Film-maker's tribute to 'true and genuine' Barry Island folk

Jaclyn Carbone. Documentary filmmaker - made film about Barry Island. Neil Gibson

Jaclyn Carbone

A DOCUMENTARY maker who has won an award for a film chronicling life on Barry Island has paid tribute to its ‘true and genuine’ residents.

Jaclyn Rose Carbone, 22, who’s from Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, produced ‘A Brighter Future for Barry Island’ while on an exchange programme between Fanshawe College, where she was studying in Canada, and the University of South Wales (USW), where she studied journalism.   

One of Jaclyn’s major projects while at USW was to create a 10-minute documentary, and she decided to focus it on the Vale of Glamorgan seaside resort.

“I had originally tried out some other ideas, but the Island’s story grabbed me,” she explained. “I had visited Barry Island a few times, once with a friend, and another time as a class trip to practise filming, storytelling, interviewing, etc.

“I learned a lot about the Island, its history, and the people, and was just curious as to how a place that was once so full of life, had kind of lost some of its magic.

“The Island is absolutely stunning, so, after talking it through with my USW lecturer Craig Hooper, I spent almost an entire week filming, interviewing, and researching the Island to really get the full story.”

Making the film gave Jaclyn a real understanding of what made the people of Barry Island unique.

“They are so true and genuine. Many of them have lived there for years, or came as children, and have watched the Island change over time,” she said.

“I wanted them to be able to tell their story, and I wanted to capture the hope these people have that Barry Island will once again become a destination for both tourists and local alike.”

And their support has helped Jaclyn win an award in her home country. She scooped the Radio Television Digital News Foundation scholarship after submitting her Barry Island film for consideration, after which she received a plaque and scholarship, and was invited to the Radio Television Digital News Association conference in Toronto.

And after winning the award Jaclyn - who’s about to start work as the weekend news anchor on AM900CHML in Hamilton, Ontario, and is also working on a corporate documentary as a Brand Journalist at Voyageur Transportation - was keen to share her love for the place she featured in her film.

“The people of Barry are amazing. Everyone was so kind and friendly,” she said.

“Many were willing to tell me their story of Barry Island and what they loved about being able to be so close to such a magical place. It's hard to find words to describe the people of Barry. They love their town, they love the Island, and all they want is to see it grow and prosper.

“There is something about Barry, a feeling that one man describes in my video. It's a Welsh word that doesn't translate properly in English - hiraeth. That's what Barry, Barry Island, and its people made me feel. It's a place I loved to visit, and somewhere I will never forget.”

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