South West Wales

Bafta win for Pembrokeshire-born director Kieran Evans

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionKieran Evans thanked family and friends from Wales for their support

A filmmaker from Pembrokeshire has won a Bafta award for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer.

Kieran Evans from St Davids adapted a novel by fellow Welshman Niall Griffiths for his feature film Kelly + Victor.

Evans attributed part of his success to his mother showing him films by Alfred Hitchcock as a child.

He has previously worked on documentary features and music videos for bands including the Manic Street Preachers.

Evans, a former pupil of Ysgol Dewi Sant in Pembrokeshire, started making films 20 years ago.

He studied art in Carmarthen and Newport before moving to London to pursue his career.

He told BBC News: "I started life as a runner for Steven Spielberg's animation company and ended up doing pop promos, and then worked my way through the system I think.

"I developed a love for longer-form films and made a couple of documentaries and then had the opportunity to make a feature film."

Over the years he has worked on short films, documentaries and television programmes.

Evans has also worked with stars such as Kylie Minogue and in 2013 won a Q Magazine award for Best Promo for his video of the Manic Street Preachers' Show Me The Wonder.

Kelly + Victor, his first feature film, is an adaptation of the 2002 novel by Aberystwyth-based writer Niall Griffiths.

'Amazing story'

He said he was approached by a producer who had seen his work on Finisterre, a feature-length documentary about London which accompanied an album of that name by the band St Etienne, and suggested he turned his hand to drama.

"She recommended that I look for a subject matter that was close to my heart, which was written by a Welshman or something like that," she said.

"I'd recently got into Niall Griffiths' work, brilliant from Aberystwyth, and he and me got on together.

"We hooked up and he sent my a copy of Kelly + Victor, and I went away and read it on holiday and thought it was amazing - one of the most amazing stories I'd ever read.

"I went to see the producer and said, 'this might be it'."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kieran Evans shares a joke with Steve Coogan, who presented his award

Evans worked with Griffiths on parts of the script adaptation.

The story details the relationship between two young people who meet in a Liverpool nightclub and the murky worlds they both inhabit.

The film attracted attention for its storyline, which included a sadomasochistic relationship.

Evans said of the film before winning the award that it could be a "difficult" watch.

In his acceptance speech, he thanked his family and friends, adding: "To my mum, who sat me in front of Hitchcock films when I was a kid.

"To my dad, who drove with me on a coach for 50 miles to an art college.

"These moments are the reason I'm here now."

Meanwhile screenwriter Sarah Woolner, who grew up in Swansea, won the British Short Animation award for Sleeping with the Fishes which she made with producer James Walker and director Yousif Al-Khalifa.

She said it had been entirely unexpected.

"We didn't expect it and there was a delayed reaction. But we were totally elated," she said.

Woolner said she and Walker were now working on a live action dark comedy-drama series called The Taffia about a "family of disorganised criminals", set in and around Swansea, which they hope will be picked up by TV.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites