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One World Media award for S4C documentary

26/06/2009

A programme in the S4C observational documentary series O’r Galon has won a major prize at the One World Media Awards 2009, which reward the most outstanding media coverage of the developing world.

O’r Galon: Canfod Hedd (From the Heart: Finding Peace), which follows a family from Kenya as they make their new home in north Wales, won the Local Media Award.

The programme portrays sisters, Lydia, aged 18, and Rebecca, 16, their mother, Jane and father, Welshman, Hedd Vaughan Thomas as they move from Nairobi to settle in Pwllheli in Gwynedd.

Caernarfon-based TV company, Cwmni Da followed the family for over a year, capturing how Hedd adapts to life in Wales after 26 years working for charities striving to improve people’s lives in Third World countries, mostly in Africa.

The film also follows Lydia as she joins sixth form college, Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Rebecca as she attends secondary school Ysgol Glan y Môr, and their mother, Jane, as she starts work as a carer for the elderly.

The judges on the One World Media Awards jury said they were encouraged that media outlets were finding intriguing and creative ways of bringing stories from the world community. They said that O’r Galon: Canfod Hedd was a …” remarkably charming, beautifully made film…that showed how imaginative story telling can bring world wide issues onto a local stage…It is a package that cannot be faulted – brilliantly edited and produced.”

Rhian Gibson, S4C Director of Commissioning, said, “By following Hedd Vaughan Thomas and his family, who allowed the cameras to record their experiences and impressions on moving to Wales, viewers gained a valuable insight into both Welsh cultural identity and a completely different culture. This is a compelling programme and I’m delighted that Cwmni Da’s work has been recognised by these prestigious awards.”

Neville Hughes, Cwmni Da Senior Producer, added, “We are immensely proud of this award. The production team worked hard to create a memorable and relevant piece of television and the judges' comments were very complementary. Television has a significant role to play in increasing people’s understanding of matters of race and nationality, and it is encouraging to think that perhaps this programme has done a little bit to increase that understanding.”

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