How many of these Welsh gems have you seen?
When we think about Welsh films, some classics come to mind (The Proud Valley, Tiger Bay, Twin Town) but where can we watch them while we can’t get to our nearest cinema?
We’ve put together a list of 50 features and short films with Welsh connections to keep you entertained this weekend and during the weeks to come.
Whether you’re pressing play on an old favourite, or discovering something new, join us in celebrating everything that’s great about Wales on screen.
*Not all of our favourites are available on VOD just yet but keep an eye on our Made in Wales catalogue where we’ll be updating our film listings.
There are many more films to be found as well!
1. American Interior: Welsh cult musician Gruff Rhys documents his latest musical road trip, retracing the fantastical American journey of his 18th century ancestor, the explorer Don Juan Evans.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent HD £3.49, Buy HD £7.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99)
2. A Way of Life: Directoral debut of Amma Asante set and filmed in Wales. At 17 LeighAnne Williams has a six month old baby to look after, with only the help of three teenage squatters who flog stolen gear to make ends meet. A Turkish neighbour across the street becomes a target to her growing paranoia that Social Services are going to take her daughter, Rebecca, away from her. Her behavior becoming increasingly desperate as her delusions over her neighbour grow.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent HD £1.99, Buy HD £3.99), iTunes (Rent £1.99, Buy £3.99)
3. Bastards: Documentary about illegitimate children in Morocco, the fathers who abandon them and the single mothers fighting for justice.
Available on: iTunes (Rent £3.49 / Buy £4.99)
4. Being Frank: The Chris Seivey Story: It’s a documentary about the life of eccentric comedian Frank Sidebottom who wore a huge papier-mache’ head and whose true identity was a closely guarded secret until after he died.
Available on: NowTV (Start 7 day free trial Entertainment Pass), Amazon Prime (Buy £9.99 HD), BFI Player (Rent £3.50), Youtube (Buy £7.99 HD), iTunes (Buy £7.99)
5. Blue Scar: Miner’s daughter Olwen Williams leaves her small Welsh village and her sweetheart, Tom, to take up a singing scholarship, and eventually marries a collar-and-tie man. Tom has ambitions of his own and becomes manager of the colliery.
Available on: BFI Player (Rent £3.50)
6. Britannia: Joanna’ Quinn’s satirical swipe at the British character showing how, in the pursuit of wealth and power, they robbed other nations of
their pride and national wealth. A biting and savage indictment of the development and demise of British Imperialism.
Available on: Vimeo (Free)
7. Britain on Film: Choose from 1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film. Whether you want take a trip to North Wales in 1902 or join a carnival in the 1960’s Dulais Valley, there’s something for you.
Available on: BFI Player (Free or a rental fee may apply)
8. David: This drama-documentary about the everyday life of a Welsh caretaker and ex-miner was the first film produced by the BFI, in 1951.
Available on: BFI Player (Free)
9. Delight: Starring Jeanne Balibar (Grace of Monaco, Va Savoir, The Duchess of Langeais) in her first leading role in a British film, Tim Dutton (The Rendezvous, The Bourne Identity, Tom and Viv) and Gavin Fowler (2014 Ian Charleson Theatre Awards Nominee), as well as an all-star Welsh cast including Eiry Thomas, Iestyn Jones, Naomi Everson and Sue Jones-Davies, Delight tells the story of a female war photographer who comes to terms with her buried trauma through a relationship with the son of a former lover and comrade-in-arms.
Available on DVD: A DVD Box Set of Gareth Jones’ three feature films ‘Desire’, ‘Delight’ and ‘Delirium’ collectively known as ‘The D-Trilogy’, are now available.
10. Dark Horse: Set in a former mining village in Wales, against the backdrop of the current recession, Dark Horse is the inspirational true story of a group of friends from a working men’s club who decide to take on the elite ‘sport of kings’ and breed themselves a racehorse.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £4.49, Buy £5.99), BFI Player (£3.50), iTunes (Rent £5.49, Buy £5.99)
11. Ethel & Ernest: Based on Raymond Briggs’ award-winning book, this hand-drawn animated feature is an intimate and engaging depiction of the life and times of two ordinary people living through extraordinary events and immense social change.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent HD £3.49, Buy HD £7.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), Sky Store (Buy £7.99)
12. Dial a Ride: Journeying through rural South Wales, passengers on a Dial-a-Ride bus reveal all the joys, challenges and quirks of growing older. Dial-a-Ride is a funny, uplifting documentary about a bus – a Welsh community bus to be precise – which provides door-to-door transport for elderly and disabled people living in remote areas of the Brecon Beacons. The film follows the passengers and their stories through the changing seasons, and is a touching, heartwarming look at what it means to grow old in rural Britain.
Available on: Vimeo (Free)
13. Gwen: In the stark beauty of 19th century Snowdonia, a young girl tries desperately to hold her home together. Struggling with her mother’s mysterious illness and her father’s absence, a growing darkness begins to take grip of her home, and the suspicious local community turns on Gwen and her family.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £2.99, Buy (£4.99), BFI Player (Rent £4.50), YouTube (Rent £4.39, Buy £9.99), Sky Store (Buy £7.99), iTunes (Rent £4.99, Buy £9.99), Google Play (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), Talk Talk TV Store (Rent £4.95, Buy £9.95), Virgin Movies (Watch through app/set-top box)
14. Hedd Wyn: A young poet in North Wales competes under his bardic name of Hedd Wyn for the Chair, the most coveted prize of all in the National Eisteddfod, but before the winner is announced he is sent to fight with the English in the trenches of the First World War. The wonderful cinematography that starkly contrasts the beauty of his home in Meirionnydd with the horrors of Passchendaele demonstrates the futility of war in this, the first film from Wales to be nominated as Best Foreign Language film at the American Academy Awards.
Available on: BFI Player (Free)
15. How Green was My Valley: At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.
Available on: Google Play (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), Amazon (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99)
16. Human Traffic: Five friends spend one lost weekend in a mix of music, love and club culture. The Cardiff club scene in the 90’s: five best friends deal with their relationships and their personal demons during a weekend. Jip calls himself a sexual paranoid, afraid he’s impotent. Lulu, Jip’s mate, doesn’t find much to fancy in men. Nina hates her job at a fast food joint, and her man, Koop, who dreams of being a great hip-hop d.j., is prone to fits of un-provoked jealousy. The fifth is Moff, whose family is down on his behavior.
Available on DVD: World of Books (£4.99) or various eBay sellers
17. Hunky Dory: Set in a Welsh comprehensive school during the long hot summer of 1976, keen drama teacher Vivienne fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on a glam rock musical version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest of which David Bowie might be proud.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £3.49 HD, Buy £6.99 HD), YouTube (Rent £3.49 HD, Buy £6.99 HD), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99), Google Play (Rent £2.49 HD, Buy £5.99 HD)
18. I am not a Witch: After a minor incident in her village, nine-year-old Shula is exiled to a travelling witch camp where she is told that if she tries to escape she will be transformed into a white goat. As she navigates through her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £2.49, Buy £4.49), BFI Player (Rent £3.50), YouTube (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99), Sky Store (Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £4.99), Google Play (Rent £2.49 HD, Buy £4.99 HD)
19. MR. JONES: A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.
Available on: Google Play (Rent £1.99, Buy £7.99), Youtube (Rent £1.99, Buy £9.99 HD), Curzon Home Cinema (£4.99), BFI Player (Rent £4.50), Amazon (Rent £1.99, Buy £3.99), Sky Store (Rent £5.49, Buy £3.99)
20. Obey: The clashing of two very different worlds results in a tragic love story in the heady days leading up to dramatic social unrest.
Available on: NOWTV (7 day free trial, then Sky Cinema Pass auto-renews at £11.99 a month), iTunes (£5.99)
21. Orion, the Man who would be King: The Rollercoaster rise and tragic fall of the mystery masked man with the voice of a legend. A film by Jeanie Finlay tells the story of Jimmy Ellis – an unknown singer plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight as part of a crazy scheme that had him masquerade as Elvis back from the grave.
Available on: Itunes (Rent £3.49 / Buy £9.99)
22. Patagonia: Marc Evans’ visually stunning and inspirational film about the journey of two women, one looking for her past and the other for her future. Patagonia stars, Matthew Rhys and Grammy Award winning singer Duffy, in her acting debut. A truly original film with dialogue spoken in both Spanish and Welsh, the impressive international cast also includes Nia Roberts, Nahaul Perez Biscayart and Marta Lubos.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £1.99, Buy £2.99), iTunes (Rent £1.99, Buy £2.99)
23. The Personal History of David Copperfield: A modern take on Charles Dickens’s classic tale of a young orphan who is able to triumph over many obstacles.
Available on: YouTube (Pre-order £13.99), Amazon (Pre-order £11.99), iTunes (Pre-order £13.99), Sky Store (Pre-order £11.99)
24. Pin Cushion: Together, Iona (played with startling screen presence from newcomer Lily Newmark) and her eccentric single mum Lyn (Joanna Scanlan on top form) move to a new town in the Midlands. Iona is determined to reinvent herself at school and quickly jumps through hoops to befriend the popular girls. Meanwhile, Lyn, used to being her daughter’s best friend, feels left out and attempts to woo their neighbour Belinda by lending her a ladder. But Belinda really isn’t interested in making new friends. As the fragile veneer of forced friendship slips, both Lyn and Iona find themselves seeking fantastical and fabricated alternative realities.
Available on: Amazon (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), BFI Player (Rent £4.50), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99)
25. Pink Suede Shoes: Jasun Watkins brings his pink, brash and very camp Elvis impersonation act to the biggest Elvis tribute festival in Europe. We join him in the days leading up to the competition, as he recalls how his troubled family life and childhood suffering fed his desire for fame. Will Pink Elvis win over the residents of this small Welsh seaside town?
Available on: Vimeo (Free)
26. PINK WALL: Six scenes. Six years. Six moments that shaped the relationship of Jenna and Leon. Pink Wall examines what defines us, the pressures of gender expectations, and our perpetual struggle between life and ambition.
Available on: Curzon Home Cinema (£4.99), Amazon (Rent £4.49, Buy £9.99), Google Play (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), BFI Player (Rent £4.50), iTunes (Rent £4.49, Buy £9.99), Sky Store (Rent £5.49, Buy £9.99)
27. Pride: Realising that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gay and lesbian activists lend their support to striking miners in 1984 Wales.
Available on: Youtube (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), Google Play (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), BFI Player (Rent £3.50), Amazon (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), Sky Store (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99)
28. Queerama: Created from the treasure trove of the BFI archive, the story traverses a century of gay experiences, encompassing persecution and prosecution, injustice, love and desire, identity, secrets, forbidden encounters, sexual liberation and pride. The soundtrack weaves the lyrics and music of John Grant, Goldfrapp and Hercules & Love Affair with images, guiding us intimately into the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women in the 20th century – a century of incredible change.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Included with Prime or Rent £1.99, Buy £6.99), YouTube (Rent £4.49, Buy £6.99), iTunes (Rent £1.99, Buy £6.99), Google Play (Rent £1.99, Buy £4.99)
29. Ray & Liz: Turner Prize-nominated and Deutsche Börse Prize-winning artist, Richard Billingham, returns to the striking photographs of his family during Thatcher-era Britain. The film is based on Billingham’s memories, focussing on his parents Ray and Liz, their relationship, and its impact on Richard and his younger brother Jason.
Available on: Curzon Home Cinema (£3.99), Amazon Prime (Buy £5.99), BFI Player (Rent £3.50), YouTube (Buy £5.99), Sky Store (Buy £5,99), iTunes (Buy £7.99), NOWTV (7 day free trial, then Sky Cinema Pass auto-renews at £11.99 a month), Google Play (Buy £5.99)
30. Resistance: After all the women in a remote valley on the Welsh border awaken to find their husbands have left to serve in the covert British Resistance, German occupiers arrive in this alternate-reality thriller set in 1944 where D-Day has failed and the United Kingdom has been invaded by Nazi Germany. Facing a harsh winter, the women and soldiers find they must cooperate with one another to survive.
Available on: iTunes (Rent £2.49, Buy £4.99)
31. Salam: Salam follows a female Lyft driver, who has to navigate the night shift in NYC while waiting to hear life or death news from Syria.
Available on: Vimeo (Free)
32. Separado!: In 1880, following a controversial horse race and an unresolved death, Gruff Rhys’ family split as Dafydd Jones took his young family to join the burgeoning Welsh community in Patagonia, South America. Director Dylan Goch follows Gruff Rhys on a tour that takes in the theatres, nightclubs and desert tea houses of Wales, Brazil and the Argentine Andes as he discovers what became of his family, the Welsh Diaspora and its legacy.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £2.49, Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £6.99)
33. Set Fire to the Stars: An academic tries to rein in the wild man of Welsh poetry during a hell-raising tour of America. Celyn Jones stars as legendary Welsh writer Dylan Thomas alongside Elijah Wood in this playful, humorous and moving snapshot of the literary force of nature.
Available on: BFI Player (Rent £3.50), Sky Store (Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99)
34. Sleep Furiously: A poignant portrait of a rural Welsh community undergoing irrevocable change. Gideon Koppel’s award-winning feature documentary boasts a score from maverick electronic musician Aphex Twin.
Available on: BFI Player (Rent £2.50), Amazon (Rent £3.49, Buy £6.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £6.99)
35. Submarine: 15-year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £3.49 HD, Buy £5.99 HD), BFI Player (Rent £3.50), YouTube (Rent £3.49 HD, Buy £7.99 HD), Sky Store (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99), Google Play (Rent £2.49, Buy £5.99)
36. Solomon & Gaernor: A young Orthodox Jew (Ioan Gruffudd) in 1911 South Wales tries to make his living by peddling fabrics door to door in the South Wales Valleys, but to do so he decides he must hide his ethnicity.
On one of his sales he meets and falls in love with a demure young Gentile woman (Nia Roberts) with a strong-willed father (William Thomas) and a violently anti-Semitic brother (Mark Lewis Jones). The two fall in love and she becomes pregnant, but only then does she learn he is Jewish.
Available on: BFI Player (Rent £3.50), Amazon Prime (Included with Prime, or Rent £3.49), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £3.99)
37. The Lighthouse (2016): Based on real events which saw two lighthouse keepers stranded for months at sea in a freak storm, the film tells a tale of death, madness and isolation; a desolate trip into the heart of human darkness.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £4.49 HD, Buy £7.99), BFI Player (£3.50), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99), Sky Store (Buy £5.99)
38. The Machine: Set in an impoverished world plunged into a cold war with a new enemy, Britain’s Ministry of Defence is on the brink of developing a game-changing weapon. Lead scientist Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) provides the answer with his creation. ‘The Machine’ – An android with unrivaled physical and processing skills, a mechanised soldier and thinking robot that would not only have the ability to fight, but to negotiate and keep peace too.
Available on: YouTube (Buy £7.99 HD), Google Play (Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £.99, Buy £4.99), Amazon Prime (Included with Prime, or Rent £0.99, Buy £4.99)
39. Third Star: A touching and disarmingly charming tale of brotherhood and friendship in the face of tragedy. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Western Edge Pictures’ comedy drama shot in Pembrokeshire’s beautiful Barafundle Bay, which has attracted dedicated fans from across the globe.
Available on: iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £6.99), YouTube (Buy £5.99), Google Play (Buy £5.99)
40. Misbehaviour: A group of women hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London.
Available on: Google Play (Buy £9.99), YouTube (Buy £9.99 HD), Amazon (Buy £9.99), Sky Store (Buy £9.99)
41. The Proud Valley: David Goliath, a Black American, arrives in Wales and wins the respect of the very musically oriented Welsh people through his singing. He shares the hardships of their lives, and becomes a working-class hero as he helps to better their working conditions and ultimately, during a mining accident, sacrifices his life to save fellow miners.
Available on: BFI Player (Rent £3.50), Amazon Prime (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £5.99)
42. The Tell Tale Heart: Stanley Baker enacts the classic Edgar Allan Poe story in this chilling short film, only recently rediscovered after being lost for 50 years.
Available on: BFI Player (Rent £1)
43. The Quarryman / Y Chwarelwr: Y Chwarelwr’ (‘The Quarryman’) was the first ever talkie in Welsh made by Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards and John Ellis Williams.
Slate is the lifeblood of Blaenau Ffestiniog, but its dust can be deadly, with a painful legacy for family and society. This drama portrays aspects of the quarryman’s life in Blaenau Ffestiniog – work, home, chapel, courtship – and indicates the importance of education to the younger generation. The story highlights the hardships and tough choices that were part and parcel of life in such a society, alongside its cultural vibrancy and community spirit.
Available on: BFI Player (Free)
44. Three Identical Strangers: Three Identical Strangers tells the astonishing story of three men who make the chance discovery, at the age of 19, that they are identical triplets, separated at birth and adopted to different parents. The trio’s joyous reunion in 1980 catapults them to fame but it also sets in motion a chain of events that unearths an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes far beyond their own lives – a secret that might one day answer key questions at the heart of all human behaviour.
Available on: ALL4 (Free), Netflix, Google Play (Rent £2.99, Buy £7.99), YouTube (Rent £3.49, Buy £9.99), Amazon Prime (Rent £3.49, Buy £4.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £4.99)
45. Tiger Bay: Gille Jenkins, a 12 year old tomboy and compulsive liar, living in a sordid tenement with her single parent mother, witnesses the murder of an immigrant Polish woman living in an nearby apartment by her former boyfriend, Bronislaus Korchinski. The young merchant marine becomes distraught when he discovers that she has become the mistress of a married British sports announcer and shoots her with her own gun. Gillie lies about the circumstances in order to keep the gun which she discovers where Korchinsky hid it. She ultimately bonds with him and misleads the police in their investigation.
Available on: YouTube (free)
46. Twin Town: The Lewis brothers live with their parents and sister in a caravan on a mobile home site and spend most of their time joking around, taking drugs and stealing cars. Their father falls from a ladder while doing roofing work for Bryn Cartwright, a wealthy, prominent local businessman and small-time gangster. The brothers go to Bryn demanding compensation, when he refuses they seek revenge. The film stars Rhys Ifans, his brother Llŷr Ifans and Dougray Scott.
Available on: DVD from Amazon (£11.38), HMV (Buy £5.99)
47. Under Milk Wood / Dan y Wenallt (2015): Adapted into Welsh by T. James Jones, and with a screenplay by Murray Lachlan Young, Michael Breen and director Kevin Allen, Dan Y Wenallt explores the rich imagery of Thomas’ dreamlike verse. Allen notes of his visceral and visual interpretation “I was determined to craft a cinematic rendition that challenged the common perception; that poetry should remain in the domain of the reader.”
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £3.49, Buy £9.99)
48. Very Annie Mary: When Annie Mary was 16, she was offered a scholarship to sing in Milan, but was never allowed to go because her mother was dying. Now Annie Mary is 33 and no longer sings. She lives under the shadow of her chapel-strict father. When she finally rebels, the whole village becomes involved.
Available on: DVD from World of Books (£4.49) or Amazon (£4.61)
49. Y Llyfrgell / The Library Suicides: At a national library in Wales, a dead author and her demons may be behind some mysterious occurrences affecting the library’s staff.
Available on: Amazon Prime (Rent £4.49 HD, Buy £9.99 HD), BFI Player (£3.50), Sky Store (Buy £5.99), iTunes (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99)
50. Yr Ymadawiad / The Passing: When two young lovers crash their car into a ravine in the remote mountains of Wales, they are plunged into a lost world. Dragged from the river by a mysterious figure, they are taken to a ramshackle farm, a place untouched by time. As events unfold we learn the explosive truth about the young couple’s past. More unsettling still, we discover the ghostly truth about Stanley, and the tragedy of the valley he once called home.
Available on: BFI Player (£3.50)