3 August 2020
The BFI has announced the latest production slate of awarded projects through the Government funded Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), giving Welsh broadcaster S4C the green light for over fifteen hours of content for children and young people
The £57m Fund, managed by the BFI, is a three-year government backed pilot with the aim of making creative and inspirational projects for children and young people.
All Welsh applications have been successful ensuring vibrant and exciting new content for S4C.
One of S4C's successful commissions is Welsh language historical factual series 'Hei Hanes!' (Hey History!) by production company Cwmni Da bringing history, drama and vlogging together in an anarchic social network inspired format for 8-13-year olds.
Young historical characters from the Celtic age right through to the 1990s will give personal accounts of their lives in the guise of YouTubers, which will connect to our audience in a language they understand.
Every episode will focus on a different character, giving the impression of having been filmed entirely on smartphones or webcams by the characters themselves.
As part of the commission, Hei Hanes is offering a job in the production team to a person from BAME background who is new to the creative industries.
Another successful commission is 'Sali Mali', a 2D early learning Welsh language series, representative of today's children's lives and experiences in Wales, highlighting acceptance and celebration of others with differences among mixed communities.
Also awarded in the first stale announcement is 'Person/A' Cwmni Da, an innovative drama for 12-14 year olds that has been developed and produced by a team of young people.
Themes that are discussed in the series include mental health, emotional intelligence and abuse.
'Y Gyfrinach' (The Secret) by production company Boom Cymru is another successful project and is a bold play for 14-18 year olds. It tackles geographic isolation by following five friends who are going away for a weekend together.
S4C is also part of the Sol (Paper Owl Films) commission, which is a co-production between BBC Alba, S4C and TG4. Sol will be produced in three languages - Welsh, Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic.
Sol tells an imaginary story of a child trying to save the world following the death of his grandmother. This touching animation will help young people aged 8-11 understand the nature of grief.
And also Byd Tadcu (The World according to Grandpa) a co-production with Channel 5 and a humorous, imaginative creative storytelling format designed to inspire children to laugh and learn through relatable intergenerational relationships and visually engaging animation and live action mix.
It features beautiful 2D animation with each of the 25 episodes prompted by a question posed by one of the three grandchildren.
Sioned Wyn Roberts, S4C's Children's Commissioner, said: "Commissioning original and bold children's content in Welsh has always been a priority for S4C and the YACF allows us to develop even more ambitious content for our younger viewers.
"Thanks to the fund there is also an opportunity to collaborate with other broadcasters to create ambitious content such as animations that can appeal globally. "We are extremely grateful for the strategically important opportunities this fund has created The BAME mentoring scheme on Hei Hanes is a new and exciting development that would not have been possible without the fund." "
Jackie Edwards, Head of the Young Audiences Content Fund at the BFI, said: "We're proud of the range of projects we've been able to support within our production slate, nurturing stories and concepts we feel will enrich television for young audiences.
"Throughout the first year, we have been overwhelmed by the quality of the production applications that have secured a broadcast commission and I'm hugely excited about the exciting new talent we have been able to support.
"I'm really excited to see these productions by S4C and the other broadcasters in action."
The fund was launched in April 2019 and has been responsible for supporting programmes with six different broadcasters: S4C, Channel 4/E4 Channel 5, ITV, BBC ALBA, TG4 and Sky.