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Female Film Makers Alice
Women’s History Month: Alice Lusher


With over 20 years industry experience Alice has worked alongside some of the UK’s leading indies – joining Cardiff based, BFI vision awarded ie ie productions in 2012 as part the team behind the pioneering, award winning multi-platform project ‘American Interior’. In 2015 she launched ie ie’s drama department – building on the company’s international reputation for creating ground-breaking, cross-platform content and expanding their diverse slate of productions. Inspired by creatives working across disciplines, she collaborates with writers and directors to tell stories from under-represented voices and find sustainable ways to realise their vision – whilst making commercially viable film and television for global audiences.

Her award-winning shorts have screened internationally and in 2018/19 she produced Welsh broadcaster S4C’s first short form, bilingual drama series Merched Parchus (Respectable Girls) – which has received multiple award nominations including; RTS Cymru, Bafta Cymru, Celtic Media and Broadcast Digital. The series is being sold internationally by Videoplugger. 

She then co-wrote and produced multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker Tina Pasotra’s debut narrative short I Choose – released on the BBC in September 2020.

Alice is currently in post-production on her first co-production – Andrew Legge’s debut feature L.O.L.A; alongside ie ie’s MD Catryn Ramasut and Cowtown Pictures’ producers John Wallace and Alan Maher. She’s also exec producing a short documentary with emerging filmmaker Siôn Marshall Walters. 

Alice was a 2017/18 participant on Birds Eye View Filmonomics – which ‘Advocates and educates the female perspective in film through “Action!” – not words’ – and was mentored by Katherine Biddle of See Saw Films through BFI.NETWORK x BAFTA crew 2018/19. In 2019 she was selected for international filmmakers, in 2020 for BFI Insight Producers Scheme and in 2021 for Rotterdam Producers Lab and LIM (Less is More) Development Lab. 

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

Hmm, I have no idea to be honest! I grew up in rural mid Wales without a TV though, so I guess I was always intrigued to find out about something I didn’t have any tangible experience of. My sisters and I used to make our own wildlife programmes by drawing on lining paper and feeding it through slits on the sides of a cardboard box! I also remember listening to Neighbours through the fuzzy white noise of an old tv set rigged up in the garden! But I think it was probably when I moved to London as a student that I really started thinking about working in film and tv – although it still felt a million miles away from becoming a reality, until I got a part time job as a runner at a production company when I was in my final year and it all fell into place from there!

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last thing released was a short film called I Choose directed by Cardiff based multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker Tina Pasotra; which we made through the Beacons scheme (currently available on BBC iplayer). We’re also currently in post-production on our first narrative feature – L.O.L.A by writer/director Andrew Legge which we’re co-producing with Cowtown Pictures in Ireland.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

Alongside L.O.L.A we have been really busy in development during the pandemic. I’ve also been lucky enough to have been selected for some fantastic labs, so have felt a bit like I’m back at school from my living room! We have a number of tv drama series’, two YA live action features – one of which we’re running industry workshops with LGBTQ+ young people alongside, and an animated family feature in development – all of which I’m really excited about – so fingers crossed one of those will be the next out of the starting blocks!

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Female Film Makers Rachel Dax
Women’s History Month: Rachel Dax


After two years working in retail, Rachel trained as a Religious Education Teacher, but became restless and in 1999 moved to Cardiff, where she began pursuing a career in Drama by attending an array of performance based courses, and doing TV and Film walk on/acting roles. In this period Rachel also began writing novels and short stories. (Her fifth book will be published this year.)

Since 2014, Rachel has been teaching an array of Film and Creative Writing courses at both University of South Wales and Cardiff University. Rachel’s professional films include Caravan Sight, Planet Love, A Delicate Love and her latest film, Time & Again (2019), starring Dame Sian Phillips and Brigit Forsyth. Time & Again has been shown at over 50 film festivals and won 13 awards. It was broadcast twice on BBC Wales and was on BBC iPlayer for a year.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I first realised I wanted to make films rather than just act in films, when I went back to university in my early 30s to do a BA in Drama (Theatre & Media). I took a film module as part of that course and fell in love with the medium straight away. Until then I had only wanted to write and act. But filmmaking soon became my greatest passion of all!

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last film project I made was Time & Again (2019) starring Dame Sian Phillips and Brigit Forsyth. This film is about two women who meet again in a care home, sixty years after their relationship broke up due to societal pressures. It has done tremendously well having been screened at 52 film festivals and won 13 awards – including Best Short Film at Cardiff International Film Festival.

What are you up to now? What is the next project you’re working on?

Due to the pandemic this is most uncertain. I was aiming to make the feature sequel to Time & Again in late 2020 or early 2021 but that didn’t come to pass (although it might emerge this year in another medium instead). I therefore will most likely make another short film in August and then see how things are looking. I have many scripts to choose from as I am a prolific writer, but I suspect the one I wrote in the last two weeks will be the one I pursue as it has my passion and focus right now.

Useful links:

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Carys Lewis
Women’s History Month: Carys Lewis


Carys is a Welsh-Canadian writer and director who most recently worked with Welsh National Opera as their Filmmaker in Residence where she created a trilogy of films: GRAM GIRL, ALT, and FLUORESCENCE (LFF 2019). She is currently developing her directorial debut, BLUE MOTHER, with the support of Ffilm Cymru Wales and co-writing the feature film, HOW BLACK MOTHERS SAY I LOVE YOU, with playwright Trey Anthony. The team are also adapting the story for TV under the title; HOW WE SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’, in development with the CBC. She wrote and directed a BFI funded comedy, STUFFED, which was nominated for a Welsh BAFTA in 2019 for Best Short Film. Her LGBTQ+ Welsh-language short, AFIACH, premiered at the Iris Prize Festival and was screened on BBC iPlayer and S4C.

As an advocate for equal representation of women in front of and behind the camera, Carys is the founder of FEM SCRIPT LAB, a writing lab for female and non-binary screenwriters in Toronto, and has launched the sister branch of the lab in the UK.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I came to filmmaking through theatre, so the realisation was more gradual for me, but I started out wanting to tell stories – whatever form that comes in. I think stories have the ability to transport us, to connect us, to cut across the usual barriers that divide us. 

What was the last project you worked on / made?

I’ve been mostly working on my TV writing projects during COVID, but I recently had the pleasure of mentoring Ashrah Suudy, a photographer making her first short film through the Film Wales/BBC Ffolio Scheme. It was a challenge filming during COVID, but she’s created a beautiful film that showcases Butetown in a way we haven’t seen before. 

What are you up to now? // What is the next project you working on?

I’m currently writing a feature film called BLUE MOTHER, which will be my first feature as a director. I’m excited about getting the story out there – the film will examine mother-daughter dynamics through the high-stakes lens of prostitution, sex-industry work, privilege, and morality, set in our internet-obsessed world.

Useful links:

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Mothers Day 2021
Depictions of Motherhood

For Mother’s Day in 2021 we’re thinking about motherhood and representations of maternal care, in their numerous alternative forms on screen. The Film Hub Wales Team have been reflecting on what this means to us individually.

Scroll down to see a list of films with Welsh connections from our Film Catalogue, plus wider British and international titles for #MothersDay that recognise how everyone’s experiences are different.

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Women's Month Montage
Women’s History Month: Celebrating Female Filmmakers in Wales

To celebrate ‘Women’s History Month’ 2021 the Film Hub Wales team are excited to bring you #HereAreTheWomenWho

Throughout March, we will be releasing short interviews with some of the women writing, directing and telling unique stories in Wales. Our cultural landscape has never been richer thanks to the truly original narratives they’ve been working hard to tell.

These profiles have been compiled as part of Made in Wales – a Film Hub Wales strategy that supports exhibitors and focuses on highlighting films – and filmmakers – with Welsh connections. If you’d like to know more about how we support filmmakers and distributors get in touch with Radha, our Made in Wales Officer.

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Head Shot Efa
Women’s History Month: Efa Blosse-Mason


Efa Blosse-Mason is a filmmaker from Cardiff who wrote and directed a short Welsh language film ‘Cwch Deilen (Leaf Boat)’ which is currently on BBC iPlayer. Efa went to University at the Bristol School of Animation and her graduate film ‘Earthly Delights’ won the Royal Television Society Award for best student animation in 2019. Her work is usually focused on the themes of women, LGBTQ+ stories and nature.


When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I wanted to be a filmmaker from quite a young age, and when I was a teenager my parents gave me a camera for Christmas and I made a few short films with my friends. I thought I wanted to be a live-action filmmaker before I discovered animation. I did some work experience with an animation company, which made me decide to go to university to study it, and the more I did the more I fell in love with it.  I just love how you can create worlds and fantastical things.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last project I worked on was a really tiny 1 minute animation I made in collaboration with the singer Casi Wyn called ‘Y Genhinen Aur’ (‘The Golden Daffodil’ in English) which we made to celebrate St David’s day and the coming of spring…but also acknowledging the hard year we’ve collectively had due to the coronavirus pandemic…and the hope for better days ahead.  

What are you up to now? / What is the next project you’re working on?

I am currently doing something new and trying my hand at making a comic!  It’s a bit different from animation…telling a narrative across the space of a page rather than a timeline.  I am hoping to make it into a whole graphic novel but am at very early stages so far. I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels to get inspired, my favourites are ‘Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel and ‘Persepolis’ by Marijane Strapi, ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman and ‘Ant Colony’ by Michael De Forge.

Useful links:

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Me B&W Graded
Women’s History Month: Liana Stewart


Liana Stewart is self-shooting Producer/Director from Cardiff with over 10 years experience producing factual, current affairs and documentary content for television. From landmark series to single documentaries and short form, recent credits as a self-shooting director include: Bafta award winning series Ambulance (BBC One), Get Your Knee Off My Neck (C4), Black and Welsh (BBC One Wales) and Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over (Sky).


When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I’ve always loved movies. I’d sit and watch Disney films on repeat as a kid but it wasn’t until I was a teenager – and I got the Spike Lee experience – that I thought…‘maybe I could do that’ – but it wasn’t directing and it was acting. I originally wanted to be a dancer and went to musical theatre college in London, but after the 1st year I came back to Cardiff to focus on acting. The plan was to imitate Spike Lee and direct films…and act in them too! Long story short, I ended up making factual programmes..not fiction and I wouldn’t change a thing..but I am still a Spike Lee fan!!

What was the last project you worked on / made?

The last series I worked on was Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over for Sky. It was so much fun and I got to make an episode in Wales!

What are you up to now? / What is the next project you’re working on?

I’m currently working on a development for a single documentary.

Useful links:

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Female Film Makers Hanna And Georgia
Women’s History Month: Hannah Daniel & Georgia Lee


Hannah started her career as an actor and has worked for over 15 years in theatre, film and television. Credits include Hinterland, Keeping Faith, and Holby City. In 2016 she spent time  improvising at the UCB Theatre and The Groundlings in Los Angeles, where she began her work as  a writer-performer.  

Georgia started her career as a musician and songwriter and was signed to Island Records with her band JUCE. Since 2017 she has been working full time as a screenwriter and producer. She has  collaborated with screenwriter John-Henry Butterworth and a number of British and US production companies on a range of dramas for TV and film.


When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?  

We met in university in 2005, studying English Literature. We lived together, studied together and, both avid  film fans and masters at procrastination, watched a lot of movies together. We’d watch the Coen Brothers’  back catalogue repeatedly – lapping up the fluidity of genre in their films – their darkness, their humour, the  breadth of wild and wonderful characters. We’d sit on the sofa dreaming up the films that we, like The Coen  Brothers, would one day write, direct and produce ourselves…  

Finally, in 2017, having started writing together a year previously for television, we decided it was time to write and direct our first short film. DESTINATION was shot in three days around Cardiff, in Hannah’s mum’s car on a  shoestring budget. It follows a day in the life of a young Welsh female Uber driver facing a huge life decision.  

The film went on to win multiple awards internationally.

What was the last project you worked on / made?  

We completed our short film BURIAL in August 2020 (As part of Beacons: Short Films From Wales). A dark comedy set in a very Welsh funeral, about grief, sisterhood and complicated family ties. We shot it in Port Talbot with a wealth of Welsh talent. We had a ball!  

What are you up to now? / What is the next project you’re working on?  

We’re currently working on our first original feature script. Other projects in development include TV comedy NANNIES, a series following a bunch of delinquent childminders chancing their way through the madness of  Cardiff’s “New Parent” scene, and THE INVISIBLE WOMAN a truly unconventional superhero story.

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Ila Hijra
Women’s History Month: Ila Mehrotra


Ila Mehrotra was born in Delhi. She graduated from the University of Sussex and has worked in British film and television for the last decade. She has worked for broadcasters including BBC, Channel 4 and ITV on investigative documentaries for Dispatches and ITV Exposures and observational BBC 4 docs with Emmy and BAFTA winning directors. She has been involved in production on many different levels, including undercover filming and as a self-shooting AP working on her directorial feature debut.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I have always loved storytelling and the visual medium. I studied photography at the University of Sussex and, before I graduated, I started working on a Dispatches for Channel 4. I felt my love for storytelling and the visual medium meet and there has been no looking back since then.

What was the last project you worked on?

The last project I worked on was called ‘Eugenics – Science’s greatest Scandal’ for BBC 4 and I have also been working on my directorial feature ‘India’s 1st Trans Model Agency’ (AKA Hijra)… because of the lockdown I’ve had very exciting remote shoots with my characters in India through a trusted camerawoman…and amazing technology which allowed me to be present for the more sensitive scenes.

What are you working on now?

I’m just about to start work on an exciting project celebrating diversity in Wales with a leading Welsh production company for BBC Wales.

Useful links:

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WOW Film Festival Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
4 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021

IWD: International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women.

Activity takes place worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

As we celebrate while staying at home this year, why not check out the many online programmes and events from our members and beyond that are celebrating IWD in a big way!

Look out for us on social media (@filmhubwales), where we’ll be spotlighting many brilliant female filmmakers in Wales, finding out what drives them to make films, and the inside scoop on their recent projects.

We also encourage you to raise your hand high to show your support, solidarity and your commitment to #ChooseToChallenge

Strike the Choose To Challenge pose as part of the IWD 2021 campaign theme and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 to encourage further people to commit to a more inclusive world. Tag us too, we want to see!

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Rachel Dax Montage
An Interview with Rachel Dax

‘Made in Wales‘ is a strategy developed by Film Hub Wales supporting the promotion and exhibition of films with Welsh connections. A film doesn’t necessarily have to be made in Wales, but might have a Welsh director, writer or storyline. This month we’re celebrating LGBTQ+ history with a focus on Lesbian filmmakers and interviewing Cardiff based writer / director Rachel Dax. 

Half way into Time and Again –  the latest short film by filmmaker Rachel Dax – ‘Eleanor’- played by Sian Phillips – and ‘Isabelle’ – played by Brigit Forsyth – come face to face decades after a painful betrayal. Amid their heated discussion Eleanor matter-of-factly declares that, despite the lingering heart-break, she’s actually had a ‘‘wonderful life’’…a partner…and makes it clear that she resents Isabelle’s assumption that she’d been ‘pining (over her) like some sad dyke in a warning novel’’.

It is a moment set up to challenge us, much like it challenges Isabelle. The camera barely shifts its gaze from the two of them, frozen in a moment that has been trying to catch up with them for decades. It is rare to see older, lesbian women on screen and even rarer for them to stand their ground, to state that their lives have been fulfilling – that they’ve lived. On screen, the gentle everyday, the plain white walls of their country nursing home and the almost mundane are carefully juxtaposed with this sense of restlessness…a deep desire to get up, to go, to move on and to just…be. 

 ‘‘I think…the kind of phrase my friend uses is, ‘‘use the s**t as fertilizer’’, says Rachel who, it seems, has been preparing to write moments like the one above her whole life.

‘‘…I was quite religious when I was a teenager and I got involved with born again, Christianity…I decided that I wanted to be a preacher. So I went off to university to do theology and philosophy, a very academic degree. But at the same time I knew I was gay. So I was in this kind of very difficult state…religion, sexuality… constantly embattled in myself and eventually the sexuality – because I am a lesbian –  just completely overtook everything. I didn’t quite ever get to the point of being an atheist, but I rejected that very extreme religion I was involved with”.

After graduating, she became a secondary school Religious Education teacher… 

‘‘…And I hated it. I just got to the point thinking I really can’t do this anymore. One of my partner’s best friends moved to Cardiff, and we went to visit a few times and thought…there seems to be lots going on here. I was meeting lots of artistic people and I’d always wanted to be an actor. And I thought maybe this is an opportunity to do something new”.

And within just a few months, fate struck – she started doing acting courses, writing courses and eventually went back to university to do drama, where she ended up taking on a film writing module ‘‘for a laugh”.

‘‘As soon as I started doing that, I realised I didn’t want to be an actor at all. I wanted to be a writer director. So suddenly I was taking every option I could in film…which took me by surprise, but it’s actually become my greatest passion of all”.

Rachel is also an all round creative with several anthologies and audio stories to her name, not to mention that she never really gave up on teaching having continued onto a successful career in Higher Education. She still maintains a close relationship with parts of that initial journey, teaching at the University of South Wales and now Cardiff University.

They have continued to support me as a creative person, as well as bring me in to do teaching. They’ve given me work, they’ve given access to equipment. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to teach what I want in terms of creative writing and short filmmaking, but they also tweet about what I’m doing and promote me. I’ve been very lucky to have that.

I tell her that at the end of Time and Again,  ‘‘I – almost ironically – scrawled down the words ‘A delicate love for oneself, becomes a delicate love for others with fury!’  I was eager not to forget this thought. It is a small something that came up again and again the evening before, as I hunched over the computer to re-watch each of the short films on her website after dinner. 

I want more, but later – expanding on something she mentioned lightly in our email exchange – she said that simply wasn’t possible.

‘‘I lost my YouTube channel…it was devastating because I was really successful…millions of hits overall…I think it got shut down because of homophobia. After Trump came into power, unbeknownst to me YouTube changed its terms and conditions about how you can advertise and what you have on there. Gay content started to become marginalised and I didn’t know any of that at the time. I put up my film ‘A Delicate Love’ – it got something like 10,000 hits in a week. I was advertising it on Twitter and on one of my tweets I put hashtag gay sex. I think YouTube decided that violated their terms and conditions for advertising or…and I don’t know for sure… somebody homophobic might have hacked my account… because I would get the same email… We’d like to inform you that due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines your YouTube account has been suspended…After review we determined that activity in your account violated our Community Guidelines….Every time I appealed, I just got this email back. So I uploaded my best films to Vimeo instead’’.

Luckily, she clarifies, she does have copies of her earlier films on a hard-drive, but didn’t have the chance to dig them out before our meeting. She assures me that I’ll get a chance to watch them at a later date.

In contrast, Time and Again has been on BBC iPlayer for over a year (available until Sunday 28th February):

‘‘…which is unheard of for a short!’’ exclaims Rachel. ‘‘It’s been broadcast twice on BBC two at nine o’clock, which is a really, really good slot…quite often, the gay films are shown very late at night, maybe about 11 o’clock and they’re on for 28 days maximum…sometimes only for a week and then they disappear off. So I’ve been very well-supported by the BBC’’.

Art imitates life, and although none of her films speak directly to the issue of being censored, the act of self censoring and holding back..and being censored by others is something we are often too familiar with having to do as queer people.

In Caravan Sight, Richard and Georgina are two prominent London lawyers who spend their weekends in Wales, swapping gender roles unbeknownst to any of their friends. For two days at the end of the every week, their hectic, high pressure lives are given a small release where they can be a little bit more of themselves. Things became tense when their homophobic boss happens to be holidaying at the same campsite, but throughout the entire film we see that learning to love our queerness makes us softer, and in turn creates more room for that love to spill over and nurture others, and our relationships with them. 


…it’s not only about learning to love yourself as a person…yes that own inner journey of learning self-respect and self-affirmation…but also what I try and do with all of my films is kind of very subtly teach people about LGBTQ+ issues and also homophobia. I make LGBTQ+ audience, but I always think, what would I want my homophobic next door neighbor to get from this film? Can I teach them about acceptance of LGBTQ+people? So yeah, I’ve always kind of got an eye on how I can influence the larger narrative because I think there’s a level of responsibility to be presenting LGBTQ+ people as normal everyday people…

Homophobia is – evidently – not something that can be ‘resolved’ by loving yourself, but each story in its distinctiveness does bring us back to the same feeling that ‘‘a delicate love for oneself, becomes a delicate love for others’’. And whilst this isn’t always Rachel’s first intention, she really is adept at bringing the weight of all these different feelings to screen.

No where is clearer for me than in the film ‘A Delicate Love’, where Peter – a Maths student who works part-time in a Deli – fantasises about an older man and customer, but struggles deeply with coming out. This battle even leads him to force feelings for his long-time female friend, but e

nds in a seething inner rage that is difficult to shift, disheartening to watch and something that many of us may relate too. There is, however, a small but triumphant ending…Peter is out running and falls…injured he is offered a helping hand by another man – his colleague – the person who’s always been in his shadow, a delicate metaphor come true thanks to the cinematography of Jon Ratigan. 

Threads will be mended.

She retains an incredibly positive attitude, having done exceptionally well on the international film festival circuit where she has won multiple awards. Those who get to know her stories are instantly and intimately connected to them for many different reasons, but particularly – as Rachel would say – how ‘ordinary’ her characters’ lives are. 

‘‘…Most of us are actually quite sweet people who fall in love and, and we go to work and we pay our taxes and do our washing. In my own journey with my parents, because of their age…and my mum being quite religious…she realised at some point I’m really boring like her, you know? I do actually wash up and go to work… I have a normal life. I do my laundry, I think about the things that she thinks about in a day too and realising that I live a very similar life with my partner, to the one she lives with my dad suddenly made her realise that actually it really is just a question of love and of course sexual attraction, but it’s about…I love this person and we have chosen to live together, but we don’t live that differently from the way they do’’.

This – fittingly – leads us to a small anecdote about a film she once made at University.

‘‘…it was kind of a documentary. We were told to make a film on the most hideous possible task we had in our life. And so I actually took this literally, and I basically did a film about picking up the dog poo in my garden. I don’t think they enjoyed the fact that I  did that but I told the truth. There were giant turds all over the screen and that the staff were like, this is the most disgusting thing. And.. I’m like… you asked me to make a film about my worst, worst job. So yeah…’’

I am humbled when she reveals that this was her first film. Rachel has literally been using ‘the s**t as fertiliser’ since she began making films. When the interview is over, I remind myself to do more of the same.

If you’re an exhibitor and would like to find out more about programming any of the films mentioned in this interview, you can find the links at the bottom of this page. You can check out more of Rachel’s short films on her website here.

If you’re a filmmaker or distributor and would like to know more about how Film Hub Wales can support the exhibition of your film, take a look at our website here.

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St Davids Day Collage
Film Hub Wales Recommends: Saint David’s Day Edition

In celebration of Saint David’s Day coming up, the Film Hub Wales team have picked just a handful of films with welsh connections to watch at home. See below for our personal recommendations, but you can also find our full Made in Wales film catalogue, and an extensive list of films with Welsh connections that can be watched while at home here.

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