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Celebrating the legends that we all have to share

17/10/2017

Throughout November, the legends and storytelling tradition in Wales will be celebrated in S4C's Chwedlau season of programmes.

To coincide with the Year of Legends, promoted by Visit Wales in 2017, the month will include a collection of programmes that combine ancient and contemporary legends.

The Chwedlau month begins with the sharing of brand new stories told by people from all over the country in the Chwedloni project. On 1 November over 50 unique and wonderful tales will be released online as short films on chwedloni.cymru, with a selection to be shown on S4C throughout the month.

Championed by rugby referee Nigel Owens, Chwedloni is a platform for stories of all shapes and forms. Tales of amazing coincidences, unforgettable experiences and incredible feats; a mixture of family folklore shared from one generation to another, and others which took place as recent as last week.

"Legends are living things which belong to us all. They are part of our history, ancient and contemporary. This is what we want to celebrate on S4C during the Chwedlau month as we encourage people to share their story, because a legend shared is a legend made," says Amanda Rees, S4C's Creative Content Director.

"As the nights close in, now is a perfect time to cosy up and share a story together. The Chwedloni project places people's stories at the heart of the celebrations, combined with programmes that celebrate our ancient legends and individuals who deserve the 'legendary' title themselves. We will celebrate memorable characters from Pobol y Cwm, a king of the rugby field, and extraordinary pooches that deserve the title of Wales' bravest dog! Along with stunning and contemporary interpretations of some of our traditional legends; Rhys and Meinir, Gelert and a zany re-telling of the four branches of the Mabinogi."

The Heno magazine series will spend the month sharing stories about brave, loyal and heroic dogs as they search for Wales' bravest dog. They will call on the public to come forward with their own stories about incredible and legendary pooches. We'll hear about the bravery of rescue dogs, dogs that take care of their owners, and dogs that have survived or overcome incredible challenges.

From the contemporary to the ancient. The tragic tale of Rhys and Meinir, the lovers of Nant Gwrtheyrn, has enthralled the composer, and Super Furry Animals band member, Ciran Ciaran since his childhood. This is the subject of his first classical work performed by the BBC Wales Orchestra which has now been re-worked for a unique television experience that combines the voice of actor Rhys Ifans, animation and storytelling.

Some truly legendary characters have graced our screens since the soap series Pobol y Cwm began in 1974. In the programme Cewri Cwmderi we'll take a tour through the archives to pay tribute to some of those lasting and memorable characters that have touched our hearts.

In sports, we will celebrate a legendary player on the rugby field who this year celebrated his 70th birthday, in the programme Syr Gareth Edwards yn 70. And Clwb Rygbi Rhyngwladol, during the live coverage of Wales' autumn international matches, will collate some of the best and most iconic tries from 1960 to today, with a chance for the public to choose their favourite.

In the company of Stwnsh's zany and mischievous presenters, the series MabinOgi Ogi will present the four branches of the Mabinogi as you've never seen before!

And more of our traditional legends will be celebrated in two special films. Beddgelert is a new production that re-tells the much loved story of Gelert. Based on a 13th century myth, when Llywelyn retreats to his hunting lodge with his faithful hound, Gelert, and his baby son, tragedy strikes in a most unexpected way. And the magical film Llais y Lli combines stunning animation and charming melodies to tell a story that is suitable for the whole family. The original film, Song of the Sea, was produced in Ireland and was nominated for an Oscar.

An entire month of programmes which will celebrate and show that the storytelling tradition is still alive in Wales. After all, a legend shared is a legend made.

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