Over the next few weeks we’ll be reviewing a number of films for Cardiff Mini Film Festival. The festival is on June 26th at Chapel 1877.

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Animal Sanctuary: Cwmbran is nominated in the Factual Category.

It’s easy to see where Animal Sanctuary takes its inspiration. While similar programs or films of this genre will have the budget to support production, shorts and amateur film makers don’t and I mention that for a specific reason.

The production value of Animal Sanctuary is slick, brilliantly shot and looks just as good, if not better than the programs we’ve had on our TVs for years.

Filmed as a documentary, it champions the unsung heroes of a long standing yet mostly unheard of sanctuary. As you watch the film, you really start to connect with the passion that the people on film show for their work and the animals in their care. It makes you want them to succeed and when you get to the positive story at the end, you can’t help but raise a smile.

Animal Sanctuary does something very simple. It taps into people’s love of animals. It’s a simple formula but even the simplest formula can fail if everything else falls short. This film avoids those pitfalls and alongside the look and feel, the narration is spot on. It’s empathetic, factual and engaging.

One of the main purposes of a film like this is to make you care. Normally it’s just about the animals but with Animal Sanctuary, you care about the people and the sanctuary itself too. That’s nothing short of brilliant documentary making.

Created by Jack Strange and James Griffiths