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Pembrokeshire film gets public premiere in Theatre Gwaun, Fishguard

Cartrefi Conwy and Together Colwyn Bay at Welsh mountain Zoo. Pictured are (CORRECT)Genny and Emma . Picture Mandy Jones

FOLLOWING a successful private premiere, Pembrokeshire-shot film will have its first public premiere this week. 

“Scam” is a neo-noir crime thriller feature, which follows the story of a family of scammers. It explores interdependence and abuse via a claustrophobic mother-daughter relationship, and illustrates how social media platforms provide an easily-accessible global reach for scam artists. 

The film also follows the story of Ella, the youngest daughter in the family. After learning the truth behind her father’s death, Ella is determined to avenge her beloved dad and finally set herself free by devising the greatest scam of them all. 

A desire for an easy buck may challenge our morality and brutalise our sensibilities, but how malicious must someone become to escape exploitation?

SCAM poster

‘Scam’ is a women-centred narrative that explores themes of interdependence and abuse, and touches on other issues such as ageing, grief, loyalty, entitlement, greed and ego. 

The film dramatises the challenge of living alongside someone with an undiagnosed mental health condition; in this case, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NCP). 

Through its depiction of the exponential growth and pervasive reach of social media scams, it also poses the question of how much criminals are victims and vice versa.

Pembrokeshire-based filmmakers, Nick Swannell and Alison Rayner, joined together in early 2021. The pair credit most of the film’s success to the help of generous locals. 

It was shot on a very limited budget, across several Pembrokeshire locations over 16 days during lockdown.

Megan Lote-Williams and Bibi MacDougall as Ella and Evie

When discussing the challenges faced when shooting a no-budget feature, director and co-producer, Nick Swannell, said: “The biggest thing was lack of personnel; when you can’t afford crew everyone has to do multiple jobs and it can get pretty hectic. 

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“We bought props and costumes from charity shops, built sets, blagged locations, borrowed vehicles and lighting equipment.

“Yes, it limits the scope of your story and constrains what you can show on-screen, but that forces you to think more creatively.”

When asked how they met, and their experiences as co-producers, Alison Rayner said: “Both of us had experience writing and producing short films and in late 2019 Nick hosted a ‘Thriller Night’ of his short films in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. I’d been on the lookout for a local director to help me tell my stories and Nick was the only filmmaker I could find in Pembrokeshire (and his films were impressive)!”

Diane, Evie and Ella

Cate Lovett, an experienced actor, is joined by newcomers Megan Lote-Williams, a singer/songwriter, and actor Bibi MacDougall.

The public premiere will take place in Theatr Gwaun on Saturday, May 14. Tickets will be available at a discounted price.

There will also be a screening at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven at 7:30 on Friday, July 8, as well as a screening at Queen’s Hall Narberth at a date yet to be confirmed. 

The film will then be screened around the UK as well as being streamed internationally. 

To book tickets please visit www.theatrgwaun.com/cinema or telephone 01348 873421.