On the eve of an historic trip from Wales to China to exchange cultural ideas and develop trade relationships, a Chinese television company has lent its support to a series co-produced by a host of Celtic broadcasters, including S4C.
During March, a delegation from Wales will fly to China as part of a trade visit, which has been organised by the Welsh Government. The group will visit several exchange projects displaying co-operation between Chinese and Welsh companies, which will take delegates to Shanghai and Hong Kong. Among the projects that will be under the spotlight during the visit is a television series called Llanw (Tide), which has attracted the support of LIC, China's largest independent producer.
The three part series of hour-long episodes, Llanw (Tide), will examine the influence of the tide on coastal land and communities. Four broadcasters from Celtic countries - S4C, BBC Northern Ireland, TG4 and BBC Alba - have joined forces for the first time to co-produce the series.
Led by Welsh company Cwmni Da and Mac TV from Scotland, the series was first pitched at the Celtic Media Festival on the Isle of Man last year. The series is to be distributed by Sky Vision.
Llion Iwan, S4C Head of Content Distribution said: "It is not new to see S4C working with broadcasters in the Celtic countries, but to bring four of these broadcasters together is an achievement that we're very proud to be a part of. Our agreement with LIC in China further demonstrates the universal fascination in the power of the tide, and we are very grateful for their interest and co-operation.
"This series will appeal to viewers of all four broadcasters and we're proud that a company from Wales, Cwmni Da, is leading on the production. Partnerships like this certainly expand the potential for the production sector beyond Wales."
Dylan Huws, Managing Director, Cwmni Da, said: "Cwmni Da and Mac TV are really looking forward to working with all partners, Llanw has fired the imaginations of all concerned and there is huge potential in the series. We can't wait to get started!”
Joanna Young, MacTV development producer, said: "Starting with a conversation between producers at MIPCOM and leading to a fully-fledged pitch to commissioners at the Celtic Media Festival, MacTV is pleased to partner with Cwmni Da to bring the stories of the tide to a wide audience."
Margaret Cameron, Channel Editor, BBC ALBA, said: "We’re excited and ambitious for Scottish companies to be involved in world-class productions such as Llanw (Tide). Supporting co-production projects enhances our offering to the BBC ALBA audience and unlocks the creative and economic potential in our suppliers."
Susan Lovell, Head of Content Commissioning, BBC Northern Ireland, said: “When broadcasters are able to unite in support of joint projects like this, our audiences are the winners. It enables us to compete with the very best natural history productions and I am really looking forward to bringing our viewers a unique insight into our majestic tidal landscapes and stories.’
Proinsias Ní Ghráinne, Commissioning Editor, TG4, said: "TG4 are delighted to join forces with our broadcasting partners in the other Celtic nations to commission an Irish language version of this ambitious series. The theme of Llanw (Tide) has a particular resonance for our island nation that will no doubt captivate TG4 audiences in Ireland and throughout the world."
Steven Seidenberg, head of international co-production at LIC China, said: "LIC is happy to join this important project. We are looking forward to working with Cwmni Da and its Celtic production and broadcasting partners on this exciting project."