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Swansea College of Art delight at BAFTA Cymru nomination for Beddgelert

A film written and directed by the internationally acclaimed Welsh film director Medeni Griffiths, which also involved staff, students and graduates from UWTSD Swansea College of Art’s BA Film & TV and BA General Illustration during its production, has been nominated for a BAFTA Cymru award.

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The 27th ceremony will take place on October 14, 2018 at St David’s Hall, Cardiff and will be presented by Huw Stephens for a fourth year.

The film Beddgelert, was premiered on S4C on November 2, last year, as part of the S4C Chwedlau – Legends season. It has been nominated for Best Short Film at the 2018 BAFTA Cymru Awards.

In her role as associate designer, UWTSD’s Dr Amanda Roberts, Education Liaison Officer, at the University’s Swansea College of Art trained and mentored all students involved in art department roles.  Dr Roberts also headed the education and training department, sourcing and supporting trainees across all departments and from across Wales.


She said:

“Thanks to the UWTSD internship bursaries and the advice and support of Amanda Hughes from the University’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services, combined with BadWolf’s commitment to supporting and developing new talent, UWTSD were able to secure placements for a high number of students many of whom developed the confidence to take on responsible roles, for which they have been fully credited by the production team.”

These included:

  • Aidan Biddiscombe– Supervising art director (BA Illustration graduate 2017, Artist in residence 2017/8 Swansea College of Art, UWTSD)
  • Standby art director Joseph Wynne(Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, alumini)
  • Storyboard artist Simon Phillips (BA Illustration graduate 2017 Swansea College of Art, UWTSD)
  • Second AD Aaron Roberts(BA Film and Visual Culture, UWTSD Carmarthen )
  • Production assistant Emily Evans
  • Camera Assistant Sarah Hawley(BA Film &TV graduate 2017 Swansea College of Art, UWTSD)
  • Rachel Davies – Camera assistant (BA Film and Visual Culture, UWTSD Carmarthen)
  • Sound assistant Jake Bourton(MA Film &TV graduate 2017 Swansea College of Art, UWTSD)
  • Costume assistant Georgia Walters(BA Film and Visual Culture, UWTSD Carmarthen)

Shot on location in the Dolwyddelan area, Snowdonia, the film’s tragic main characters are Prince Llywelyn the Great (portrayed by Andrew Howard) and his late wife Siwan (Catherine Ayers). By experimenting with ancient Welsh, the author gives the tragic tale a new life. We hear language that takes inspiration from the language that would have been spoken at the time of the Welsh prince’s reign in the 12th and 13th centuries. On-screen subtitles are provided in modern Welsh.

Medeni Griffiths, the Los Angeles based Welsh writer/director, known for her imaginative and engaging directing style in films such as ‘Summit’, brings in new themes to add depth and colour to the well-known tale to be forever remembered at the famous burial stone in the picturesque Snowdonia village. The film was directed by Medeni Griffiths, with producer Ben Jenkins.

Medeni said: “Since I was a child, I’ve always loved the story of Beddgelert and even though many people see it as a tragic tale, I wanted to make something that had a glimmer of hope at the end for this character and his son; they have a future together. It’s a tear jerker, but I hope people also find it magical and inspiring.”

Here viewers meet an already grieving Llywelyn the Great, who yearns for his dead wife, Siwan. He seeks solitude in his Dolwyddelan Castle, taking with him his new-born son and his most trusted hound, Gelert. But despite Gelert’s companionship, Llywelyn is blinded by grief, and he fails to see the new danger that threatens his family.

The film also stars Rupert Bradfield as Llywelyn’s son Dafydd, and Fern as Gelert. With award-winning composer Ceiri Torjussen writing the score and Alys Bevan behind the costume direction, this Bad Wolf production is one of a number of short films commissioned commissioned for the Beacons scheme for emerging filmmakers, funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales and the BFI NETWORK in association with Western Edge Pictures & Gennaker Grou.

S4C drama Bang, a thrilling story about blood, love and human relationships, has also been nominated for 5 categories – best costume designer, director: fiction, editing, television drama and writer at the BAFT Cymru Awards 2018.

Seven students from UWTSD were lucky enough to have gained work experience on the set of Bang, set in Port Talbot.

It was produced by Joio and was created by acclaimed writer Roger Williams (Tir, Galesa, Gwaith Cartref). The series was shot in Port Talbot during the spring and summer of last year and the seven UWTSD students had roles in a variety of departments, including the Production Office and costume, camera, lighting and art departments.

The relationship between the production and the University started in early 2017 when Roger Williams, Bang’s creator, came to the University to talk to the students about the production and to offer them the opportunity to work on set and to experience media production first-hand. Nerys Evans, Executive Project Officer led on the collaboration encouraging students to take part in a project that would allow them to gain experience of working on the set of a busy drama production.

The students who worked on the production relished every moment of the opportunity, learning new skills and developing as individuals. They included Kimberly Latchem, an MARTs Film and Digital Media student; Ben Wheeler, now a second year Film and Digital Media undergraduate; Aidan Biddiscombe who has graduated with a first class BA in Illustration at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art and Louise Sullivan, a UWTSD Foundation Art student.

UWTSD Swansea College of Art is also sponsoring the Entertainment Programme category at this year’s BAFTA Cymru awards.

Caroline Thraves Head of the School of Fine and Media Arts, Swansea College of Art, UWTSD said:

“We are delighted to be sponsoring the BAFTA Cymru awards yet again. These Awards provide an independent platform to showcase the work that truly reflects the best of Wales. Students benefit from our partnership with BAFTA right throughout the year with access to BAFTA talks and masterclasses. We very much look forward to the awards evening.”