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BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY’S LACK OF VISION CRITICISED

16/01/2022

Responding to the launch of the Film Policy Review today, Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams has called for greater support for the Welsh film industry.

The review, by Lord Smith, is assessing how Westminster government policy can better assist the filmindustry in the UK, including how additional Lottery money should be spent.

Mr Williams has called for the review to support films which are produced in languages other than English, pointing to the recent success of Scandinavian television series and Oscar-nominated films from Wales such as Hedd Wyn and Solomon a Gaenor.

Mr Williams said:

“The popularity of recent shows such as The Killing shows that subtitling isn’t an obstacle to success for a good production, let alone the sweeping success of The Artist which is a silent film!

“Despite this, Welsh films and techniques to overcome language differences aren’t mentioned once in the report. In fact, the only reference to other languages is made while discussing foreign films. It seems that Welsh doesn’t count as ‘British’!”

“A review of UK film policy should recognise that excellent films are produced in languages other than English, such as Hedd Wyn, Solomon a Gaenor, and Gadael Lenin.

“This is an opportunity to place film and TV production from the UK in a multicultural and multilingual European context, rather than a constant striving to fit the Hollywood mould.

“Unfortunately it appears that the reviewers lack the information and vision to realise this.

“The BFI admits in the report that the British film industry strongly favours London and presents a challenge to the other countries and regions of the UK that are currently under-represented.

“We must demand a better balance if Wales is to draw deserved attention within the film industry.”