A GWENT film academy which got a personal seal of approval from superstar horror author Stephen King is back up and running.

With filming on hold for the past 16 months, the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy is finally getting the camera rolling again.

The academy hit international headlines in 2019 when The Shining author Stephen King gave them the thumbs-up to adapt one of his short stories, Stationary Bike - for just $1.

Head tutor and co-founder Kevin Phillips said: “We have more things going on than ever before.

"Cymru Creations have brought an international Children’s Film Festival to Tredegar, the only one in Wales , which will take place in October and have submissions from around the world. But the big thing at the moment is our film academy students are back, and we have taken every precaution to make the building safe for their return. 

“We currently have 15 films in production, and its wonderful seeing our students filming and acting once again. In the past two weeks we have had a record number of new students, and we currently have a waiting list for our classes."


For the past 16 months the Childrne in Need-funded project hjas been forced to operate online-only. But now Mr Phillips hopes it can build on its previous successes.

Stationary Bike was filmed in locations around Tredegar and picked up several high-profile awards in festivals across the World such as the Fusion International Film Festivals awarding them the Film Best Director.

Mr Phillips said: "It was late in 2019 when I had an email saying that we had been officially selected for the festival in Hollywood, and the event organisers wanted us to attend a special gala event on Hollywood Boulevard in July 2020.

"It was amazing news, and everyone was so excited, and it was wonderful for the students and the Academy, but we never forecast what was about to happen."