Trend towards filming Welsh language productions in English as well ‘bizarre’ says The Feast actress
The recent trend towards filming Welsh language productions in English as well in order to sell them to an international market is “bizarre” according to the star of a new horror movie.
The Feast, or Gwledd in Welsh, which has just opened in cinemas in the United States to positive reviews, is filmed entirely through the Welsh language.
Actress Annes Elwy, who stars as Cadi in the production, told the US press that she thought more Welsh language films and TV shows should exported in the original language rather than filmed in English as well.
Some recent S4C shows, such as Y Gwyll / Hinterland and Un Bore Mercher / Keeping Faith have been produced in Welsh and English.
“Quite often when you’re filming things in Welsh at the moment, there’s still that feeling that the rest of the world won’t want to hear it if it’s in Welsh, so you film it twice,” Annes Elwy told Pop Horror.
“And so the rest of the world will watch the English version, even though we’ve already filmed a Welsh language version. And it’s bizarre that tradition is trending, because we’re so open to watching foreign language productions.
“And I think that was partly why I was so excited by the script because it wasn’t going to just bow down to that idea that English will make it more interesting and just embrace the fact that we live in a country and we speak a language, so why not act in our language and create stories in our language and spread them?
“Share them with the world, who I’m sure are much more open to hearing things in Welsh than we have given them credit to.”
The Pop Horror interviewer, Chris Filipowicz, expressed his surprise that the cast and crew spoke Welsh and “no one had to be trained to learn or anything”.
Director Lee Haven Jones responded: “No, no, no. I’ll just give you a very brief idea of how it is in Wales. There are about 600,000 Welsh speakers in Wales.
“And within that, it’s quite a performative tradition. So we have some rather fabulous singers and actors.
“There’s a really significant and talented pool of Welsh actors who work through the medium of the Welsh language, of which I was fortunate to have the cream of the crop.”
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Clywch, Annes! Welsh producers, although nominally championing the Welsh language, have always been a little bit timid about its promotion outside Wales. All a little bit apologetic. With broadcasting, in the ‘traditional’ sense, through the medium of Welsh in obvious terminal decline, we need now to be brave and brash, and present the language unabashedly before the world. Viewing productions made in other languages is now the norm, (“Squid Game”, anyone?) Rhaid i gynhyrchwyr Cymru gofleido’r Gymraeg fel iaith ryngwladol o’r iawn ryw, a’i defnyddio a hyrwyddo felly.
Cytuno’n llwyr! Dwi wedi dweud hwn ers dechrau’r Gwyll! Mae fy ngwr (Sais) i’n hapus i wylio gyda’r is teitlau ymlaen. Gwastraff o arian i ffilmio dwywaith, gallent gwneud mwy o ddramau gyda’r arbedion!
The first time I encountered this was with the original – and quite excellent – Philip Madoc series HELIWR aka A MIND TO KILL. I’m not a Welsh speaker – I’m Pembrokeshire and schooled in the 50s and 60s, yes, I know I know – but I have no problems with subtitling and always watched the Welsh-language original, but I was also pleased to know that English-only people could get to see the excellence of Welsh actors, writing and production. (HEWLIR sold extraordinarily widely, internationally). I was seriously disappointed when the dvds were issued in English only. The first showings… Read more »
Clywch clywch. Ond nid jest drama. Os mae Cymro neu Cymraes yn cael ei gyfweld ar y teledu, dylsai nhw defnyddio’r Gymraeg pob tro, a gallai fe cael ei isdeitlo mewn Saesneg lle bo angen.
Remember Hedd Wyn was produced in Welsh only and was nominated for an Oscar! The judges had no problem with a “foreign” language.
It was for Best Foreign Language Film, so really it being in a language other than English was pretty much a given. This doesn’t detract from the fact that it got a nomination and given the competition that year should have won.
No but S4C/BBC Wels certainly do these days. Clywch clywch Annes
Despite almost all Icelanders having excellent English that tiny island produces fantastic film and TV in Icelandic.
Recording in English as well as Cymraeg is yet another indication that we are nation of corgis (lap dogs begging for crumbs from our establishment owners.)
Welsh language productions should stay in its original form, and where appropriate, dubbed or subtitled as done with other non-English productions seen on TV from nations like Denmark, Sweden ect…
And we shouldn’t feel self-conscious or obligated due to past prejudice to reshoot any production in the medium of English to make it more marketable. The attraction is already there. It’s in the beautiful language of Cymraeg. It sells itself
They don’t really dub stuff in Denmark, Sweden, nor the Netherlands either.
That also happened with Squid Game; Korean drama found success in the English world by being in English.
It goes without saying that the Anglosphere isn’t quite used to stuff not in their language yet; I’m sure other countries will be fine with watching the Welsh.
The bilingual version of Hinterland was the best one, reflected life more accurately.
O’r diwedd.. dwi wedi bod yn meddwl hyn ers i Hedd Wyn ennill yn yr Oscars.Clywch clywch Annes 🙂
Cytuno’n llwyr. Unfortunately the 40% cut to S4Cs budget when the Tories came to power has made it difficult to fund high quality Welsh drama without money for an English version. But even prior to this S4Cs policy of going digital & creating more programmes but of lower quality meant that there was already lower investment in high quality, sufficiently funded drama. Hopefully better investment from other sources in partnership with S4C will be more prominent in the future. Gobeithio beth bynnag.