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Two S4C documentaries snap up major US awards

10/04/2014

Two heart-rending S4C documentaries have been awarded World Medals by one of the USA's major international television and film awards.

The 2014 New York Festivals World's Best TV & Film Awards have awarded the documentary series Taith Fawr y Dyn Bach a Silver World Medal, and the S4C film documentary O'r Galon: Karen a Bronze World Medal.

Both the series and programme were produced by Caernarfon-based TV company Cwmni Da and were shortlisted in the Human Concerns category of the awards' Information/Documentary strand.

The documentary Karen, part of S4C's O'r Galon documentary strand, is an emotional film portrayal of Karen Williams of Anglesey during the last days of her life as she battled against terminal cancer.

Taith Fawr y Dyn Bach (The Small Man's Big Journey) follows James Lusted, who has dwarfism, on his personal journey has he meets and comes to know disabled people all over Wales.

S4C Content Commissioner, Llion Iwan said, "Both these documentary productions portray human bravery in the face of adversity. These awards are first and foremost a tribute to those who took part in them.

"These programmes show S4C's commitment to reflecting society in all its diversity, disabled people or non-disabled. The series Taith Fawr y Dyn Bach is a totally unique format for S4C.

"We would like to congratulate the production teams at Cwmni Da for portraying these brave people in such an honest but sympathetic way. To receive two such Medals for these internationally acclaimed awards is a huge achievement."

Hundreds of nominations from over 50 countries were considered in a wide raft of genres for this international TV and film awards competition.

Beca Brown, producer of Taith Fawr y Dyn Bach said, "As a team we're very proud of the series's success – we were more than happy to reach the shortlist, but to be told that we've won a Silver Medal is fantastic. I'm very fortunate of the small crew that works with me on the series, and especially fortunate of our presenter, James Lusted. I hope that we've fulfilled our original objectives, which were to give a voice to people with disabilities and to reiterate James's message which is to always see the person before the disability."

James Lusted said, “Getting this award is great news and I'm very grateful to my family and to the production team for all their support. I'm lucky enough to have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting contributors, and each one of them has inspired me in a different way. The one thing that has stayed with me since filming the series is that everyone can do something with their lives, and that we need to see the person before the disability.”

Meinir Gwilym, who produced the film O’r Galon: Karen said, "I am very pleased that the programme has won such a prestigious award. I know that Karen’s family are also very proud of the achievement. Her shining personality is the film’s greatest strength.”

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