Advanced Television

S4C, NFTS Cymru Wales announce writers scheme

March 9, 2023

S4C and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) have announced details of a brand-new screenwriting course which is designed to help writers develop their cinematic voice in the Welsh language. The six-month O’r Sgript i’r Sinema course, funded by Creative Wales, will allow participants to hone their writing skills for the big screen – from the initial concept through to writing a complete screenplay.

It is hoped that the course will help re-ignite the Welsh language feature film industry, bringing contemporary and compelling stories made in Wales to the screen – at home and across the world – once again. During the 1990s, Welsh films enjoyed considerable success internationally – such as Hedd Wyn which made history in 1994 as the first Welsh-language film to be shortlisted for an Oscar; House of America and Twin Town in 1997; Human Traffic in 1999; and the Oscar-nominated classic Solomon and Gaenor in 1999.  

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “Creative Wales is committed to finding and nurturing Welsh creative talent and this is a key priority of our three year Creative Skills Action Plan. We are pleased to continue our partnership with NFTS Cymru Wales and S4C to develop Welsh language talent by supporting this new Welsh language scriptwriting course. It is a fantastic example of our increased partnership working in Wales, to deliver our ambitions to grow the creative sector, and to support the creative industries in Wales.”

Sian Doyle, Chief Executive for S4C, said: “It’s wonderful to have the support of NFTS Cymru Wales and Creative Wales to be able to offer this landmark course for Welsh writers, helping develop the talent of the future and giving people from all backgrounds the opportunity to bring their stories alive on screen. We share the same vision of wanting to see a thriving Welsh screen industry which is recognised and celebrated internationally and, with the huge global success of recent subtitled releases such as The Quiet Girl and All Quiet on the Western Front, we know that language won’t be a barrier.”

Judith Winnan, Head of NFTS Cymru Wales, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with S4C and Creative Wales to offer this brand-new course that has been specially designed to support the production of more feature films in the Welsh language. O’r Sgript i’r Sinema has been tailor-made to help Welsh writers find their own unique cinematic voice and is a fantastic opportunity for those who may never have written a screenplay before to learn the craft of screenwriting and how the film industry works.”

O’r Sgript i’r Sinema is a six-month part-time course that will teach feature film screenwriting and has been created to support the Welsh language feature film industry. There are six places available which, thanks to the support of Creative Wales, will be heavily subsidised with a cost of just £200 per participant. 

The course will be delivered through a combination of classroom teaching, masterclasses and tailored one-to-one support, with a core aim of building the confidence of each writer – both in developing ideas and the craft of writing. Additionally, the course will give an understanding of the development process within the film industry and offer pitch training. 

The course will be delivered primarily through the medium of Welsh, led by BAFTA Cymru-nominated filmmaker Catrin Cooper – whose credits include Alfred and Jakobine (2013) and Honeytrap (2014). The course consultant and guest tutor is writer/director Catherine Linstrum whose credits include Nuclear (2019), Nadger (2010) California Dreamin’(2007) and Dreaming of Joseph Lees (1999).

Applications for the course are now open via NFTS Cymru Wales’ website.

O’r Sgript i’r Sinema is for new and emerging feature film writers and the ability to write in Welsh is essential. The course will commence in June 2023.

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