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New fund announced to boost Welsh Language film

A fund to support Welsh language feature films with international, big screen potential is now open for applications.

Sinema Cymru, a collaboration between S4C and Creative Wales, will be delivered by Ffilm Cymru, and is aimed at developing a minimum of three feature films a year, with a view to progressing one for production funding.

The £180k fund, which is financed by Creative Wales and part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, is now open for applications from experienced film makers from within Wales. Up to £30,000 per project is up for grabs in the development phase of the fund.

Sinema Cymru aims to put Welsh language film on the map by fast-tracking independent Welsh language films, which are bold, unconventional, and have the potential to gain international cinema release. The programme particularly wants to champion under-represented voices in the depiction of the Welsh language and to push the boundaries of what is expected from Welsh language film.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said:

“I am delighted to announce that Sinema Cymru is now open for applications.

“The fund shows our commitment to delivering more independent Welsh language film, which is critical at a time when the sector is under increasing pressure, including from some of major streaming services. We want the fund to inspire creativity, champion underrepresented voices, and help promote Wales and the Welsh language to the world and look forward to seeing the diverse ideas that emerge from this funding round.”

Plaid Cymru Designated Member Cefin Campbell said:

“Cinema is a global language that is shared across the world. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to promote and celebrate Welsh language films. Sinema Cymru will support independent Welsh language film, developing ideas and talent, strengthening the Welsh language film sector and its platform.”

Head of Scripting for S4C, Gwenllian Gravelle says:

“Cinema is an emotional and entertaining experience, going beyond language and geographical barriers.

“Our aim at S4C is to develop and strengthen the industry in Wales by creating a Welsh language film each year; building a robust catalogue of films to be enjoyed today and by future generations.

“Our aim is to provide the audience with a cinematic experience of Welsh stories, created by the unique and creative voices of our country. Powerful stories that not only have a local feel but also have global appeal.”

Gwenfair Hawkins, Welsh Language Development and Production Executive at Ffilm Cymru said:

“Whilst all of Ffilm Cymru’s film funds will continue to be available to projects in the Welsh Language, we are delighted to be working in partnership with S4C and Creative Wales to offer targeted funds for those wanting to work in the Welsh language. Independent films like Gwledd, Y Llyfrgell and Yr Ymadawiad (co-funded by Ffilm Cymru and S4C) play an important role in nurturing and championing talent from a diversity of backgrounds. With indigenous UK film production declining across the board, the continued investment of public broadcasters and Government into cinematic Welsh language voices has never been more essential.”

For application, go to https://ffilmcymruwales.com/funding-and-training/sinema-cymru