United Kingdom

Zillah Bowes


Zillah Bowes is a Welsh/English filmmaker, photographer and poet. She trained in cinematography at the UK’s National Film and Television School and in poetry at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her recent work explores the role of landscape and its relationship to the individual.

She has spent 2018-2020 in the Elan Valley in Mid Wales researching several projects. These include her short fiction film "Staying (Aros Mae)" with Ken Loach’s company Sixteen Films, supported by Ffilm Cymru Wales, the British Film Institute and BBC; and a solo exhibition of photographs "Green Dark", supported by Ffotogallery and the Arts Council of Wales. Bowes has directed documentaries and music videos and collaborated regularly with Turner prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed. Her debut "Small Protests" was nominated for a Grierson Award and SHORT: DOX Award and won the Current Short Cuts Award and Best Short Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival. As a cinematographer, her previous films include "Enemies of Happiness", which won the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.



Green Dark

Green Dark is a photographic study of the people and the land in a hill farming community in Radnorshire, Mid Wales. The tenant farmers of the Elan Estate in the Elan and Claerwen Valleys keep sheep on the open hill, which they gather with their neighbours, often still on horseback, forming a close community and passing down a traditional way of life. Brexit, and economic and environmental concerns including climate crisis, are creating uncertainty for the future upland farmer in Wales. The members of this community just starting their lives as farmers face the greatest challenge in generations to maintain continuity. Significantly, there are several young women in the new generation. Green Dark explores this liminality, placing people in the land where they are the current and historic custodians, and capturing the land and its life without them.