My Documentary for BBC Cymru Wales & It's My Shout Productions
Since November 2020 I have been working with the BBC and It’s My Shout productions to create a short documentary film. The film, titled ‘Moving to Make It’ follows my dilemma as a young Welsh creative, whether I should leave Wales in order to pursue my career. Through the documentary we look deeper into my mixed Welsh heritage, as we speak to my family members and other Welsh creatives. These include interviews with sustainable fashion designer Rosie Evans, multi-discipline artist Reuel Elijah, actor and writer Kyle Lima.
I took this opportunity to learn more Cardiff’s history, and my roots back to Tiger Bay. My grandfather’s family were from the Cape Verde islands, a former Portuguese colony off the West coast of Africa. His parents moved to Cardiff docks – then known as Tiger Bay, in the 1920’s. Talking with Gramps about his up-bringing and life in Tiger Bay, has given me a new perspective of Cardiff. Taking part in this production has allowed me to ask questions that I might not have found the chance to ask, exploring my mixed-race Welsh heritage has been important to my own understanding of Cardiff and my identity.
This has been an eye-opening experience into world of film making and television; I am keen to continue following my love for storytelling, once the film has been broadcast. Through this experience I have found a new confidence in myself and my ideas, becoming more assertive with my opinions and decision making. Prior to this project, I had no experience in this industry and hadn’t seriously considered it as a career (deciding it would be unattainable as a woman – coming from a working class background). But I can now see myself working within the industry and hope to explore other areas of interest such as costume, set design and prop making. I have also gained range of transferable skills, that can be applied to my work advocating for climate action and sustainability within fashion. For example, improved public speaking and comfort in front of the camera.
With the support of It’s My Shout, my vision has come to life and I am incredibly proud of this work. In hindsight, I couldn’t have been luckier to spend this time with my grandfather, as Mike sadly passed in March of this year. I hope viewers can get a sense of who he was through the documentary, his love for the Docks and its community. Whilst continuing the conversation around the documentaries theme and topics, I want the film to inspire other creatives to take the same or similar opportunities.
Film dedicated in memory of Michael Dos Santos 1938-2021.
MOVING TO MAKE IT
NEW VOICES FROM WALES EP.2
BBC TWO WALES / IPLAYER
PRODUCED AND NARRATED BY OPHELIA DOS SANTOS
CO-DIRECTED BY SHANNON BRITTON AND KYLE LIMA