Who knew there was an award for the best first film by a filmmaker over 50? Well there is, and local fella Roy Delaney, a youthful 52, has just won the runner-up prize. Roy, a Bristol24/7 contributor and former editor of Venue (note for younger readers: a popular local listings magazine that went to the great newsagents in the sky five years ago), bagged his £2,000 booty at the prestigious Sheffield Doc/Fest. His short film, The Bard’s Wife, triumphed in the Whicker’s World Foundation‘s Sage awards.
It tells the story of Wes White, the Bard of Glastonbury. The Bardship is an honour going back centuries. Wes won it in a poetry battle in the heart of Glasto. As spring approaches, he must organise the competition to find his successor, but he’s got something else on his mind. Following a change in legislation, his American wife Erica is unable to obtain a visa to live in the UK and he must find a job that will earn him the required salary to get her back. At the heart of Roy’s film is Wes’s dilemma: should he give up the job he fought for or risk losing his wife? You can watch the whole film below.
Judge Valerie Kleeman said Roy’s mini-doc was: “sweet and gentle”, with judge Jane Mote adding her admiration: “That a first-time film-maker could get deep inside a world we don’t see often – the bards and Glastonbury scene – this film has an unusual twist on one of the biggest stories of our time, immigration.”
Judge Jane Ray added: “The judges were deeply impressed with Roy Delaney’s apparently simple but in fact many layered story of how one man has to relinquish the job that he loves, being the Bard of Glastonbury, to recover the woman he loves, the Bard’s Wife, Erica. It is a poignant story of our times showing how a tiny governmental shift on immigration policy can have a cataclysmic effect on the real lives of those struggling to tick the reshaped boxes. The story is told with wit and charm and a visual virtuosity that we found remarkable for any first-ever film maker, but especially perhaps from one who has been a hard working print journalist all his working life… until now. Respect.”