Creative Wales marks ‘Year of Welsh Drama’ with six productions
Creative Wales is celebrating an exciting time for the Welsh screen industry with the production of six new dramas all set in Wales.
These are: Steeltown Murders, Wolf, Tree on a Hill, Men Up, Lost Boys and Fairies, and The Way.
iPlayer hit Steeltown Murders, based on the true story of the ‘Saturday Night Strangler’ who terrorised Port Talbot in south Wales in the 1970s has already attracted over 4m viewers.
Highly anticipated crime thriller ‘Wolf’, based on Mo Hayder’s acclaimed Jack Caffery novels, is now also available on iPlayer. Shot on location in South Wales it stars Welsh talent including Owen Teale and Iwan Rheon.
Bilingual dark comedy-drama ‘Pren Ar Y Bryn / Tree On A Hill’ is set to air on S4C later this year and on BBC in early 2024
Still to come is the bold new drama ‘The Way’ directed and co-created by Michael Sheen.
Also set to hit screens is ‘Men Up’ a feature-length story about the accidental invention of Viagra in Swansea.
Lost Boys and Fairies, a touching indie drama about a gay couple’s journey to adoption complete the six original stories that showcase Welsh talent on and off screen.
The latest boom comes as a result of close partnership working between Welsh Government and BBC Cymru Wales, who have been working closely to ensure creative talent is offered the opportunities and support needed to produce high-quality content.
Creative Wales provides a holistic approach to industry support, offering unique funding streams, like the recently launched Development Funding which supports project development within TV, games and commercial animation, and Production Funding available for screen and digital sectors.
This support has drawn new productions to the region, creating new opportunities for creatives and local communities.
Since its inception in 2020, Creative Wales has invested £16.3m in Production Funding to 31 projects, generating over £187m into the Welsh economy, and created thousands of opportunities for Wales’ talented workforce, with 265 paid placements created for trainees looking to break into the industry.
The six dramas featured as part of the Year of Welsh Drama created 50 trainee placements at entry level and a further ten placements to up-skill crew members.
Unique services offered by Wales Screen also help productions to scout filming locations from across the nation’s diverse array of landscapes, from mountains to coastline, urban city-scapes and woodlands, and can link companies up to access studio facilities and experienced crew.
Speaking of his experience of filming in Wales, Hartswood Films MD Dan Cheesborough, the company behind ‘Wolf’, said: “Development of a creatively challenging series like Wolf requires the best talent, and so much of that organically came together thanks to our decision to base the series in Wales.
“We were drawn to create Wolf in Wales because of the locations and resources on offer, having mountains, beaches, and studios within an hour’s drive is so valuable, and not something you can find in many parts of the UK.
“What we continue to find when we film in Wales is that there is also industry-leading talent. Much of the crew and cast in Wolf is Welsh, which gave us the opportunity to work with fantastically talented people that we otherwise may not have connected with. Ultimately, the support given to the creative industries by Creative Wales is a major reason we are able to continue to bring our projects to Wales.
“We have been filming in Wales for a decade now and have seen constant evolution in the development of the sector in that time, with action towards developing future talent for the sector.
“There is a huge amount of support on offer to help the screen industry to bring ambitious productions to life, but also a mindful and proactive effort to elevate growth towards a diverse and sustainable sector that supports the communities on which the screen industry relies, something that is setting up Wales to be a leader for film and television – not only in the UK but on a global stage.”
Ffion Williams, Writer and Producer on Tree On A Hill/Pren Ar Y Bryn for Fiction Factory Films said: “Thanks to the support on offer in Wales, including Creative Wales, we are able to not only create new series in Wales, but we also have the opportunity to give a global platform to Welsh stories, history and culture for the first time.
“Wales is quickly becoming a magnet for storytellers. Whether drawn in by the stunning landscapes or, like us, by the close-knit communities and their rich, emotive stories, there are endless opportunities for creatives in Wales.”
Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director of Creative Wales, added: “The industry-leading resources and talent on offer for the television and film sector is making Wales a popular choice for new productions that take an ambitious approach to storytelling: whether that’s in their creative approach, bold moves toward sustainability or in opening doors for greater diversity in the creative industries.
“It’s important to us that this vibrant industry has a sustainable, ethical future that can also give back to the economy and people of Wales. The incredible series of dramas coming out of Wales are part of a bigger story: a screen sector that is growing and attracting interest from studios and producers globally and providing exciting career opportunities for people here in Wales.
“The future of television and film in Wales is bright, and we are focussed on supporting the development of talent from within to support the growing sector.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.