of students at The University of Gloucestershire are fundraising to create a short film inspired by the coal mining history of Blaenavon.

The film, A Dead Canary, is set to be based in the town, with scenes set to be filmed on location at Big Pit and The Coal Houses.

Director James Davis is from Pontypool, with his mother’s side of the family hailing from Blaenavon.

He said that he wanted to tell this story as he felt that Wales had so much untapped potential to be used on screen.

“When I was starting out on writing the script I always wanted to do something based in Wales. There is so much potential in Wales on screen but it is hardly ever utilised,” he said.

“Coal mining has always been at the heart of Wales and the community in Blaenavon, where my mum grew up.

“It is something I knew we had to shoot on location.


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“You cannot replicate the Welsh landscape and the area around Blaenavon.

“There is so much potential there. You can see the history of the landscape.

“It will look amazing when we are shooting in black and white.

“I don’t know why more people are not making more films about Wales and Welsh people as a whole.”

The film will tell the story of a young boy growing up in Blaenavon whose father works in the coal mines. Due to his father reading him fairy-tales every night, the young boy imagines his father as going venturing down the rabbit hole through Wonderland, to meet characters like the Madhatter.

When his father is killed in a gas explosion, the boy thinks his father must be lost down in Wonderland, and decides to go and rescue him.

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James Davis, director of the film 'A Dead Canary'. Picture: James Davis.

The students will be shooting on location from late April to early May.

Mr Davies said: “The people at Big Pit and the Coal Houses have been very co-operative.

“There is so much material there that we can use in the film.”

The students are looking to raise £3,050 to make their film, and have already managed to secure more than half of that.

At the time of writing, £1,785 had been pledged to make the film.

For morinformationin on the film, or to donate, you can visit the Kickstarter page here.