Tuesday, 16th August, 2022
Gwledd (The Feast), a carnivorously chilling Welsh language horror film, will be released exclusively in cinemas on August 19th, via Picturehouse Entertainment. This will be the first Welsh language feature to screen to cinema audiences since the release of Welsh music documentary, Anorac in 2019.
Set in mid-Wales, the film was driven by Welsh talent. Written by Roger Williams and directed by Lee Haven-Jones, it features prominent Welsh actors Nia Roberts and Julian Lewis Jones, as well as rising talents Steffan Cennydd and Annes Elwy.
Elwy plays Cadi – a mysterious young woman that takes a job as a waitress for a wealthy family in the remote Welsh countryside, on the eve of an important dinner party. As the night progresses, she soon begins to challenge the family’s beliefs, unravelling the illusion they’ve created with slow and terrifying consequences.
The release is significant for Wales, introducing Welsh language to new audiences globally whilst also meeting local demand from Welsh people, to watch stories in their native tongue. Traditionally, duel versions of a film have been requested in English. Solely in Welsh, Gwledd paves a steady path for new ways of working. This not only honours the Welsh language but holds the door open for further films to be made. A new collaboration between S4C and Creative Wales will see one million annually invested in to Welsh language film, supporting the Senedd’s commitment to develop one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and signaling positive change for Welsh language filmmaking.
Roger Williams, writer of Gwledd explains:
“If we were to be quite bold about telling our stories on this big, big, screen, we could start to build the kind of culture where it’s not unusual to see Welsh language film in cinemas…”
The film’s release is supported by Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales (MIW) strand, which celebrates films with Welsh connections, building greater awareness of stories from real Welsh communities and helping to shape our cultural identity.
Radha Patel, Made in Wales Officer at Film Hub Wales explains:
“Welsh films help to shape the culture of Wales. The stories we tell on screen can have global reach – changing the way the world sees our country. It’s exciting to have a Welsh-language feature coming to local cinemas and communities again but this shouldn’t be an anomaly. Wales is home to a diverse nation of storytellers and Welsh audiences deserve to see more films representing their language, country and culture. We know that Gwledd can inspire new talent to make the films they want to see.”
Through MIW, cinemas can screen a special interview with Roger Williams and Annes Elwy, along with a creative essay by freelancer writer and researcher Rosie Couch, which explores the political and environmental context of the film. FHW and Picturehouse have also worked together to ensure that Welsh cinemas will have access to Welsh-language posters, trailers, audio description and hard of hearing captions for Welsh-speaking d/Deaf and Disabled viewers.
Gwledd received funding from the national development agency, Ffilm Cymru Wales. Gwledd was produced through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic initiative which is supported by S4C and the BFI (using funds from the National Lottery) & Melville Media in association with Fields Park.
Kimberley Warner, Head of Production at Ffilm Cymru Wales explains why the release is significant:
We’re so proud to have supported this unique film through our scheme for debut feature films ‘Cinematic’ and for Roger and Lee to now be mentoring the next generation of Welsh language filmmakers through our ‘Labordy’ talent development scheme. It’s been a promising year for Welsh language cinema all round with exciting festival premieres also soon to be announced for Ffilm Cymru films ‘Jelly’ (written and directed by Sam O’Rourke) and ‘Nant’ (written and directed by Tom Chetwode Barton). Films like Gwledd, which are backed by strong sales agents and distributors, gaining international as well as national acclaim, help to pave the way for the full potential and diversity of Welsh language film to be realised.
Made in Wales offers year-round activities in partnership with Welsh exhibitors, including a film catalogue which hosts over 600 shorts and features with Welsh connections. MIW is made possible thanks to direct support from Welsh Government via Creative Wales, along with support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery. FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.
More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery.
Download the full press release here.