The 34th Celtic Media Festival got underway in Swansea with 300 delegates arriving in the city to attend the three-day celebration of film, television, radio and digital media which promotes the unique languages and cultures of the Celtic nations and regions, and which will feature talks from some of the biggest names in the film and broadcast world.

Swansea City Council Leader Cllr David Phillips and writer, broadcaster and historian Peter Stead launched this afternoon’s opening ceremony, which saw the first of this year’s prestigious Bronze Torc Awards for Excellence presented, honouring the very best of best of film, television, radio and digital media to emerge from within the Celtic diaspora within the last year.

This year’s Bronze Torc Award for Animation went to I Am Tom Moody. Produced and directed by Ainslie Henderson, it is a surreal trip through the subconscious of a stifled musician as he struggles to sing.

Winning this year’s Arts category was John Doherty – Ar Leirg na Gaoithe, a documentary which follows the young Irish fiddle player, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, as he explores the life and influences of his musical hero, the master fiddler, storyteller, singer and travelling tinsmith John Doherty.

Afterlife: Rot Box Detectives was named best Children’s Programme by the international jury. Offering an unprecedented look at a normally hidden world, Rot Box Detectives takes complex specialist science and presents it to a young audience aged 7- 11 years, joining a team of young scientists who investigate rot and decay through a series of experiments and activities, assisted by Dr George McGavin.

Jonathan – Pencampwriaeth y Chwe Gwlad 2012 was presented with the Bronze Torc Award in the Entertainment category. The sports entertainment chat show, broadcast on the eve of Wales’ international matches and hosted by rugby legend Jonathan Davies has gathered a cult following of rugby fans and light entertainment audiences alike.

Winner of this year’s Sport category is Rás Tailteann – Rothai an tSaoil, which tells the story behind one of Ireland’s greatest sporting institutions: The Rás Tailteann cycling race. The tumultuous history of the Rás Tailteann also offers a unique, parallel take on the cultural and political development of late 20th century Ireland – a revealing through-line from the 1950s to the modern day.

TG4’s CúlaCaint won the inaugural Best App award – which is brand new category for 2013. CúlaCaint is TG4’s first app for kids, launched by the station’s young people’s service “Cúla4” in October 2011, and features over 100 fun Irish language words and images for pre-school kids or learners.

Organisers were inundated with over 425 submissions from across Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and Ireland, and more Bronze Torc winners – which have been selected by an international jury – will be announced over the next three days.

Domhnall Caimbeul, Chairman of the Celtic Media Festival, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to launch the 34th Celtic Media Festival today in Swansea. Over the next three days, we’ll hear from a stellar line-up of influential figures from the broadcast, film and digital media industries and will celebrate the very best in Celtic media talent at the Bronze Torc Awards, with the first winners being announced tonight. It’s going to be a fantastic festival, and we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome our delegates to Swansea.”

Cllr David Phillips, Swansea Council Leader, spoke at this afternoon’s opening ceremony. He said: “It’s terrific news that Swansea is hosting the Celtic Media Festival for the very first time. It means hundreds of delegates will be staying here, which will help raise Swansea’s profile as a leading city of culture.

“The programme of speakers and events will make for a fascinating occasion. Major names from the worlds of film, TV and the media are coming here – and all within a week of Swansea Bay making headlines across the world as the place where new smash hit TV programme ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ was filmed.

“This festival shows that Swansea is more than capable of hosting major cultural events as well as major sports fixtures. This is especially important at a time when the city is gearing up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas’ birth next year.”

Some of the most influential figures from the broadcasting and film industries will attend the Celtic Media Festival 2013 over the next three days, including The Killing director Birger Larsen, Tone C. Rønning (Commissioning Editor for NRK), Gethin Scourfield (producer of Hinterland), Darach Mac Con Iomaire (the writer and director of Corp + Anam), BBC Scotland Commissioning Editor Ewan Angus, Ron Jones (the Swansea-based founder of the Tinopolis Group – one of UK’s largest independent television suppliers to major broadcasters), BBC Wales Director Rhodri Talfan Davies, News International’s Director of Communications (and former Communications Director for Boris Johnson) Guto Harri, the four-time Academy Award nominee Peter J. Devlin, Siân Lloyd, and many more.

For further details, please visit: www.celticmediafestival.co.uk


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