Bafta Cymru 2017: Aberfan programmes dominate awards

Owen Sheers
Image caption Aberfan: The Green Hollow was a 60-minute film-poem by Owen Sheers

Programmes about the Aberfan disaster led the way with wins at the 26th Bafta Cymru awards in Cardiff.

Aberfan: The Green Hollow won best television drama, writer (Owen Sheers) and breakthrough (Jenna Robbins).

Marc Evans won factual director for The Aberfan Young Wives' Club and Baz Irvine won factual photography.

Aberfan: The Fight for Justice had wins in the single documentary and best presenter awards, which went to BBC journalist Huw Edwards.

Mr Sheers said: "We weren't trying to make a film about Aberfan, but rather trying to make a film with Aberfan and I hope that was true all the way through the process."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kimberley Nixon beat Carys Eleri, Eiry Thomas and Mali Jones to win best actress

First-time nominees Jack Parry-Jones and Kimberley Nixon won top prizes in actor and actress categories for their roles in Moon Dogs and Ordinary Lies respectively.

Indiana Jones actor John Rhys-Davies scooped the outstanding contribution to film and television award, which he said "touches my heart greatly".

On collecting it, he talked about how another movie he appeared in - Lord of the Rings - transformed New Zealand's economy.

He said Wales had the "talent, imagination and hwyl [passion]" for film to have a similar effect in his home country.

Hannah Raybould, director of Bafta Cymru, said: "Tonight has been a fantastic, vibrant and exciting celebration of the industry excellence we exist to acknowledge."

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Image caption Jack Parry-Jones told the audience he was "so chuffed to be here" when collecting his award

The Bafta in the news and current affairs category went to Michael Sheen: The Fight For My Steel Town which looked at job losses in Port Talbot.

Collecting the award, the programme's producer Andy Maguire thanked local people "for allowing us to film at a really difficult time".

Kimberley Nixon, who won best actress for her role as Holly in Ordinary Lies, said: "It just didn't occur to me that I could possibly win because the other three ladies were amazing, so I didn't think of anything to say!"

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Media captionBafta Cymru 2017: 'We have the talent, imagination and hwyl'

A record 55 productions were recognised on the shortlist ahead of the awards ceremony.

A broader eligibility criteria in this year's awards allowed recognition for Welsh talent working on UK network productions.

This opened up nominations to people including Euros Lyn and Catrin Meredydd in the best director and production design categories for their work on the BBC's feature-length drama Damilola, Our Loved Boy.


  • Entertainment programme: Bryn Terfel - Gwlad y Gan
  • Children's programme: Deian a Loli
  • Photography factual: Baz Irvine, Aberfan Young Wives' Club
  • Editing: Will Oswald, Sherlock
  • Factual series: The Greatest Gift
  • Special and visual effects: The Lighthouse
  • Television drama: Aberfan: The Green Hollow
  • Game: Creature Battle Lab
  • Single documentary: Aberfan: The Fight for Justice
  • Writer: Owen Sheers, Aberfan: The Green Hollow
  • Sound: Production team of Damilola, Our Loved Boy
  • Original music: Benjamin Talbott and Victoria Ashfield, Galesa
  • Actress: Kimberley Nixon, Ordinary Lies
  • Short film: This Far Up
  • Director (fiction): Euros Lyn, The Library Suicides
  • Sian Phillips Award: Abi Morgan
  • Director (factual): Marc Evans, The Aberfan Young Wives' Club
  • Breakthrough: Jenna Robbins, Aberfan: The Green Hollow
  • News and current affairs: Michael Sheen, The Fight For My Steel Town
  • Presenter: Huw Edwards, Aberfan: The Fight for Justice
  • Live broadcast: BBC Young Musician 2016 grand final
  • Make-up and hair: Claire Pritchard-Jones, Lady Chatterley's Lover
  • Production design: Catrin Meredydd, Damilola, Our Loved Boy
  • Costume: Sarah Arthur, Lady Chatterley's Lover
  • Actor: Jack Parry-Jones, Moon Dogs
  • Photography and lighting: Richard Stoddard, Yr Ymadawiad
  • Feature/television film: Ellen
  • Outstanding contribution to film and television: John Rhys-Davies

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