The Welsh cinema scene is much bigger than a lot of people realise:
There are over 300 organisations in Wales that screen films to public audiences, including over 70 year-round independent cinemas. Essentially, it’s our job to support them. We do this through four main areas of activity: training and networking, R&D (where our Clwstwr project sits), advocacy and audience development.
Our thinking behind our Clwstwr project started back in 2014
When we launched the hub in early 2014, there were few support mechanisms for films with Welsh connections to reach cinemas. Many were self-distributing their films. For those films that picked up a distributor, that distributor might not have been aware of the Welsh connection. In turn, the cinemas showing it might not have known either. So, we set out to try to improve this process through our Made in Wales strategy.
In the first four years, we underwrote the cost to screen Welsh films and worked hard to boost awareness of them. We saw an increase in the demand for Welsh film, but structural issues kept surfacing. For example, there was a lack of funds for marketing and there wasn’t enough solid data about how Welsh films perform internationally. We felt that better communication along the film chain could improve the message to audiences.