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Welsh-Canadian film producer seeks help to fund new film 'Hiraeth'

  • Closes: 14 Feb 2020
  • Location: Wales & Canada
  • Status: open
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I find myself on a remote farm in the interior of British Columbia, Canada which isn’t the first place you would think to look for a bastion of Welsh culture, yet it served as the setting for our upcoming Welsh themed science fiction television pilot. Evidence of Welshness abound on the set, from a large red dragon statue guarding the winding dirt road to the property; a large constructed space ship movie set with the name “Hiraeth” emblazoned on the side; and a unique flag stating “Cymru Newydd” created by our Production Designer Zach Jones.

The show titled “Hiraeth” is a gritty, retro-style science fiction series is in the style of shows like Aliens, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica and takes place at a mining colony in a galaxy far, far away. Hints of looming troubles brewing for the crew are found in the episode description, “The crew of the spaceship Hiraeth discover they are hauling a deadly cargo”.

The Welsh theme is not accidental, as the two show creators are of Welsh descent, including the aforementioned Zach Jones and myself the Executive Producer. My family emigrated from Pembrokeshire shortly before my birth so I could be born in Canada. My father was an engineer and wanted to escape the confines of small village life to come to a place more wild, less settled and where he could carve out his own life on the edges. My older brothers and all my extended family still live in the U.K., so I still have reason to regularly visit and connect. I love returning to Goodwick where my family has lived since before records were kept, it gives me a sense of place and belonging that is rare for those of us in North America. We live transient lives and the idea of being rooted deeply in a “place” isn’t a privilege that most get to experience. Even though we are less vocal and known, the Welsh diaspora feels it intensely, and long to connect with family and roots back home. Part of our decision to have a Welsh theme to the show was to honour that feeling and do our tiny part to help Welsh culture be better known in North America.

That idea was the seed of our series narrative, losing that sense of place and belonging. A setting of space, generations removed from Earth and home seems like a great way to tell the story and explain the concept of Hiraeth to the world in a way that is easy to understand.

As much as I feel connected to that little village half a world away, I know enough that I can’t romanticize it too deeply. Lack of services and opportunity meant most of my relatives have spread across Britain, whether to Cardiff or beyond. Only some older family still reside at home in Goodwick, keepers of the history and tending the gravestones of generations past… giving us a warm welcome and place to come home to when our wanderings take us back.

The pilot episode is currently in post-production and is expected to be completed by late Spring 2020.

A teaser video can be found by clicking the link to their current crowdfunding campaign (https://igg.me/p/2560233/x/22698033#/) where the production is raising final post production completion funding. We are aiming to get picked up and create a Welsh/Canadian co-production where episodes will be filmed on location in both Canada and Wales. Any questions about the production please get in touch.

Bio: C.S. John is a Welsh-Canadian film and animation producer based out of Vernon, British Columbia, handling the business end of film-making. He is internationally certified as a Project Management Professional in addition to being a highly trained and experienced process management expert, having attained the highly coveted designation as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Scott was also awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration for his service in the Military Police both domestically and overseas.

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