New Report Reveals Welsh Film Diversity Data and Box Office Performance

© Censor (2021)
Wednesday, 7th June 2023

Film Hub Wales has released a report examining the performance of 14 key films with Welsh connections released in cinemas between March 2021 and March 2022.  

The films, which range from Prano Bailey Bond’s Censor, to Lindsay Walker’s The Welshman, were selected as a sample from 20 known titles, reflecting a range of release strategies and sizes. All titles benefitted from the support of Film Hub Wales’ Made in Wales (MIW) strategy, which is funded by Creative Wales and the BFI. Welsh connections include where films were set or filmed in Wales, or made by or featuring Welsh talent.

This unique report, which was written by distribution consultant Delphine Lievens, leads on from an equivalent study commissioned by Film Hub Wales in 2020. It outlines a range of key data including how Welsh films are funded, produced, marketed and distributed, along with a range of diversity statistics. The aim of the work is to create new benchmarks against which emerging trends in Welsh audience behaviour can be explored annually, enabling the screen industry to respond. 

Film Hub Wales Manager, Hana Lewis explains:  

We take inspiration from countries such as Sweden where they routinely publish data about the performance of their homegrown films and use this to inform future productions as well as distribution and sales strategies. There’s a lack of shared data about film in Wales and we believe by developing this work we can better understand how audiences respond to on-screen content and interrogate issues around equity, prioritising films that explore fair representation. It also enables us to understand how well Made in Wales is working as a scheme, so we can tailor our support and ensure Welsh stories reach audiences.

The 14 titles reviewed for this report took £1.1million at UK and Ireland box office, with 13% of those admissions in Wales (an increase of 2% since 2020). Three quarters (77%) of the films exceeded the 3.15% average market share for 2021 Welsh box office. The report shows that smaller Welsh-set or Welsh story-based releases were popular with cinemas and their audiences in Wales. It highlights films such as The Welshman which had 100% of its screenings in Welsh cinemas; La Cha Cha, which took 99% of its box office from Welsh sites and The Toll, which made 83% of box office takings within Wales. 

Director of The Welshman Lindsay Walker explains how important the support of Welsh cinemas and Made in Wales was to the release of the film:

It was so important that The Welshman screened at local cinemas, it was special! It brought communities together and gave a bigger sense of pride to our history in Wales. Having the film screened at independent cinemas during the pandemic allowed smaller cinemas to open and put audiences back into seats and Made in Wales helped us to achieve that. It’s amazing what film can do by bringing people together.

One of the key findings of the report is that despite a growing commitment to equity and inclusion within the UK film industry, none of the 14 films analysed were directed, produced or written by Black or non-Black people of colour, which was a decrease from 4% in 2020. Although there was a 32% increase in women directors and 10% increase in women producers, none were filmmakers of colour. There was a 2% increase in lead credits for actors from non-white backgrounds (from 7% to 9.38%).

Ila Mehrotra, Director of upcoming feature Being Hijra (2023) documenting India’s first transgender modeling agency, explains why stories from diverse filmmakers are crucial for Wales:

When we are given then chance to tell our own stories, then tokenism becomes a thing of the past, but in order to get there the film industry needs to provide us with well-paid, creative opportunities that create long-term financial and creative stability in our lives. Only then will we see real change in front of and behind the camera. 

Other key data included that there were no Welsh language features released during the period (a decrease from one film, Anorac, in 2020). It is anticipated that this will improve significantly over the coming years with the announcement of the new Sinema Cymru Development Fund.  

Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director, Creative Wales adds:

This type of research is so important as it helps to provide an accurate picture of the film sector in Wales and enables us to identify areas where we must do a better job of reflecting and representing our communities. While it is encouraging to see an increase in the representation of female directors in the screen industry in 2021/22, it is clear that there is a lot still to do to challenge the lack of diversity and inclusion across Film and TV. Creative Wales is committed to driving change in this arena through continued partnership working, financial support and supporting trainee schemes. Our mission is to tackle these issues head on and, in turn, create more opportunities for people from all backgrounds, at every stage of their career in screen.

Films meeting wider inclusion criteria may have been funded between March 2020 and March 2021 but not released, and were therefore ineligible for analysis in this report. Film Hub Wales is committed to undertaking this research annually, subject to funding, and is working on a selection of titles with diverse talent, releasing in 2023.

Film Hub Wales’ MIW project offers year-round activities in partnership with Welsh exhibitors, including a film catalogue, which hosts over 700 shorts and features with Welsh connections. MIW is made possible thanks to direct support from Welsh Government via Creative Wales and the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), awarding funds from the National Lottery. BFI FAN offers support to exhibitors across the whole of the UK, to boost cultural programming and engage diverse audiences. In Wales, activity is led by Film Hub Wales, managed by Chapter. 

Audiences can keep up to date with news of the upcoming Welsh releases on the Made in Wales section of Film Hub Wales’ website, or by following @Filmhubwales on social media.   


Download the full press release here.

View the infographic summary and full report below:

For further information, please contact: 

Radha Patel, Made in Wales Officer, on 02920 311 063 /  
Lisa Nesbitt, Development Officer, on 02920 311 067 /
Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager, on 02920 353 740 / 

Notes on definitions 

Welsh Connections refers to films with one or more of the following: 

  • Involving Welsh film talent (director/ producer/ writer/ principal cast),  
  • Made by production companies or filmmakers active in Wales (including those made with Welsh agency or Government funding),  
  • Set in Wales, or that deal with Welsh stories, events or people (real or fictional), 
  • Made in the Welsh language,  
  • International stories from Welsh talent. 


About Film Hub Wales 

Film Hub Wales (FHW) celebrates cinema. We support organisations that screen film, from film festivals, to societies and mixed arts centres. Working with over 300 Welsh exhibitors, we aim to bring the best British and international film to all audiences across Wales and the UK. Since Film Hub Wales set up in 2013, we’ve supported over 300 exciting cinema projects, reaching over 560,000 audience members.  

We’re part of a UK wide network of eight hubs which forms the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Audience Network (FAN), made possible thanks to National Lottery funding. Film Hub Wales is managed by Chapter 

We are also proud to have led on the UK Inclusive Cinema strategy on behalf of BFI FAN 2017-23.

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About the BFI Film Audience Network  

Supported by National Lottery funding, the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), is central to the BFI’s aim to ensure the greatest choice of film is available for everyone. Established in 2012 to build wider and more diverse UK cinema audiences for British and international film, FAN is a unique, UK-wide collaboration made up of eight Hubs managed by leading film organisations and venues strategically placed around the country. FAN also supports talent development with BFI NETWORK Talent Executives in each of the English Hubs, with a mission to discover and support talented writers, directors and producers at the start of their careers.  

BFI FAN Film Hubs are:  

  • Film Hub Midlands is led by Broadway, Nottingham working in partnership with the Birmingham-based Flatpack 
  • Film Hub North is led collectively by Showroom Workstation, Sheffield and HOME Manchester  
  • Film Hub South East is led by the Independent Cinema Office  
  • Film Hub South West is led by Watershed in Bristol 
  • Film Hub Scotland is led by Glasgow Film Theatre  
  • Film Hub Northern Ireland is led by Queen’s University Belfast  
  • Film Hub Wales is led by Chapter in Cardiff 
  • Film Hub London is led by Film London 


About the BFI  

We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is: 

  • To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers 
  • To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive 
  • To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals – delivered online and in venue 
  • To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding 
  • To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries 

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.  

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.
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About Chapter 

Chapter is one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic arts centres with cinemas, theatres, exhibition spaces, studios, a café, award-winning bars, over 60 cultural workspaces and more. Chapter has an international reputation for excellence, innovation and collaboration. It offers an ever-changing programme of the best performance, films and exhibitions from Wales and from around the world.
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About Creative Wales   

Creative Wales is a Welsh Government internal agency that supports the development of the fast-growing creative industry in Wales. We focus on developing and promoting growth across the Screen, Digital, Music and Publishing sectors, positioning Wales as one of the best places in the world for creative businesses to thrive. 
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