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Two S4C documentaries shortlisted for major US awards

14/02/2014

Two heart-rending S4C documentaries have been shortlisted for one of the USA's major international television and film awards.

The S4C film documentary O'r Galon: Karen and the documentary series Taith Fawr y Dyn Bach, both produced by Caernarfon-based TV company Cwmni Da, have been nominated as finalists at the 2014 New York Festivals World's Best TV & Film Awards.

The two productions, broadcast on S4C in 2013, have been 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 was battling 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 nominations 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 shortlist nominations for these internationally acclaimed awards is a huge achievement."

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

The programmes will now compete for a Gold, Silver or Bronze trophy, but each nominated will receive a Finalist Certificate in a category where they are up against programmes from Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the rest of the United Kingdom and the USA.

The winners will be announced in early April at a special ceremony in Las Vegas.

Another S4C documentary, Fy Chwaer a Fi, won Gold in the Human Concerns category last year.

Beca Brown, producer of Taith Fawr y Dyn Bach said, “I’m very proud of the success of this series, and that we were given the opportunity to give a voice to the disabled community and to show that people are people whatever their circumstances. James’ sincerity shines through, along with his determination to live life to the full. We have started work on a second series, with the aim of continuing to open people's eyes to the lives of disabled people.”

James Lusted said, “When I heard about the nomination, I couldn’t at first believe that the series has been recognised in an international competition. It’s 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 reached the final. 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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