The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive launch new App celebrating Welsh filmmaking History

13.04.21

Picturing our Past / Fframio’n Gorffennol is a remarkable app launching online on 4 May 2021 at a special event featuring Cornish - Welsh musician Gwenno, feminist filmmaker Michele Ryan and punk rocker turned S4C presenter Aled Samuel. A specially recorded trailer narrated by Cerys Matthews will be played during the event.

The app encapsulates the milestones of Welsh filmmaking history, which respected historian Dave Berry, once referred to as “That fertile legacy”. The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive has played a crucial role in the preservation of Welsh films and sound recordings and has now backed a bi-lingual product that breaks out of a book’s boundary, which is a unique combination of words and moving image.

Award-winning director Colin Thomas and film archivist Iola Baines have selected twenty-five film clips from Wales’ filmic past linked by text to tell a compelling story. This enhanced eBook was put together by Cardiff-based Thud Media with the support of the Books Council of Wales and Film Hub Wales.

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian of the National Library of Wales, said:
"This new e-book is an exciting and innovative way of presenting the National Library's rich audiovisual collections, offering users a fresh and contemporary pathway to engage with this inspiring heritage. I look forward greatly to our launch on 4th May, when our lively panel will undoubtedly whet appetites to download the app, with its fresh insights into Welsh cinema."

Iola Baines, Moving Image Curator, The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive said:
“Picturing Our Past will argue that films shot in Wales not only reflect Welsh history – unemployed miners scrabbling on a coal tip in Today We Live became a symbol of the Depression – but also affect Welsh history – for example the film The Citadel helped to further the momentum towards the creation of a National Health Service.  

Colin Thomas, added:
“Whilst honouring outstanding examples of Welsh filmic achievements like Hedd Wyn, it will aim to ensure that unsung masterpieces like David and Un Nos Ola Leuad are not overlooked. And though acknowledging the patriotic popularity of films like Zulu, the app will also discuss films with a more controversial perspective on Wales – such as Twin Town and Human Traffic.”

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager at Film Hub Wales said:
“Seeing our stories on screen can have a huge impact on how we see ourselves and screen archives play an essential part in this. Picturing our Past will combine history with digital technology, giving audiences exciting new ways to discover Welsh films. We’re delighted to support the project through our Made in Wales strand, which champions films with Welsh connections year-round.”

Is there a distinctive Welsh film legacy? Following a short film introduction, that is the question that will be debated at the launch of the app by feminist filmmaker Michele Ryan, Punk rocker turned broadcaster Aled Samuel and Welsh musician and sound artist Gwenno. Visit the Library's website for more details and to book a ticket.

**Mae'r datganiad yma hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg**

--ENDS--

For further information, please contact:

  • About the launch event: Nia Dafydd at the National Library of Wales (post@llgc.org.uk)
  • About The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive: Iola Baines (iba@llgc.org.uk)
  • About Film Hub Wales: Radha Patel (radha@filmhubwales.org)
  • About the app: Colin Thomas (colinthomas082@gmail.com) / 07974 927811

Notes to Editors

About The National Library of Wales Screen and Sound Archive
The Screen and Sound Archive preserves, promotes and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales. The Archive is home to a comprehensive and unrivalled collection of films, television programmes, videos, sound and music recordings relating to Wales and the Welsh. The collection is multi-faceted, and encompasses every aspect of the culture and life of Wales and its people as chronicled by audio-visual media in sound, video, film and the latest digital formats.

About Film Hub Wales
Film Hub Wales aims to bring more films, to more people, in more places around Wales. Part of the BFI Film Audience Network and supported by National Lottery funding, FHW regularly develops inventive ways for people in Wales to go to the cinema with its independent member venues.

Film Hub Wales (FHW) is one of eight UK wide ‘hubs’ part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and supported with National Lottery funding, 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 225 exciting cinema projects, reaching over 422,000 audience members.

Visit the Film Hub Wales website and follow them on Twitter: @filmhubwales