Film

Big Issue vendor Lavinia has starring role at Wales Film Festival

The Cardiff seller joined Big Issue Cymru staff in the film series The Hidden Issue – Homelessness at The Vale Film Festival

Popular Big Issue vendor Lavinia Neda had a starring role alongside Big Issue Cymru staff in films that drove conversation about homelessness at a Welsh Film Festival.

Cardiff seller Lavinia told her story of how The Big Issue helped her in Housing, Homeless and The Environment – The Big Issue which was shown at the Vale and Glamorgan Film Festival on Tuesday night.

“If The Big Issue wasn’t here, it would be a hard life because you don’t have a job and it has helped me to speak English because I go to free school classes every Wednesday at The Big Issue office where I learned English,” she told filmmakers Griot Creative.

The Big Issue’s head of programmes and partnerships Beth Thomas and Cardiff sales and outreach worker Dai Rees also spoke about The Big Issue’s mission to dismantle poverty in the films.

They tied into the festival’s theme of the Hidden Here – how Brexit is dominating conversation while homelessness remains a huge problem in Vale and Glamorgan and one that is often out of sight, too.

The films were screened to community members as well as housing and homelessness campaigners and led a conversation on how to tackle the issue locally.

Hywel George, the creative director of media agency Griot Creative, said: “The Big Issue is part of all of our communities in Vale and Glamorgan. Vendors are valued members of those communities as are the people who give them money to buy the magazine and read it. Behind every tabard there is a history – that’s what I discovered as I got to know a vendor in Bristol.

“There is a story each vendor can tell which is why we featured The Big Issue in the films but we also wanted to broaden out the conversation too.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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