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S4C announces a special week of Patagonia programmes

24/07/2015

S4C has unveiled its comprehensive week of programmes to mark the first Welsh landing in Patagonia 150 years ago – and seven of the programmes will be available internationally online.

S4C's Patagonia Week - Wythnos Patagonia will be held between Sunday 26 July and Saturday 1 August and will include the television premiere of Galesa: Patagonia 150, a film produced in partnership between S4C, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and National Theatre Wales.

Welsh communities in Patagonia, and across the world, will be able to enjoy the film online as part of S4C's international broadcasts. This film will also be available with subtitles in South American Spanish.

Seven programmes during Patagonia Week will be available internationally, and can be watched for 35 days following the first broadcast, including the new climbing documentary film Patagonia Eric Jones ac Ioan Doyle, which follows Eric Jones and Ioan Doyle as two generations of Welsh climbers venture to the Andes mountains in Patagonia.

The other programmes available internationally will be the film Patagonia, directed by Marc Evans and the documentaries Cof Patagonia, Patagonia Huw Edwards, Patagonia '68 and Patagonia: Yno o Hyd.

S4C will soon announce plans to make more programmes available online internationally.

Dafydd Rhys, S4C's Director of Content and Transmission says, "S4C has been at the heart of the celebrations to note the 150th anniversary of Welsh settlers in Patagonia. We are confident that S4C's Patagonia Week will be a significant contribution to the celebrations and will be appreciated by viewers in Wales and internationally. The history of the Welsh settlers and their descendants has captured the imagination of people in Wales and beyond for decades and has produced innovative and gripping television. Our varied package of new and archive programmes will reflect that rich content."

S4C's Newyddion will mark the arrival of around 160 Welsh people aboard the Mimosa in Puerto de Madryn at the end of July 1865 with reports from the BBC Cymru news team.

Newyddion correspondents Craig Duggan, Rhodri Llywelyn and Steffan Messenger will look at the country's politics, the language, the cultural plans for the area and will follow Wales' First Minister, Carwyn Jones' visit to the country.

Nightly magazine programme Heno has been marking the landing with a series of items. The presenter and singer Elin Fflur visited Patagonia to find out more about the people of Dyffryn Camwy and Cwm Hyfryd and to meet the descendants of the original Welsh people and the current as part of a series of items.

Elin Fflur said, "I spent an unforgettable two weeks there in May. One of the things that will live with me forever is crossing the prairie which was an eight hour car journey and seeing the occasional gaucho along the way. It was a real pleasure to spend so much time with the people there and finding more about their history and the lives of the Welsh Argentinians. I had the chance to sing in different concerts in the Gaiman, Trelew and in Esquel in halls full of friendly and welcoming audiences. Every day was an adventure and I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with viewers."

You can catch up with Elin's reports from Patagonia on Heno on the S4C website, or download the new S4C App for iPhone and Android.

Other highlights include another chance to see Patagonia Huw Edwards, an in-depth look at the history of the Welsh in Patagonia. This programme was first broadcast in May and received much praise.

The film Galesa: Patagonia 150 has already garnered widespread attention as part of the stage performance of {150}, created by director Marc Rees. The production was recently presented in the National Opera's Storehouse in Abercwmboi on an industrial estate between Mountain Ash and Aberdare – an area where 66 of the original settlers came from.

This film formed part of the multi-platform production and was produced on location over a period of 18 days in April 2015 when Joio production company joined a film crew under the leadership of Roger Williams and director Lee Haven Jones.

The week also includes a rich array of archive programmes stretching back over six decades, including Marc Evans' film Patagonia, Gruff Rhys' film, Separado!, archive programmes from BBC Cymru Wales including Patagonia '68 with the late Alun Williams, special editions of Cefn Gwlad and the Sain De America, Sound of South America concert from the 2015 Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Matthew Rhys, the world famous actor who stars in Patagonia, said,"I have a passion for Patagonia and have worked and visited there a number of times. I'm delighted that Argentineans of Welsh descent and heritage and other people in the country can enjoy this package of programmes online. It will be heartily welcomed in Argentina at a time of historic importance for Patagonia."

Here are the programmes that will be available internationally online:

Sunday 26 July

20:30 Patagonia Eric Jones ac Ioan Doyle

A film following the two climbers' attempt to climb Piedra Parada. English subtitles.

22:30 Patagonia Huw Edwards

In 1865, 160 Welsh people sailed across the Atlantic to start a new life in Patagonia. Their intention was to establish a Welsh colony which would protect their language and culture. 150 years later, Huw Edwards follows the footsteps of those Welsh pioneers to South America and realises a personal dream held since he was a pupil at Llangennech primary school. English subtitles.

Monday 27 July

22:30 Patagonia '68

A BBC Cymru Wales archive programme where Alun Williams presents his impressions of his journey to Patagonia. English subtitles.

Wednesday 29 July

20:30 Cof Patagonia

Cof Patagonia explores the oral history of the Chubut Valley in Argentina expressed through the personal pictures and memories of the first settlers' descendants. It was a century which saw great peril and excitement, especially by the incomers who then considered themselves to be Argentinian. The Welsh settlers' history is set against the greater canvas of Argentinian history and the attempts of the Argentine population to protect their language and culture is seen in a different light. Welsh and English subtitles.

21:30 Galesa: Patagonia 150

Galesa: Patagonia looks at the modern Welsh community in Patagonia. This film will be a part of the national performing arts project {150} commissioned by National Theatre Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and S4C, and was performed in the storehouse of the Royal National Opera in Abercwmboi in July 2015. Subtitles in South American Spanish, Welsh and English.

22:30 Patagonia: Yno o Hyd

The late Selwyn Roderick was one of the first TV producers in Wales to visit Patagonia at the beginning of the 1980s as a director on the documentary 'Plant y Paith'. At the time, the future looked bleak for the Welsh language. But at the end of the 1990s, he returned to find that things had changed drastically, as we will see in this programme. English subtitles.

Saturday 1 August

21:00 Ffilm: Patagonia

Marc Rees' Patagonia tells the story of two women on one journey; one looking for her past, the other searching for her future. The film cuts between the two stories where one travels from south to north in the Welsh springtime and the other journeys from east to west in the Argentinian autumn. The actors include Nia Roberts, Duffy, Matthew Rhys and Matthew Gravelle. Welsh and English subtitles.

For full details of the S4C Patagonia Week, visit s4c.cymru/150

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