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Young Aduience to Experience 20th Century Wales on Film in the Classroom


A pioneering heritage resource for Foundation Phase to Key Stage 4 is available for public screenings wales-wide.

The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales (NSSAW), at The National Library of Wales (NLW), launch the first educational and public screening resource based exclusively on Welsh archival films, in partnership with Ffilm Cymru Wales and Film Hub Wales.

All 34 films and extracts are from the collection of The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales at The National Library of Wales, and feature films from the 1920s, up to the 1970s.

The resource features:

  • 34 short films in a pack of 5 DVDs, each presenting a curated themed programme:

Communities and Neighbourhoods, The World of Work, High Days and Holidays, School Days and Playtime and War and Peace.

  • A curriculum-related resource pack with ideas for classroom activities (suitable for Foundation Phase through to Key Stage 4) and group discussion, as well as notes on the films themselves.

The films exude a palpable sense of place, rooted in Welsh locations from Brynsiencyn to Butetown, Dolgarrog to St Dogmaels. The topics are diverse, richly layered and resonate with life in Wales today. ‘Children’, for example, includes an energetic boys’ walking race in Aberystwyth (1920s), the arrival of forlorn evacuees at Machynlleth (1930s), life at a Colwyn Bay girls’ boarding school and a kids’ idyll on a north Wales farm (both 1950s).

Iola Baines, Moving Image Curator at NSSAW:
“The aim in launching this resource is to introduce young people and screen audiences to some of the hidden gems we preserve in the Archive; treasures which reveal so many fascinating facets of how people in Wales lived, worked and enjoyed themselves throughout the 20th century.

As Archive staff we know how brilliantly films like these can support learning across a range of subjects, breathing life not just into history, but a host of other subjects too – so we wanted to share the message and show how it can be done!”

NSSAW hope that the resource will also capture the imagination of cinema and festival programmers Wales-wide, offering general and community audiences the chance to dip into Wales’s rich film heritage on the big screen. Audiences might discover a short archive film before the main feature, or a special evening of themed films. ‘School Days and Playtime’ might be apt at this time of year!

Iola Baines explains:

“We see this as an exciting opportunity to inspire audiences of all kinds - from film fans who love the magic of the big screen, to members of history societies and other special interest groups – and to present something truly unique and a little different to what people are used to seeing.

One thing is certain – the films are a sort of time-machine that will transport viewers and trigger all sorts of reactions, from joy to sadness, from sobering reflection to pure nostalgia….perhaps we should all have popcorn and hankies at the ready!”

The films range from early actuality film, amateur and home movie productions, promotional and advertising films, to drama and documentary productions. Some are sound films, while others are originally silent (several with intertitles), with music track added by NSSAW. The Welsh language films have English subtitles.

Hana Lewis, Film Hub Wales Strategic Manager:

“This impressive resource demonstrates how accessible and adaptable film is as a tool for learning. We have an opportunity to teach young film audiences of the future about Wales’ rich cultural history and to share stories across the generations that may otherwise be forgotten.

As our countryside, traditions and trades evolve, Wales wide and across the world, it is increasingly important to remember our past.”

Nicola Munday, Audience, Education and Regeneration Manager at Ffilm Cymru Wales:

“Ffilm Cymru are proud to have supported the National Screen and Sound Archive in developing this remarkable resource for young people, bringing Wales’s rich heritage out of the archive and onto the big screen. We continue to invest in the importance of film education across Wales, both inside and outside of the classroom. With the resource now widely available to schools, Ffilm Cymru hopes that it will help future generations to join us in celebrating the fascinating on-screen history of Wales.”

For more information please contact The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales on 01970 632828 or email
DVD packs available from NSSAW for exhibitors and educational leaders – telephone or email as above to request details

Resource with curriculum-related activities available as a PDF download from - HWB


The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.

Film Hub Wales aims to bring more films, to more people, in more places around Wales. Along with its independent member venues, FHW regularly develops inventive ways for people in Wales to go to the cinema.
Film Hub Wales (FHW) is one of eight UK wide ‘hubs’ funded by the BFI (British Film Institute) to form the Film Audience Network (FAN), with Chapter appointed as the Film Hub Lead Organisation (FHLO) in Wales. We aim to develop the exhibition sector through dedicated research, training and audience development project support. Since Film Hub Wales set up in 2013, we’ve supported over 160 exciting cinema projects, reaching over 302,500 audience members.
In partnership with our member cinemas, arts centres, community venues, societies, festivals and wider film practitioners, FHW aims to celebrate and support the vibrant cultural film sector here in Wales, working together to expand and increase choice for audiences, regardless of where they live.

The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
1.    Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
2.    Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
3.    Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
4.    Promoting British film and talent to the world 
5.    Growing the next generation of filmmakers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:
1.    As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
2.    By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
3.    By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

Film Hub Wales is a lead film hub partner in the BFI Film Audience Network.
The BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) is a ground-breaking initiative that gives audiences across the UK the opportunity to see a broader range of films in a cinema setting. For filmmakers, getting films onto cinema screens is a highly competitive business, particularly for specialised films which includes archive, documentary, independent and foreign language films.
With £12 million of Lottery funding over four years (2018-22) the BFI FAN works with cinema exhibitors, film festivals, educators, film societies, community venues, film archives and other organisations in their regions or nations to boost audiences for film across the UK.
The film hub partners which drive audience engagement across the UK comprise:  Broadway Cinema, Nottingham with Flatpack, Birmingham; Chapter, Cardiff;; Film London; Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast; Glasgow Film; the Independent Cinema Office (for the South East); Showroom Sheffield in partnership with HOME, Manchester & Tyneside Cinema; and Watershed, Bristol.

Established in 2006 and formerly known as the Film Agency for Wales, we have a remit to help to develop a film sector in Wales and maximise the economic, educational and cultural benefits of film.

Ffilm Cymru Wales supports Welsh or Wales-based writers, directors and producers with development and production funding, industry assistance and mentoring opportunities. We aim to bring film makers and audiences together by encouraging more people to see more films in more venues. We also promote the use of film in education and community regeneration, producing educational resources in conjunction with teachers to aid literacy and general learning.


Britain on Film is one of the largest and most complex archival projects ever undertaken and is part of the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (2013-17). Bringing together a partnership with Regional and National Film Archives and rights holder collections across the UK, this work has included a sophisticated programme of data capture, cataloguing, copying to archival standards, meticulous preservation of original materials, thorough searching of archives across the country, new state-of- the-art equipment and digital storage facilities and the transfer of films to the BFI’s online video platform, BFI Player. Unlocking Film Heritage and Britain on Film are thanks to £15 million funding from the National Lottery and the additional support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.